How to Get a Gig at the Largest Music Festival in Motorcycling™
 
 

How to Get a Gig at the Buffalo Chip Music Festival

Become a Part of the Chip’s Showcase Experience!

If you’ve made it here, it might be because you’ve heard there’s no experience in the world quite like performing at the Largest Music Festival in Motorcycling™. Well, guess what? You heard right!

“It's a very unique experience. The vibe in the air just overtakes you. There's nothing like feeling those motors revving. Truly incredible for the performer and the crowd. No comparison.” 
      – Showcase performer Symphony Tidwell, The Living Deads

The Chip has become the icon of music and motorcycle lifestyle, and for over 30 years it’s helped bands like yours connect with fans from around the globe. We’re thrilled to foster a community of emerging artists to give you the opportunity to perform in front of one of the most unique crowds of your career.

Interested in becoming part of the Sturgis Buffalo Chip's Showcase Music Experience? Here’s how to get a gig…

Please submit an electronic press kit to artists[at]buffalochip.com.

Each year the Buffalo Chip receives thousands of inquiries from emerging artists who dream of performing at the Best Party Anywhere. If performance slots are available and you or your band are the right fit for the festival, a staff member will contact you. 

Due to the sheer volume of artist inquiries, please DO NOT send traditional paper/hard copy press kits or contact via telephone. 

"The Buffalo Chip is the rock n' roll dream--amazing music, the coolest people, great food and an energy that's unmatched by any other festival in the world. It has become our home away from home." 
      --Showcase performer Sal Scocca, Sweet Cyanide

Showcase Experience FAQs

  1. How big is Sturgis Buffalo Chip®?
    The Buffalo Chip is the world’s first and largest biker-dedicated destination entertainment facility. Our venue is located thee miles east of Sturgis, SD, and our nine-day annual festival overlaps with the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The Chip’s physical size is over 600 acres, which includes the campground, over 25 bars, the PowerSports Complex, the free-access CrossRoads destination, a large natural outdoor amphitheater and seven stages

     
  2. What was the attendance at the Buffalo Chip for last year?
    Attendance figures are proprietary information, and we simply do not give them out. The government estimates the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally attendance ranges from 440,000 to 700,000. The Buffalo Chip is recognized as the rally's centerpiece, and therefore a large percentage of rally attendees make it through our gates. Thanks to the huge media presence, multiple television shows and positive word of mouth, the Best Party Anywhere has become known the world over and welcomed millions of bikers over the last three decades. 
     
  3. What is a showcase band? 
    There are seven stages at the Buffalo Chip—the Wolfman Jack Main Stage and six showcase stages. Showcase bands and performers are those who perform on the six showcase stages. Each showcase stage offers guests a different variety of programming and provides its own unique feel for performers. The six showcase stages are Kinison Stage, Bikini Beach Stage, Hoyt Axton Stage, Jägermeister Stage, the Buffalo Chip Comedy Club and Club Chip

     
  4. How can my band become a showcase band at the Legendary Buffalo Chip?
    Please submit an electronic press kit to artists[at]buffalochip.com. 
     
  5. What should showcase bands expect for performance attendance?
    Showcase stages audience numbers vary, it truly depends on the day, time, headliner and, most importantly, the weather. This is an outdoor music festival, and South Dakota weather can be very unpredictable. 

    Sometimes people will be out in front dancing, sometimes banging their heads, sometimes the artists’ music will be ambient. There is no guarantee how the audience will react to an artist, how many people will be standing out front of the stage, or which stage will be popular on any particular date.

    The festival typically gains momentum throughout the week, and customers who stay for the duration get to know who their favorite showcase bands are, and where and when they are playing. 
     
  6. How are artists promoted at the Chip?
    • Information, photos and performance schedules on buffalochip.com
    • Mentions in the Sturgis Rider® Newsletter
    • Mentions across the Buffalo Chip’s social media channels
    • LED Jumbotrons ads on screens to the left and right of the main stage
    • Daily schedules for each stage posted throughout the grounds
    • Live remote broadcasts during the music festival

    NOTE: We encourage artists to produce their own promo materials to distribute throughout the campground, Sturgis and the Black Hills region, both during and leading up to the event. Common examples include artist flyers, handbills and press releases.
     
  7. How many shows do bands perform, and how long are the sets?
    Sets are generally 90 minutes, sometimes shorter or longer depending on the need. Showcase artists usually dedicate 5-9 days to playing the festival, depending on how the schedule can be arranged. Longer lengths of stay provide the highest benefit and level of exposure, because this allows guests to familiarize themselves with the performances and learn where to find the band throughout the week. 

     
  8. Where do artists stay?
    Bands usually bring an RV or bus and camp in an area with the rest of the bands. Occasionally a band will fly in and stay somewhere offsite, but this is generally discouraged because it is expensive and because the performers miss out on the true Chip experience by leaving the grounds. Bands are given wristbands, which give them access to the campground and amphitheater. There are showers, restaurants, vendors, a general store and bars, so there is really no real reason to leave the grounds. The Buffalo Chip is a little city with everything one needs to survive for the duration of a band’s stay.
     
  9. What is the cutoff date for the band entries?
    There isn’t one. We fill spots throughout the year as the festival approaches. 
     
  10. How do I become a Stage Sponsor?
    Anyone can sponsor a stage at the Buffalo Chip: bands, sound companies, equipment manufacturers, and individuals. Stage sponsorship is available on different levels and can be as simple as a band supplying production and sound for the event.

    For showcase stage sponsorship information please contact:

    Daymon Woodruff
    Phone: (605) 347-9000
    Email: Daymon [at] buffalochip.com
     

 

Sponsors