News Segment


January 9, 2006

Thousands of Bands Nationwide Compete To Make Their Dreams Reality During Bon Jovi’s “Have A Nice Day” World Tour

LOS ANGELES, January 9, 2006 – In step with their “Have A Nice Day” tour announcement, Bon Jovi issued a challenge to unsigned bands nationwide to submit their best single to XM Satellite Radio and participating local radio stations for the chance to be their opening act. Since kicking off the “Have A Nice Gig” challenge on November 2nd, hundreds of bands have submitted their best tracks to local and XM Satellite radio and 24 have already become hometown heroes — taking the stage before Bon Jovi in their local arenas.

In all, more than 50 unsigned regional bands, in 36 tour markets across North America will win the opportunity to be Bon Jovi’s opening act. In addition, one grand-prize winning band, determined by Bon Jovi fans, a panel of music experts and the band will open for Bon Jovi in front of fans at Giants Stadium next summer and secure a demo recording deal.

The “Have A Nice Gig” competition, which consists of 52 total concert dates, began November 2, 2005 in Des Moines, Iowa and concludes with Bon Jovi’s March 9, 2006 concert in Phoenix, Arizona. The first 10 opening act competitions were promoted through participating local radio stations; the next 14 through a promotion with XM Satellite Radio and the final 28 shows will again team with local radio stations.

The competition is broken up into two legs. The first leg includes the initial 24 winning bands as selected for concerts in November and December. The voting phase to determine a first round winner begins January 9th and ends February 5th during which time the public is encouraged to log on to and vote for their favorite band. One winning band from the first leg of competition will be selected in February. Leg two of the competition will include 28 opening act winners from concerts between January 14th through March 9th. Information on the second leg of competition will be announced shortly.

It was more than 20 years ago that Jon Bon Jovi, still an unsigned and struggling artist, was asked to submit his single titled “Runaway” for a local radio station’s “homegrown” compilation album in New York. Soon the single was being played in heavy rotation across the country and the rest as they say… is history. Now, Bon Jovi is challenging unsigned artists nationwide to create their own “Runaway” success story and has teamed-up with radio stations nationwide, XM Satellite Radio and AEG Live to help with their search.

“Every kid who ever picked up a guitar dreams of playing in their hometown arena. Most only dream,” says Jon Bon Jovi. “I was that kid and I remember dreaming from the cheap seats aboutthat shot. 22 years ago, I went to a radio station with a demo tape and got a D.J. to play my song.” Jon adds, “When I had the idea to help local bands at all of the shows nationwide I must say it was met with uncertainty by some knowledgeable folks. But thanks to XM and AEG Live, we’re making 55 bands’ dreams come true.”

Des Moines rockers, The Nadas, were the first of 24 unsigned bands to win the coveted opening slot performing for more than 15,000 Bon Jovi fans on November 2nd. “I am on a high I don’t want to come down from,” exclaimed Jason Walsmith, vocalist and guitar player for The Nadas. “I feel like we shouldn’t play another show so I can keep the taste of arena rock on my tongue.”

One of the qualities of XM Satellite Radio that I’m most proud of is the fact that we embrace musicians that have been overlooked by terrestrial radio and, in some cases, haven’t been discovered by record labels, remarked Jon Zellner,” Senior Vice President/Music Programming. “There are so many talented musicians out there just waiting for a chance to get their music played. I’m glad that we’ve been able to assemble some of the best unsigned talent and give them opportunity to realize their dream.”

In Chicago, competition became so fierce for a chance to open for Bon Jovi during their sold-out two-night run at the United Center that both Sleeping Shelby and The Steepwater Band became instant celebrities. The bands were featured with interviews and performances on WGN TV, one of the countries highest rated morning shows and on WLUP, a top radio station in Chicago.

Courtesy of