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Aug. 22 – Labor Day, Sept. 2, 2024

182 Days 23 Hours 49 Mins

Amateur Talent Contests

50th Annual MSF Amateur Talent Contest

Every night during the State Fair at 6 p.m., crowds converge at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell 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 to enjoy singers, dancers, instrumentalists, cloggers and every type of performer in between as they 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. 3, 2023. This final round of competition features the 26 remaining contestants competing for more than $20,000 in cash awards!

Do you love the amateur talent contest and want more opportunities to cheer on the brave contestants? Auditions are free to watch and open to the public (see dates and times below). Bring a picnic to make an evening of it, or stop by the Minnesota State Fair Foundation Snack Shack for a treat!

Audition Information

Registration deadline in 2023 closed at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 26. Auditions for the 2023 Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Contest begin Monday, July 24 and will run through Sunday, July 30 at the Bandshell. Monday through Friday will begin at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday auditions begin at 11 a.m. 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 one week from the completion of all auditions to receive your letter.

Interested in auditioning for the MSF Amateur Talent Contest in the future? To be added to next year’s mailing list, please email 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 an entry form in the mail.

MSF County Fair Talent Contest

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 with the nightly first-place winners progressing to the MSF County Fair Talent Contest Finals, which take place on Saturday, Sept. 2. The first- and second-place finals winners in each division continue on in the competition by representing their counties in the MSF Amateur Talent Contest Finals on Sunday, Sept. 3 in the Grandstand.

For further information, please email

2023 Registration

Audition registration is now closed. The deadline to register for 2023 was 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 26. To be added to the mailing list, please email with your name and address included.

Quick links:

Links will become active as information is available.