Muscatine County Fair Book - Bill Riley Talent Search

Bill Riley Talent Search

Check-In Time

30 minutes prior to the show

Show Time

Sunday, July 21st. - 4:00 P.M.


To be determined


Talent Sprouts

  • 1st – $25
  • 2nd – $15
  • 3rd – $10
  • 4th – $5

Talent Seniors

  • 1st – $50
  • 2nd – $20
  • 3rd – $15
  • 4th – $10

In addition, $50 expense money for the Iowa State Fair Contest will be given to each Championship act.


The Muscatine Co Fair is conducting a Talent Senior & Talent Sprout Contest with winners to represent Muscatine Co. at the Iowa State Fair Bill Riley Talent Search & Talent Sprout contest in Des Moines.

  1. Entry blanks may be obtained at the fair office and are to be returned to Muscatine
    County Fair Office by July 1st
  2. Contestants may be from Muscatine County or the surrounding area.
  3. Participants who have already won a Bill Riley Talent Contest are not eligible to win the competition but will receive prize money. This is a state rule.
  4. A keyboard will be provided for county competition, but at the State Fair level, you must use a piano.
  5. Rules of the State Contest will apply at the county level
  6. All participants must be legal residents of Iowa.
  7. No more than five persons are allowed in an act. A piano accompanist is NOT included in an act and may be any age. No more than three accompanists are permitted per act. Drums, amps, etc., are discouraged due to the one-minute set-up time. No combos, rock bands or similar musical groups are permitted.
  8. Vocalists can perform with an accompanist or prerecorded track on a USB flash drive.  Prerecorded tracks should be instrumental only. Any prerecorded track with backing vocals is not allowed, and the act will be disqualified.
  9. Timing Acts. Acts must keep the performance to three minutes. Acts timed past three minutes are subject to possible disqualification or point deduction. Five seconds over would be a starting point to begin deductions; ten seconds over or longer can be considered for disqualification. This is at the judges’ discretion and should be monitored closely. At the local level this would be a great opportunity to let an act know that they were over the time limit.  Please don’t allow an act to advance to the State Fair competition only to be disqualified at that level. Set-up time is not included. Limit set-up time to one minute. Official time starts when the music starts and ends when the music is done.
  10. Contestants may only appear once in any given show. This applies to qualifying shows as well as the competition at the Iowa State Fair. They may not perform “solo” and then return to the same show in a duet or trio. Contestants are allowed to perform different acts in different shows, but they may only qualify for the State Fair Show with one act. Once a performer has qualified for the State Fair, they are not allowed to perform at local shows as part of another act. They may keep competing in local shows with the qualifying performance.
  11. Appropriate music/lyrics: Foul language is not allowed in the Bill Riley Talent Search. Acts performing to or singing pieces with inappropriate lyrics should be disqualified, and the show coordinator should encourage them to compete with a different song.
  12. Professionals are NOT permitted to compete. This includes Union musicians and anyone whose principal source of income is from their talent. Compensation for performing at weddings, etc., does not constitute a principal source of income.
  13. Age Groups:  Sprouts- Ages 2 through 12, Seniors- Ages 13 through 21
Bill Riley, Jr.
Bill Riley Talent Search
[email protected]
Tonya Cook
Special Events Director

Iowa State Fair
(515)262-3111, ext. 215
[email protected]
Heather Torpy
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Bill Riley Talent Search
[email protected]

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