Big Sturgis Gig

Big Sturgis Gig Band Search Showcases Community of Buffalo Chip Hopefuls

One Band Wins $10,000 in Cash plus Prizes and a Shot on the Big Stage!

The Buffalo Chip’s Big Sturgis Gig™ is a new interactive band-submission platform that allows artists to showcase themselves among the community of bands hoping to play at the Chip’s annual Sturgis Rally festival. Bands can now upload mp3s, video, photos and bio information onto their own dedicated Big Sturgis Gig band profile page. This page will allow fans to explore the community of interested bands, and to vote for and share their favorites. Each time a fan interacts with a band’s page, that band will earn valuable points. At the end of the voting period a panel of celebrity musicians and music industry execs will review the top ten bands with the highest points and choose one to win the Big Sturgis Gig on the Buffalo Chip Main Stage. 


  • $10,000 Bucks
  • One (1) opening set on the Legendary Wolfman Jack Main Stage during the Largest Music Festival in Motorcycling at the Sturgis Buffalo Chip® 
  • Two (2) 90-minute sets on the Buffalo Chip’s Showcase Stages
  • One (1) on the day preceding the main stage set
  • One (1) on the day following the main stage set.
  • One (1) nine-day festival pass (Aug. 1 – Aug. 9, 2014) at the Buffalo Chip Campground for each band member
  • Chance to have your music reviewed by the Buffalo Chip’s celebrity judging panel
  • Additional Prizes TBA

Meet the Judges

Dee Snider
Dee Snider is an American singer-songwriter, screenwriter, radio personality and actor who is most famous for his role as the frontman of the heavy metal band, Twisted Sister. He was ranked 83 in the Hit Parader’s Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time. Dee joined Twisted Sister in 1976, helping bring the world hits such as “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and “I Wanna Rock.” He has also been a television personality, hosting “Heavy Metal Mania” on MTV in the ‘80s and later, with his wife and family, on reality show, “Growing Up Twisted” on A&E. Dee a world-class musician who knows what it takes to rock the Best Party Anywhere, having performed at the Chip with Twisted Sister in 2005. 


Pat Simmons
Pat Simmons is a musician most well known for being the lead vocalist for the rock band, The Doobie Brothers. Pat wrote many songs for the band including “South City Midnight Lady,” “Dependin’ On You,” “Echoes of Love” and “Black Water.” When Pat decided to leave the group in 1982, the band temporarily disbanded and he released his first solo album, Arcade. While taking a break from the Doobie Brothers, he formed the band Skin Suit and released a second solo album in 1998, “Take Me to the Highway.” Pat Simmons and the rest of the Doobie Brothers have been a mainstay to the Chip’s annual Motorcycle and Music Festival, having performed in 1991, 1995, 2010 and 2013.


Phil Jaurigui
Phil Jaurigui is the President/CEO of the world-famous Swing House Studios in Hollywood, CA. Many a famous band was showcased, created, signed or even broken up in the storied studio over the years. Linkin Park, The Killers, Audioslave, Sugar Ray, The Fray, Maroon 5 and The Goo Goo Dolls all grew to stardom at Swing House. Phil has been in various bands throughout his life, which has given him invaluable experience for a career in the music industry. Phil also does live sound and has worked with some of the world’s biggest bands includingRed Hot Chili Peppers, Eddie Vedder, Shelby Lynne, Brandie Carlile, James Taylor, Vonda Shepard, and Concrete Blonde. Phil is the co-creator of ‘The Summer Strummer’ music festival in Santa Monica, CA,  and helps produce and develop various events such as The Sunset Strip Music Festival and the annual Austin Rox Showcase at South by Southwest in conjunction with the Roxy Theatre.. 


John Bongiorno
John Bongiorno is an agent at The Windish Agency and based out of NY.  His diverse roster includes many left of center bands including Les Claypool, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Goblin, and Buffalo Chip staple The 4OnTheFloor.  Over the years he has worked with a wide range of artists from Alice Cooper to Mastodon to BB King to Halestorm to Dr. John and many more.  Unlike many of his peers in the music business, he skipped college and jumped right into a tour van out of high school and played drums in various bands over the years, and for a long stretch was pulling double duty as an agent by day and musician by night.  He’s now settled down into his career but his passion for music, both old and new, has never subsided. 


Dave Kiswiney
A native of Detroit MI., David started his music career at the age of 6 with classical piano lessons. He graduated from high school playing slide trombone in the Marching Band. From there he played drums in small college rock bands until he moved over to the bass guitar and eventually ended up playing with Ted Nugent, The Motor City Madman, from 1979 to 1990 and is still actively playing music ...part time of course. David moved to Nashville in 1984 and started in the agency business in 1986 and eventually settled down at BLA. He has been with BLA since 1995.


Steve Peck
Veteran agent, Steve Peck, has been working in the music industry as an agent since 1977. Steve is Vice President of Skyline Music, a booking agency that has brought in acts such as Roger McGuinn, Victor Wooten, The Family Stone, Edgar Winter, Georgia Satellites, and the Rebirth Brass Band. Previously Steve Peck was with Buddy Lee Attractions and was formerly the head of Fantasma Booking. Steve Peck has been with Skyline Music since 2011. 


Nat Burgess
Nat Burgess, former Executive Vice President of the Agency for the Performing Arts, began his music career with a guitar in 1962. He began playing in small clubs and church basements with the likes of Joe Walsh, then started his booking career at the William Morris Agency in 1973. Nat landed a job in the famed mailroom of the Morris office, went on to become an assistant in the concert department and was eventually made an agent with responsibility for a mid-west territory. While at William Morris during the ‘70s, nat had the opportunity to work with both established and emerging artists, and was involved with many of the acts that are considered legend today. In 1984, Nat had the opportunity to move to APA where he eventually became a partner. While in New York Nat was responsible for APA’s music departments in Nashvilee, New York and Los Angeles, and was overall head of the Manhattan office. He worked to expand the music program, to grain agents, and to book artists in venues around the world. In 1995 he began to concentrate on the lucrative casino market and successfully placed many artists in these and other “non-traditional” venues. In June of 2005, Nat opted to leave the agency world. He and his wife established Whitepine Entertainment, a talent management and consulting company in northwest Montana where they are surrounded by 2.5 million acres of national forest and there’s no cell service.


Bujie Leichtweis
Bujie Leichtweis has had a life driven by music. Even when she owned her own skate shops and indoor skate parks, she would often volunteer at Meridian Entertainment Group, simply to be involved in the music industry. Her time spent at Meridian would eventually lead to a full-time position with the company where she worked closely with many bands, and ran many venues in the Michigan/Indiana/Ohio area. Bujie established relationships among agencies, management companies and bands alike, including Buffalo Chip favorite Alice Cooper, with whom she now works as a Production Assistant. During her time with Alice she has had the opportunity to work with many artists including Iron Maiden, Marilyn Manson, and, another Chip favorite, ZZ Top. 

More Judges To Be Announced Soon

For full contest rules visit Best of luck from the Sturgis Buffalo Chip!

Get the How to Enter PDF

Read a list of Showcase Band FAQs

If you are an interested sponsor or non-musician entertainer, please email us at: