talent contest singer on stage


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. 2, 2018. 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!

Audition Information

Auditions for the 2018 Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Contest will be Monday, July 23 through Sunday, July 29 at the Bandshell. Auditions begin at 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. 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 2018 is open. Click here to begin online registration or download the rules and entry form. Registration deadline: All applications must be received in the entertainment offices by 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 25, 2018.

Interested in auditioning for the 2019 MSF Amateur Talent Contest? To be added to the 2019 mailing list, please email msfent@mnstatefair.org with your name and address included. Please note: in an effort to reduce paper consumption and to clean up the mailing list, only those who've auditioned in the last two years and those who've requested to be added to the mailing list in the past year will receive the rules and entry form in the mail.

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. 2 in the Grandstand.

  • 2018 List of Participating County Fairs (available in June)

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


Begin Online Registration

To register by mail, please download and print the rules and entry form below or request a paper copy by emailing msfent@mnstatefair.org or by calling (651) 288-4395 with your name and mailing address.


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  • 2018 Participating County Fairs
  • 2018 Amateur Talent Contest Semifinalists
  • 2018 Amateur Talent Contest Semifinals Winners
  • 2018 County Fair Talent Contest Semifinals Winners
  • 2018 County Fair Talent Contest Finals Winners
  • 2018 Amateur Talent Contest Finals Lineup
  • 2018 Amateur Talent Contest Finals Winners