Visiting Hours: 9am-9pm Mon/Tues/Thurs/Fri
11am-9pm Wed

(516) 883-4400

9am-5pm Sat
1pm-5pm Sun
Curbside Hours: Same as visiting hours


Search the Catalog


The Next Big Thing!

  /  The Next Big Thing!


“The Next Big Thing!” is a music competition produced by the Port Washington Public Library in conjunction with the Gold Coast Arts Center. The goal of the series of events is simple: to find the most talented young musicians and performers on Long Island, including Queens and Brooklyn. 

A group of high-level professionals working in diverse areas within the music industry will determine the winner from the pre-selected participants who will perform live in a series of shows. The two preliminary rounds and the semifinal round of performances will be held at the Port Washington Library. The final round of the competition will be held at the Gold Coast Arts Center in Great Neck.

The Dates and times are as follows:

– Friday, April 14th @7 pm – Port Washington Public Library
– Friday, April 21st @ 7 pm – Port Washington Public Library
– Friday, May 5th @ 7 pm – Port Washington Public Library
– Saturday, May 13th @7 pm – Gold Coast Arts Center


The winner will be given an opportunity to perform live at one of Long Island’s premier music venues. They will also be featured in an editorial spread in Good Times Magazine, book studio recording time in a professional Long Island facility, and receive a live audio and video reel recorded with professional engineers during a feature performance at the Port Washington Public Library. Korg USA has also come on board as a partner providing additional prizes.


“The Next Big Thing!” Talent Contest” Performer Guidelines
Produced by The Port Washington Public Library & The Gold Coast Arts Center

Age Range:
15 – 30 (Note: Entrants under 18 must have a media release signed by parent/guardian.) At least one member of the act must reside in the geographical area of Long Island, which includes the Queens and Brooklyn boroughs. 

Accepted Formats:
Solo, Duo, Band

Covers, Originals, or a combination of the two

Submissions MUST include: Full song in .mp3 audio or .mp4 video format (under 20 MB), a short bio, and a photograph. Bio must include the name, age, and town of residence of each participant. Email with your submission. The subject heading must include “Next Big Thing.” 


Contest Procedure:

A selection panel of industry professionals will pick performers from the entry submissions. All submissions will be listened to. This panel will not include any of the event judges. All submissions are due by Friday, March 31st, 2023. No late submissions will be accepted.

From the entries submitted, there will be a maximum of eight (8) performers selected for each of the first two shows. Those selected for these events will fill a ten (10) minute slot. Two winners and a runner-up from each of the first two events will go to a “semi-finals” event. Those performers will have a fifteen (15) minute slot to fill at semifinals. Four of those contestants will be selected for the “finals” show, where they will perform a twenty (20) minute set. Each multi-person act must have an assigned spokesperson for each event that they will be participating in, with soloists serving as their own. Participating acts may not have current active contracts with record labels, booking agents, management, etc.

A basic backline will be provided, including a bass amp, 2 guitar amps, a drum kit (drummers can bring snare, pedals, and cymbals), full stage PA sound and a light rig. Sound/lighting engineers will be provided. Include information about any anticipated additional tech needs in your submission email, and they will be arranged privately before the events.

PLEASE NOTE: Judges’ decisions are final.


Judging Criteria

Each of the acts who will be performing in this event will be graded on a scale of zero to ten on a series of predetermined questions that have been put before the judges. The judges and the performers will have seen and approved of these questions in advance, and they will have been available for viewing on the event’s website. 

At the end of each group’s performance, the soloist or act spokesperson will be briefly interviewed by the event host, and the judges will grade that interview. 

A random judge will be selected at the end of each act to ask a spontaneous question of the soloist or act spokesperson, and all of the judges will also grade that response. 

Finally, each soloist or spokesperson will be offered the opportunity to ask for a piece of “sound advice” from one of our judges, who will offer suggestions that they feel may better or strengthen the performer(s). This will not be graded.

At the end of each act, sheets will be collected by non-judging members of the event staff. The totals of each judge’s combined responses will then be averaged by the number of questions/criteria on their sheet. The combined totals from all of the judges will then be averaged by the number of judges, to produce a final score for the act. In the event of a numerical tie, the total scores of the two acts will be recalculated to the hundredth percentage point. In the event of a second tie, judges will be asked to privately confer to determine a winner. 



Confirmed Judges (more TBA):

Publisher of ‘Good Times Magazine,’ which has been Long Island’s premier entertainment publication for over 50 years. Richard also serves on the board of the Long Island Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame.

JIM FAITH (James Faith Entertainment)
Booking agent for highly respected venues on Long Island (The Space) and in New York City (The Iridium), he is also the producer of the highly successful ‘Great South Bay Music Festival’, now in its 14th year. Jim is a founding board member of the Long Island Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame.

Professional performer since the age of 14, he was the recipient of one platinum disc, three gold discs, and the UK’s coveted ‘Ivor Novello Award’ while a member of the legendary musical group The Strawbs. He hit the UK Singles Charts with his band Hudson Ford, is a platinum disc recipient from EMI Canada for his work with The Monks, and has released a series of highly regarded and well-reviewed solo LPs.

Originally from New Orleans, Mr. Jackson is best known for his role as frontman for the Long Island-based band Zebra, whose self-titled album spent eight months on the Billboard charts and was the fastest-selling debut in Atlantic Records’ history. He is a Long Island Music Hall of Fame inductee, a Louisiana Music Hall of Fame inductee, and has toured with Jefferson Airplane and in tributes to Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and The Doors.

25-year-old pop-country recording artist, actress, and mental health advocate Arizona Lindsey recently released her highly anticipated new album “The Process.” Lindsey was crowned winner of the 2019 Gold Coast Arts Center’s Your Big Break Competition, and she has performed for major regional annual events, including the Montauk Music Festival and the Hudson Valley “Music Networking Conference.” Furthermore, she was hand selected by former VP of Warner Chappell Music, Judy Stakee, to be a songwriter for her company’s songwriting retreat.

After spending over a decade in national radio promotion for Atlantic and RCA Records, Mr. Wolmark began a career in management in 1988 with a roster that included Moby, Pere Ubu, and My Bloody Valentine, among others. Since the 1990s, his company CEC Management has guided the careers of artists such as Ben Folds (Five), Deacon Blue, Lush, The Boo Radleys, and many others.




About Gold Coast Arts

Gold Coast Arts is a 501(c)(3) multi-arts organization dedicated to promoting the arts through education, exhibition, performance, and outreach. For a quarter-century, it has brought the arts to tens of thousands of people throughout the tri-state region. Among the Center’s offerings are its School for the Arts, which holds year-round classes in visual and performing arts for students of all ages and abilities; a free public art gallery; a concert and lecture series; film screenings and discussions; the annual Gold Coast International Film Festival; and initiatives that focus on senior citizens and underserved communities. These initiatives include artist residencies, after-school programs, school assemblies, teacher-training workshops, and parent-child workshops. The Gold Coast Arts Center’s programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The Gold Coast Arts Center is an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts “Partners in Education” program and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit