Music City Mayhem

Lightning 100’s Music City Mayhem is Nashville’s premiere new music discovery competition, exposing listeners to emerging talent while allowing Nashville’s Independent Radio to identify and support local stars in the making! Thirty-two local artists are chosen to battle it out on-air and online as they vie for the title of Music City Mayhem champions! It’s up to you, the fans, to determine who wins the grand prize.



The winning band will receive the coveted Music City Mayhem trophy and join the ranks of some of Nashville’s best emerging and established acts. The winning band will also receive an extensive artist development and promotion package that includes the following perks:

  • Coveted Music City Mayhem Trophy
  • Heavy rotation in Lightning 100 airplay on 100.1FM for 12 weeks
  • $3,200 Advertising package on Lightning 100 
  • A performance slot at Third and Lindsley with a live broadcast on Lightning 100
  • Studio recording session at SAE Institute 
    • 2 days of studio time, scheduled with SAE Institute team and engineer
    • Recording in Studio A with SAE’s SSL9000 recording console
  • $300 gift card to Gruhn Guitars
  • Free one-hour legal consultation with Hillel Frankel, entertainment attorney with McGlinchey Music Law Nashville
    • Plus, $350 credit towards legal services (copyrights, trademarks, other music counsel)
  • $1,000 Stringjoy credit towards strings/accessories
    • 1 year Stringjoy Guitar Strings Endorsement
  • Custom Built “Lightning 100HIME Amplification Champ Style Amplifier 
  • FXPedals Board Build (up to 6 pedals), a Dunlop Cry Baby Wah, and a Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret Overdrive
  • SR-2N NeoDymium Ribbon Microphone from Stager Microphones 
  • $1,000 D’Addario shopping spree
    • D’Addario Artist Discount Pricing Deal for the full band
  • A pair of T7V Monitor Speakers from Adam Audio
    • T7V is a two-way studio monitor optimized for vertical use & is near perfect in small control rooms for music, video, and broadcast production

The Runner-Up will receive:

For official rules, click here.


Thanks for voting over 26,000 times to help us select our 2024 champion, Kenny Sharp!


“Music City Mayhem has been a true blessing to everyone here at Lightning 100 and the Nashville music community. Just look at our inaugural winner from 2009, Moon Taxi. We just saw them headline Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium and sell over 5,000 tickets. We have discovered so many great Nashville bands from the contest over the years. Every time we ask for submissions, we find someone new to love. Over the years the prize has gotten bigger and more valuable and it’s attracted more and more talented acts. Winning and playing Live on the Green is a big deal. Past winners have realized they were not even ready for all that came from being champions.” – Dan Buckley, Program Director

“Music City Mayhem was an experience that fit its name! It put us on the map overnight. Prior to the competition, it could be tough booking shows and gaining traction in town, but Mayhem helped legitimize what we were doing. Opportunities present themselves constantly now. There is a standard that has to be met in order to win MCM, and we are very thankful to be a part of the list of champions.” – Jackson Bruck, Music City Mayhem winner of 2018