Aug. 25 - Sep. 4, 2023


Aug. 23 - Sep. 2, 2024

days away


Fairest Showdown: Battle of the Bands ready to rock at State Fair

Now the decision is yours. 

Vote for your favorite of the entries by clicking here.

Grand prize is $2,000 and a chance to open at a State Fair main stage concert. The runner-up will receive $1,000 and a chance to open at a State Fair main stage concert, while third place wins $500.

“We are excited to engage the best local bands from across the state for the Fairest Showdown,” said Karli Schulz, Nebraska State Fair Entertainment and Events Director. “Music is such an important part of the Fair experience, as is celebrating the best of Nebraska. We can’t wait to further highlight Nebraska musicians.”

The Fairest Showdown is free to enter, but only amateur bands can participate. Each band must have at least three members, all 16 years or older.

Each band must submit a recording of one original song and one cover song. The public and a panel of judges will narrow the entries down to seven semi-finalists based on those recordings.

The semi-finalists will perform live at Hear Grand Island over the summer.

Five finalists will perform live at the State Fair itself in the Fairest Showdown Championship on Saturday, Aug. 26, at the Pump & Pantry Party Pit.

Bands can enter by submitting the necessary materials at

This year’s Nebraska State Fair will be Aug. 25 through Sept. 4 in Grand Island with the theme “Whatever Your Flavor.”

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