Youth Garagebands Rockin’ Wisconsin

State Finals to be conducted at Summerfest

MADISON, Wis.  |  MARCH 1, 2019

Dennis Graham Associates, in association with the not for profit MAMA (Madison Area Music Association), is kicking off the 15th year producing a statewide youth garageband competition, showcasing only Wisconsin 7th – 12th grade bands of all musical genres, that is the only program of its kind in the nation.  

ROCKONSIN, brought to you by the Nicholas Family Foundation, will invite twelve (12) statewide Wisconsin high school/middle school garagebands to the State Finals to perform and compete at Summerfest, The World’s Largest Music Festival. The performances and competition will be conducted on the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage over two days.  The winner and runner-up will each receive a second 45 minute Summerfest showcase gig and studio recording time at Madison’s Blast House Studios. 

The band application period opens on March 1 and will close on April 30, 2019

Bands can sign up at www.rockonsin.org
and can run off a free poster.


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

  • ROCKONSIN State Finals conducted at Summerfest on the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage on June 27 & June 28 (Noon – 2:30pm each day with 6 bands) will feature 12 statewide garagebands of all musical genres -  a band can be a combination of any Wisconsin 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, private, virtual, charter or home school during the 2018/2019 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. 

  • 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 www.rockonsin.org. 

  • Each band will be asked to submit one video (bands should not incur the expense of professionally videotaping their song – using a smart phone 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 at www.rockonsin.org.  Bands should video close enough so that one can see the band members actually playing or singing; and include the songwriting credit and lyrics.

  • The one song video application 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 showcase set times are 15 minutes for each band on the Johnson Controls World Sound Stage on June 27 & June 28 (6 bands each day Noon – 2:30pm).

  • The winning band and the runner-up will each receive a second 45 minute showcase gig at Summerfest on the Briggs and Stratton Big Backyard Stage (dates & times TBA) 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 & one instrument mic each with cords) per band. The winning band will also receive from Shure the prize of a wireless vocal microphone.


ROCKONSIN, which is brought to you by the Nicholas Family Foundation, is made possible with the support of sponsor partners that have a passion for providing opportunities to recognize, encourage and showcase the talents of these young bands. 

Statewide sponsor 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, to run off a band application poster and more, go to www.rockonsin.org or www.facebook.com/rockonsin and Like us. Also follow us on Instagram www.instagram.com/rockonsin . 

Download the 2019 Press Release:


For immediate release, please contact:

Dennis Graham