ROCKONSIN, a not for profit program, is a statewide garageband competition for 7th – 12th grade musicians, of all musical genres, that form a group outside of school; ALL band members must be attending a Wisconsin public, private, charter, virtual or home school during the current school year. This is the 15th year that Dennis Graham Associates has produced a statewide garageband styled program, the only one of its kind in the nation.

The Madison Area Music Association (MAMA), a 501 (c) (3) not for profit organization, has joined this effort to provide an opportunity to statewide youth musicians that want to share their passion for creating and performing music live on stage.  This State Finals only alternative music competition will feature 12 statewide garagebands performing at Summerfest, The World’s Largest Music Festival.


  • Who can enter? Any 7th – 12 grade Wisconsin student in a band of two or more students, with a vocalist, ALL band members must be attending a Wisconsin public, private, charter, virtual or home school for 2018/2019. School verification: 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 during the current 2018/2019 school year. Verifying school documents can include a copy of a school ID or report card. Please redact (black out) all personal information, including grades, except for the name of the band member, the Wisconsin school name they are attending, plus the city and information listing the band member’s class year (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12) and current school year 2018/2019.

  • NO registration fee or any associated costs! Apply online at for FREE starting March 1, 2019. Deadline for applications is April 30, 2019.

  • Twelve statewide garagebands 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.

  • 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 finalist bands will receive two Shure microphones (one vocal & one instrument) with cords. The winning band will also receive a Shure vocal wireless microphone.



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. No pre-recorded beats or DJs allowed.  You must perform your music live on stage


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.