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The Contests Experience

Want to know what it's like to do the Americana-Roots Music Contests? Well, don't just take our word for it. Hear what previous contestants had to say...

 We had an incredible experience competing in the Americana-Roots Duets contest! We had a blast, received great exposure, and got connected to other great duos in the Twin Cities. The contest was organized and highly attended, and we felt supported by the staff the entire time. 
— The UkuLadies (now The Gemnize), 2019

 The state fair duet contest was a great way to connect with and expand our musical community. It’s at a mellow stage and gave us a classic fair experience without being in the middle of the madness! Supportive and awesome audience and kind folks all around!  
Fellow Pynins, 2019

 Thank You Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association. What a wonderful opportunity to play our music at an incredible venue for such an appreciative audience!
Prarie Anthem, 2019

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 What a great experience! The State Fair Music Contests are well planned, executed, and super enjoyable for all involved, especially the fans. Musicians should be eager to participate.
Brady Perl & Toyin, 2019

 The State Fair duo contest is a great way to get to know other musicians in The Twin Cities roots music community. The feeling of the competition is both supportive and encouraging!
Bad Posture Club, 2019

 The State Fair Band Contests was a great experience, even though we didn't place. We enjoyed playing a large stage with an attentive crowd on one of the State Fair's busiest days...Its a fun contest and the other bands were great to mingle with and meet. From what I recall, there were no smashed banjos in anger at the contests ;)
Buffalo Galaxy, 2019

 We had great fun playing in the Americana-Roots Band Contest! It was a thrill to play at the Minnesota State Fair and to share the stage with such talented bands. We highly recommend the experience to others and hope to come back and perform again ourselves.
Hell-Burnin' Sinners, 2019

 We have completely enjoyed our experiences at the duet contest over the years. Whether we've placed or not, the comraderie and the opportunity to hear other duos, both young and not-so-young, has been rewarding. We highly recommend it.
Bill & Kate Isles, multiple years

 Contests are also a great way to help get your name out there. Not to mention, now we can put ‘award-winning’ in our bio!
— Barbaro, 2018

 Corpse Reviver had a fantastic time taking part in the band competition!...There were also quite a few folks watching and listening to the bands as well. It never hurts to get in front of new audiences and we've since had quite a few people come up to us and mention that they or someone they knew had seen us at the State Fair...All in all, we thought it was a fantastic experience, and would highly recommend it to any bands in the area.
 Corpse Reviver, 2018

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Pics or it didn't happen!
Fun times were had by all—we have proof!

15 photo(s) Updated on: June 15, 2021
  • Adam Kiesling of Corpse Reviver trying to intimidate the competition?
  • Harpers Chord, 2019 second place band! They're even color-coordinated ;-)
  • Brian Wickland, Duets emcee, giving the Contest a strong thumbs up!
  • Midbros at the 2018 Vocal Duets Contest. They really rocked!
  • The UkuLadies (now The Gemnize), 2019 second place duet!
  • A packed house in 2018 (and every year) for Bills & Kate Isles Band!
  • Brady Perl & Toyin Alowonle, 2019 third place duet.
  • 2019 contestants getting to know each other and relax backstage.
  • Hell-Burnin' Sinners, 2019. Nuff said.
  • Always a packed house at the West End Stage.
  • We had a house band in 2018! It's not just contestants who have performed.
  • Bernie King and the Guilty Pleasures, 2019 Blue Ribbon winners!
  • 2019 Contest volunteers and staff! We're here to help!
  • Barbaro, 2018 Blue Ribbon winners!
  • The fun doesn't stop after the Contest is done!

Minnesota Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Association
P.O. Box 16408, Minneapolis, MN 55416



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