CHICAGO -Windy City Gay Idol, now in its 11th year, kicks off the 2013 search for the best amateur gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) singers in the Chicago area. What began as a fun promotion has grown into the largest and most highly anticipated annual competition in Chicago's GLBT community.
Past Windy City Gay Idol winners have gone on to sing at Wrigley Field, Soldier Field, Allstate Arena, Market Days and at festivals around Illinois, Milwaukee, Toronto and Vancouver. In addition, the 2012 Windy City Gay Idol Finals featured Josh "JDA" Davilla who landed in the Top 40 on Fox's American Idol 2013. Plus the 2008 Windy City Gay Idol Finals featured a then-unknown Lady Gaga as a guest performer. Audience members never know what they will see and hear. Come sing, or simply come vote while enjoying the show.
Windy City Gay Idol, produced by Windy City Media Group, kicks off Sunday, April 7 at The Sofo Tap, 4923 N. Clark St. The competition continues through June with competitions in Chicago's bars and clubs.
Windy City Gay Idol 2013 preliminary competitions are one-night-only at different bars. As many as 20 participants sing at each venue, where all contestants compete for the chance to advance to the semi-finals Saturday, June 15 at Sidetrack, 3349 N. Halsted. Results from every preliminary, semi-final and final event come from audience votes. Votes from friends, family and audience members hopefully land them on the stage at the finals Wednesday, June 26 at Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse.
The 2013 Windy City Gay Idol Premium sponsor is Smirnoff. Other Sponsors include Ketel One, Tanqueray, Don Julio, Creaoke, Broadway in Chicago, American Airlines, and SpeedPro Printing.
With more than $5,000 in cash and prizes, all contestants will face local celebrity judges that include singers, DJs, actors, talent and casting agents, and others familiar with the performance arena.
Each winner collecting the most votes at each preliminary bar will win $100 cash. Two winners from each bar will advance to the semi-finals. Audience members at each bar also have the chance to win great prizes, such as Smirnoff merchandise, concert and theater tickets, new DVD & CD releases, and much more.
The finals feature big prizes for audience members as well as the top three contestants, including weekend stays at downtown hotels, vacation trips and tickets to top Chicago theaters and concert venues.
The finals winner crowned at Mayne Stage is awarded $1,000 in cash, a premium prize, Smirnoff gifts, theater and concert tickets, plus the coveted title of Windy City Gay Idol 2013.
The promotion is open to all amateur singers age 21 and above, regardless of sexual orientation. There is a $10 signup fee for singers, and a $5 fee for audience members at all preliminary events.
The Windy City Gay Idol 2013 schedule:
Sunday, April 7: The Sofo Tap, 4923 N. Clark, 8pm sign up, 9pm start
Friday, April 12: Hideaway, 7301 Roosevelt Rd., Forest Park, 9pm sign up, 10pm start
Wednesday, April 17: Touche, 6412 N. Clark, 9pm sign up, 10pm start
Sunday, April 21: T's bar, 5025 N. Clark, 7pm sign up, 8pm start
Wednesday, April 24: Mary's Attic, 5400 N Clark, 8pm sign up, 9pm start
Thursday, May 2: The Call, 1547 W. Bryn Mawr, 7pm sign up, 8pm start
Tuesday, May 7: Jackhammer, 6406 N. Clark, 9pm sign up, 10pm start
Thursday, May 16: DS Tequila, 3352 N. Halsted, 8pm sign up, 9pm start.
Thursday, May 23: Crew, 4804 N. Broadway, 8:30pm sign up, 9:30pm start