Harlem’s Legendary Amateur Night Auditions Return At The Apollo, In-Person And Online

On Saturday, September 24, 2022, the Apollo, 253 W. 125th Street, will hold in-person auditions for its signature program, Amateur Night at the Apollo

The quintessential talent competition and one of the longest-running events in the world.

Taking place at the Apollo’s Historic Theater on a first-come, first-served basis from at 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST, Amateur Night producers will audition the first 200 vocalists, rappers, dancers, instrumentalists, comedians, spoken-word artists, and other performers vying for a coveted spot on the Apollo’s stage, where they will compete for a chance to win the $20,000 Grand Prize during the 2023-24 season.

Contestants between the ages of 5 and 17 will audition for a spot in the “Child Star of Tomorrow” category and a $5,000 prize.

The chosen artists will compete for next season, which features 32-nights of Amateur Night at the Apollo competitions, and begin Wednesday, February 23, 2023, in front of the famous live—and very vocal—audience at the Apollo.

In addition to in-person auditions, the Apollo will continue to accept online audition submissions.

Since its inception in 1934, the Apollo’s signature Amateur Night continues to gain global recognition for launching the careers of thousands of performers and attracting audiences from all over the world. 

Amateur Night has long been revered by artists as a transformative experience where up-and-coming talent feel the power of the legendary performers who have come before them, and where audience responses can help make or break a career.

Legendary performers who launched their careers on the Apollo Amateur Night stage have included Ella Fitzgerald, Luther Vandross, Lauryn Hill, and H.E.R.

Beginning in 2017, the Apollo incorporated online submissions into its audition process to extend access to artists around the globe and diversify the talent featured in the show.

The current Amateur Night season is in full swing; the Apollo and Amateur Night audience members will crown the season champion on November 23, 2022. Tickets for 2021-22 Amateur Night season are on sale now at www.ApolloTheater.org.

Audition Information

Saturday, September 24 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST

The Apollo’s Historic Theater—253 W. 125th Street between Frederick Douglass Blvd. and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.

For a complete list of audition guidelines, and online submissions please visit https://www.apollotheater.org/amateur-night/auditions/

Safety Protocols

All contestants, including parents and chaperones, must be fully vaccinated, be able to show proof of vaccination and photo ID, and provide a negative COVID test result taken no more than 48 hours in advance of the audition in order to participate in Amateur Night auditionsFace masks are mandatory for entry. Eating and drinking can only occur in designated areas.

The Apollo

The legendary Apollo Theater—the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging artists and launching legends. Since its founding, the Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world.

With music at its core, the Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, spoken word, and more. This includes the world premiere of the theatrical adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and the New York premiere of the opera We Shall Not Be Moved; special programs such as the blockbuster concert Bruno Mars Live at the Apollo; 100The Apollo Celebrates Ella; and the annual Africa Now! Festival.

The non-profit Apollo Theater is a performing arts presenter, commissioner, and collaborator that also produces festivals and large-scale dance and musical works organized around a set of core initiatives that celebrate and extend the Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens, including the Women of the World (WOW) Festival as well as other multidisciplinary collaborations with partner organizations.

Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres—including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at the Apollo are Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, H.E.R., D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Machine Gun Kelly, and Miri Ben Ari; and the Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy. For more information about the Apollo, visit www.ApolloTheater.org.

Photo credit: Image courtesy of the Apollo Theater.

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