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Youth Garagebands Rockin' Wisconsin State Finals to be conducted at Summerfest

MADISON, Wis.  |  MARCH 1, 2018

Dennis Graham Associates, in association with the not for profit MAMA (Madison Area Music Association), is kicking off the 14th year producing a statewide youth garageband competition, featuring bands of all musical genres, that is the only program of its kind in the nation.

ROCKONSIN will invite twelve (12) statewide Wisconsin high school or middle school garagebands to perform and compete at Summerfest, the World’s Largest Music Festival, on the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage on Friday, June 29th (6 bands) and Saturday, June 30th (6 bands) from Noon - 2:30pm each day.

The winner and runner-up will each receive a second 45 minute Summerfest gig on Sunday, July 8th on the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard Stage at 4:00pm (runner-up) and 5:00pm (winner).

The band application opens on March 1st and will close on April 30th, 2018; bands can sign up at and you can run off a free poster.

Key 2018 ROCKONSIN features:

• There is NO registration fee; never any associated costs to participate.

• ROCKONSIN State Finals conducted at Summerfest will feature 12 statewide garagebands of all musical genres - a band can be a combination of any students in 7th - 12th grade; the band must be formed outside the school music program. All band members must be enrolled in a Wisconsin public or private school or virtual, charter or home school during the 2017/2018 school year.

• Musicians applying do not have to be enrolled in a traditional school music program, and the band must be comprised of two or more musicians, one member of the band must be a vocalist. Beginning with 2018 ROCKONSIN each band member of the 12 statewide bands selected to
perform at Summerfest must submit a school document verifying the Wisconsin school they are attending; more information can be found at Bands representing all musical genres are encouraged to apply.

• Each band will be asked to submit one video (please do not incur a great deal of expense by professionally videotaping your song – using a smartphone or a hand held video camera will do the trick) of the band performing either one cover or original song and submitting a link to that video, in addition to filling out their band application by going to Please video close enough so that we can see the band members actually playing or singing; include the songwriting credit and lyrics. The one song video will be reviewed by a panel of music industry professionals and bands will be notified by May 15th if they have been selected to perform at Summerfest.

• The State Finals set times are 15 minutes for each band.

• The winning band and the runner-up will each receive a second 45 minute gig at Summerfest on July 8th on the Briggs & Stratton Big Backyard Stage and each band will also receive a professional recording session at Madison’s Blast House Studios (12 hours for the winner and 8 hours for the runner-up).

Each of the 12 bands selected to perform at Summerfest will receive two Shure microphones (one vocal and one instrument mic each with cords) per band. The winning band will also receive from Shure a free wireless vocal microphone.

ROCKONSIN would not be possible without the support of partners that have a passion for providing opportunities to recognize and showcase the talents of these young bands.

Statewide supporting partners include:

MAMA (Madison Area Music Association) 
Nicholas Family Foundation
Knupp & Watson & Wallman (KW2)
Sherwood Press
Tilt Media
and Summerfest.

This program is produced by Dennis Graham Associates which founded the program. For more information on ROCKONSIN including band application information, up to date news and more, go to our homepage or facebook and like us.

Download a text version of this release below:


For immediate release, please contact:

Dennis Graham