talent contest singer on stage

IMPORTANT NOTE: The following information pertains to the 2016 Minnesota State Fair.
Please check back in the spring and summer for information on the 2017 Great Minnesota Get-Together. For the latest updates, sign up for our email list!

MSF AMATEUR TALENT CONTEST - New in 2016: More than $20,000 in cash prizes!

Every night during the State Fair at 6 p.m., crowds converge at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell (U26 on a State Fair map) to witness an event almost as legendary as corndogs and cotton candy. The annual Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Contest semifinals draw hundreds of fair guests who grab a seat or a Leinie Lounger, and watch singers, cloggers and every type of performer in between compete for the right to be named Minnesota’s top talent. Nightly first place winners compete in the Amateur Talent Contest Finals, held in the Grandstand on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2016. This final round of competition features the 26 remaining contestants competing for more than $20,000 in cash awards and JACK'S® Pizza prize packs - more this year than ever before! The 2016 open division winner receives a year's supply of pizza!

Audition Information

Auditions for the 2016 Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Contest will be Monday, July 25 through Sunday, July 31 at the Bandshell. From the acts that audition during that week, 30 preteen division acts, 42 teen division acts and 48 open division acts will advance to the semifinals during the State Fair. All acts who audition will receive a letter in the mail to let them know whether or not they are a semifinalist. Please allow approximately 7-10 days from the completion of all auditions to receive your letter.

All contestants must register for an audition to participate in the Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Contest. Your audition date and time will be mailed to you once your application has been processed. Registration for 2016 is now closed. Registration deadline: All applications must be received in the entertainment offices by 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 28, 2016.

Interested in auditioning for the 2017 MSF Amateur Talent Contest? To be added to the mailing list, please email msfent@mnstatefair.org with your address included.

To request a list of semifinalists, please stop by the entertainment offices after Aug. 15 or email msfent@mnstatefair.org.


County fairs throughout Minnesota are invited to send winners of their amateur talent contests to the State Fair competition. Semifinals are held the first nine evenings of the State Fair on the Family Fair Stage at Baldwin Park (U17 on a State Fair map) with the nightly first place winners progressing to the MSF County Fair Talent Contest Finals, which take place on the 10th night of the fair. The first and second place finals winners in each division continue on in the competition by representing their counties in the Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Contest Finals on Sunday, Sept. 4 in the Grandstand.

For further information, please email msfent@mnstatefair.org.


Registration has closed for 2016.

If you would like to be added to our mailing list for the 2017 Amateur Talent Contest, please email msfent@mnstatefair.org.


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  • 2016 MSF Amateur Talent
    Contest Application
    Registration is now closed.