I discovered the Bonnaroo college DJ search through an Instagram post. I was walking home and I initially blew it off because the odds of winning internet competitions are slim to none. However, the odds that my favorite music festival would hold a competition limited to my major are pretty slim too, so I decided I would enter.

The object of the competition was simply to make a radio show that promoted the Bonnaroo music festival.

Contest Rules:

  • Must be a student radio DJ a nationally accredited College/University
  • Upload original radio show to mixcloud dedicated to Bonnaroo 2015
  • Must be less than 60 minutes and include:
    • A minimum 3 songs by artists from the 2015 Bonnaroo lineup
    • Information about the festival: Name, Date, Location, Website, and Artists
    • Excitement from DJ
  • Share on social media


  • Judged by on-air presence
  • Overall flow and comfort on air
  • Creativity used to promote show
  • Song Choices
  • Artist & Festival Knowledge
  • Winners selected based purely on opinion
  • Semi-Finalists chosen based on ratings, comments, and number of favorites/reposts

I was actually really sick when I recorded my radio show. There were only a few days left before I had to leave for spring break and there would only be a week of voting left when I got back. This left me with no choice but to make the best of my situation.

My Radio Show Submision:


The Results:

I waited and I waited but weeks passed by and I still hadn’t heard anything back from the competition, so I accepted my defeat and bought my ticket to Bonnaroo. It left me a little bummed, but I gave it my best shot and I was still going to Bonnaroo, so I really wasn’t disappointed for long.

At the time I only worked at the radio station for 2 hours a week and this was to do my radio broadcast. One day when I walked in I had a message and it left me baffled because I’ve never had one before. The office manager proceeded to tell me that I won a Bonnaroo College Dj competition. They had been trying to reach me for weeks but I signed up through facebook and no longer used that email……

I don’t remember the rest because my heart stopped beating as my jaw dropped to the floor. I was certain it was a joke, but I didn’t tell anybody about the competition. I spent the next couple minutes gathering my thoughts before I made the call and confirmed the win!

DJ Ryan Blair impressed all of the judges with his professional on-air personality presence, delivery, programming skills, and Bonnaroo-centric music mix. We are proud to welcome him to the farm as Bonnaroo’s All-Star College Radio DJ for 2015! – Mixcloud