ROCKONSIN is a statewide garage band competition for 7th – 12th grade musicians, of all musical genres, that form a group outside of school; but they must be attending a Wisconsin public or private school or charter, virtual or home school. This is the 13th year that Dennis Graham Associates has produced a garage band styled program. The Madison Area Music Association (MAMA) has joined the effort in providing this opportunity to young musicians throughout the state who want to share their passion for creating and performing music live on stage.


    • Who can enter? Any 7th – 12th grade Wisconsin student in a band of two or more students who attend and are enrolled in a Wisconsin public, private, charter, virtual or home school for the 2016/2017 school year.
    • NO registration fee! Apply for free starting March 1, 2017. Deadline for applications is April 30th, 2017.
    • Twelve statewide garage bands will be selected to each play a 15 minute set at Summerfest, the World’s Largest Music Festival.  All bands must be available to play in Milwaukee on the date assigned to perform.  Band can perform cover or original songs.  Up to two original songs in a band’s set will be recorded, mixed and mastered and provided to the band on mp3 format at no charge. 
    • The winning band and runner-up, as judged by music industry professionals, will each play a second Summerfest set.  The winning band and runner-up will also get a free professional recording session at Madison’s Blast House Studios (12 hours for the winning band and 8 hours for the runner-up).
    • Each of the 12 bands will receive two Shure microphones (one vocal & one instrument) with cords. One band (must be punk, rock or metal) will be chosen by the State Finals judges at Summerfest to represent ROCKONSIN at the 2017 Vans Warped Tour Milwaukee stop on July 24 on the Summerfest grounds.



    What genres of bands are eligible to apply for the competition?

    All musical genres are accepted – country, rock, jazz, hip-hop, reggae, metal, Americana, bluegrass, folk, etc. Bands can play covers or originals or a mix of the two.


    How will bands be chosen from the application pool?

    A panel of judges with experience in the music industry will choose the Summerfest finalist bands. They will be judging the applicants and the Finals competition by evaluating a band’s overall quality: how the band gels together (rhythm/vocals), creativity, musicianship, technique, and stage presence. This same scoring rubric will also be used by the State Finals judges for the Summerfest performances.


    Can we substitute a member of the band if they cannot make the Summerfest Finals performance?

    Yes. The substitute member must be in 7th – 12th grade and have been enrolled in a Wisconsin public, private, charter, virtual or home school in the Spring semester immediately preceding the Finals competition at Summerfest.