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ROCKONSIN, youth garage band competition open for chance to play at Summerfest

Wisconsin’s Indie Music Competition is back for 7th-12th grade musicians to perform at the Big Gig in Milwaukee.



Middle and high school students that have always wanted to play the “Big Gig” — Milwaukee’s Summerfest — have a chance with the 19th annual ROCKONSIN challenge.

ROCKONSIN is a Wisconsin statewide garage band competition for 7–12th grade musicians of all musical genres. Dennis Graham, founder and producer of ROCKONSIN, told Z93 it is the only statewide youth music competition program of its kind in the nation.

Any band can apply free by uploading a performance video.

Graham was sure to note that the submission does not need to be a professional recording. A cellphone or hand held camera will be fine.

Submissions can be original or cover music. All band members must be enrolled in a Wisconsin public, private, virtual, charter or home school during the 2022-23 school year. This year’s application deadline is April 30.

Three music industry professionals will review and score out all band application videos to determine the Top 10 state finalist that will be invited to Summerfest for the finals competition.

Those bands will be announced May 15, to compete and be showcased at Summerfest – The World’s Largest Music Festival.

Graham said each finalist will perform a 20-minute set and receive two Shure mics.

The winner and runners-up will each receive a second 40-minute gig at Summerfest on July 7, in addition to recording time at Madison’s Blast House Studios. The winning band will also receive a Shure wireless vocal microphone system. 

Check out the full rules HERE, and follow @ROCKONSIN on FacebookInstagram, and TikTok.

Tracy has worked at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 2004. She is half of the Z93 Morning Buzz with Brittany and Ballzer and coordinates Z93's charity, Zcare. She writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse and announces for the Mississippi Valley Mayhem Roller Derby team.

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