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

MADISON, Wis.  |  March 1, 2017

Dennis Graham Associates, in association with the not for profit MAMA (Madison Area Music Association), is kicking off the 13th 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 Thursday June 29 (6 bands) and Friday June 30 (6 bands) from Noon - 2:30pm each day.  The winner and runner-up will receive a second Summerfest gig on July 9th.  The band application opens on March 1 and will close on April 30, 2017; bands can sign up at www.rockonsin.org  and you can run off a free poster.

“ROCKONSIN provides a wonderful opportunity for 7th – 12th grade Wisconsin musicians to take center stage at Summerfest, the World’s Largest Music Festival, to showcase their remarkable talent.  What a great chance for young musicians to highlight their musical chops at the Biggest Gig in the World. ROCKONSIN Wisconsin!!” said Butch Vig, drummer for the internationally acclaimed band Garbage, Grammy Award winning producer and Wisconsin native. LIKE us on Facebook and see a ROCKONSIN video message from Butch Vig.



  • There is NO registration fee.
  • 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.  You must be enrolled in a Wisconsin public or private school or virtual, charter or home school during the 2016/2017 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. 
  • 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 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 by going to www.rockonsin.org.  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 gig at Summerfest on July 9th and each band will also receive a professional recording session at Madison’s Blast House Studios.

  • Each of the 12 bands selected to perform at Summerfest will receive two (2) Shure microphones (one vocal & one instrumental mic with cords) per band. One band (rock, punk, or metal) will be selected at the State Finals to represent ROCKONSIN at the 2017 Vans Warped Tour Milwaukee stop at Summerfest on July 24th.

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
Theodore W. Batterman Family Foundation
UW-Madison Campus & Visitor Relations
Vans Warped Tour
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, please visit our homepage, or like us on facebook.

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For immediate release, please contact:

Dennis Graham