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

Sturgis Buffalo Chip® Showcase Experience FAQs

How big is Sturgis Buffalo Chip?
What was the attendance at the Buffalo Chip last year?
What is a showcase band?
How do I submit my band for consideration?
What should showcase bands expect for performance attendance?
How many shows do bands perform, and how long are the sets?
How are artists promoted at the Chip?
Where do artists stay?
What is the cutoff date for selecting bands?
How do I become a sponsor?

How big is Sturgis Buffalo Chip?

The Buffalo Chip is The Largest Music Festival in Motorcycling™. 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 eight stages.

What was the attendance at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip 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 739,000. 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 hundreds of thousands of fans over the last three decades.

What is a showcase band?

There are eight stages at the Buffalo Chip—the Wolfman Jack Main Stage and seven showcase stages. Showcase bands are up and coming artists that perform on the stages. Each stage offers guests a different variety of programming and provides its own unique feel for performers. The showcase stages are Kinison StageBikini Beach StageHoyt Axton StageCrossRoads Stage, Roadhouse Stage, the Comedy Club, and Club Chip.

How do I submit my band for consideration?

ReverbNation is now the preferred submission platform for the Sturgis Buffalo Chip. Our talent buyers will work closely with ReverbNation’s A&R team to select 10 ReverbNation bands to perform at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip in 2016(the festival’s 35th anniversary). This opportunity will place you on a festival lineup that will include dozens of world-class headliners including Kid Rock and Miranda Lambert!

I want to enter a band submission!

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. 

How many shows do bands perform, and how long are the sets?

The answers vary depending on artist and circumstance. Sets are generally 60 - 90 minutes, sometimes shorter or longer depending on the need and artist capabilities. Some showcase bands perform for one or two nights, and many showcase artists dedicate 5-9 days to performing the festival, depending on how the schedule can be arranged. Artists find that 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. 

How are showcase 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

NOTE: We encourage artists to produce their own promo materials to distribute throughout the campground, Sturgis and the Black Hills region and digitally, both during and leading up to the event. Common examples include artist flyers, handbills, press releases and digital outreach.

Media outlets from around the world flock to the Sturgis Buffalo Chip each year to cover the festival experience. Look for opportunities to promote yourself through interviews and broadcasts.

Where do artists stay?

Performers usually bring an RV or bus and camp in a section of the campground with other bands. Occasionally a band will fly in and get a hotel room, but this is generally discouraged as it is expensive and the performers miss out on the true Buffalo Chip experience by leaving the grounds. Performers are given admission wristbands to the campground and amphitheater. There are showers, restaurants, vendors, bars, a general store and so much more. It’s a little city that has everything a band needs to survive for the duration of the festival!

What is the cutoff date for selecting bands?

April 31stst is the cut off date. ReverbNation will provide their recommendations, and we will fill spots with a variety of genres.

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 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