SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — As you may already know, the NCAA hosts March Madness, a single-elimination tournament of both men and women’s college basketball games leading to the Final Four and the championship game. But this year, the Illinois State Fair has taken on a madness of its own too.
It’s not centered around basketball, but rather a Battle of the Bands.
The state fair shared on social media last week that they wanted to create their own version of March Madness. They began the contest on March 3, having designed brackets full of various bands from all genres who have graced the Illinois Lottery Grandstand stage.
Since 1946, hundreds of bands and artists have performed on the Illinois Lottery Grandstand stage at the Illinois State Fair. Everyone from Patsy Cline to Bob Dylan, and KISS to The Beach Boys. Now is your chance to decide which artist was the best to ever perform at the state fair.
To kick off the contest, country singer Jason Aldean, who performed in 2011, went up against Brantley Gilbert, who performed in 2015. Country bands Florida Georgia Line, who performed in 2014, and Alabama, who performed in 2017, also went head to head in the first round.
Facebook users can vote for one artist with a thumbs-up or heart emoji by a certain time for each bracket. The state fair said the contest is scheduled to last until April 3 when the final two bands will compete to win the contest.
Other brackets include heavy metal band Disturbed, who performed in 2022 against Five Finger Death Punch, who performed in 2017; pop singer Fergie, who performed in 2008 against pop singer Kesha, who performed in 2013; and rock band ZZ Top, who performed in 2016, against 98 Degrees, who performed in 2001.
You can play along with the contest on Illinois State Fair’s Facebook page here.