Iconic Bush Frontman Gavin Rossdale to Announce Contest to National Listeners and 47 Local Rock Markets

First-Ever Rock Contest to Guarantee Winning Artist Major Label Recording Contract and Opportunity for National Radio Play

Music Producer Bob Ezrin, Musician, Songwriter and Producer Desmond Child, Sex Pistols’ Rock Guitarist Steve Jones, Gavin Rossdale and Big Machine Label Group’s Scott Borchetta to Serve as Mentor Judges for Competition’s Finale

New York, NY – September 7, 2017 – Warning: rock’s popularity is on the rise again, and what better way to discover the nation’s newest rock star than a national and local grassroots search led by Cumulus Media. Kicking off today, Cumulus’ neXt2rock 2017 competition pays tribute to the great tradition of radio as a launch pad for our favorite musical talent and celebrates rock music in all its irreverent, loud, poetic and powerful formats. Cumulus reaches over 245 million listeners weekly, and is home to some of radio’s most iconic rock stations, including KLOS, KQRS, WLUP, KATT, WGRF and KSAN — all of which were recently included in Radio Ink's list of the Greatest AOR Stations of All Time.

The neXt2rock 2017 contest is being announced on-air by iconic Bush frontman Gavin Rossdale, with the winner of this four-month-long competition receiving a record deal with Big Machine/John Varvatos Records, as well as substantial exposure, commensurate with a major label release, on Cumulus radio stations nationwide.

neXt2rock 2017 is Cumulus Media’s second installment of its “Next” franchise, which was launched last year with NASH Next, the successful country version of the competition. While television boasts several talent competitions, only the “Next” franchise contests offer its winners coveted radio play, which is the most effective medium to cultivate an artist and propel a major music career.

Sixty-one Cumulus stations in 47 markets, including Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Minneapolis, will conduct local grassroot searches, with additional national participation made possible by Cumulus’ digital properties and syndicated rock shows.

“By launching neXt2rock under Cumulus Media’s “Next” franchise, we are putting a stake in the ground to support the next generation of music talent, further signaling to listeners, advertisers and business partners that Cumulus is invested in the future of music and radio,” said Mary Berner, CEO and President, Cumulus Media. She added, “With the renewed interest in the rock genre among Millennials and Gen Xers, Cumulus has even more opportunities for growth, providing expanded exclusive content and programming for fans, and an even larger audience for America’s newest rock star.”

Gavin Rossdale, commenting on neXt2rock 2017, said, “The process of being discovered has changed a lot over the years but one thing is for certain – my career wouldn’t have gone the way it has without the support of radio. It plays a big role in every artist’s music career and has been an amazing partner for me over the past two plus decades. When my friends at Cumulus asked if I would be interested in lending my voice and support to help find a hard-working, aspiring artist fulfill a dream to be in this business, how could I say no? I had so many people help me in my early days when I was trying to launch my career, and I consider it an honor to be part of this unique talent search that is delivering what no one else out there does – national airplay across Cumulus rock stations, a major recording contract, and all the incredible exposure that comes with that. Good luck!”

Stellar Mentor Judging Panel

Emerging artists will first be rated by Cumulus listeners and judged by local music industry professionals in their communities. Finalists, and the 2017 winner, will be selected by a panel of music luminaries, including Gavin Rossdale, Scott Borchetta, founder, president and CEO of Big Machine Label Group, the world’s #1 independent record label, famed music producer Bob Ezrin (Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, and Phish), Songwriters Hall Of Famer Desmond Child (Kiss, Cher, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Ricky Martin, Kelly Clarkson, and Selena Gomez), and legendary rock guitarist Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols.

About neXt2rock 2017, Borchetta said, “Rock never dies…it's the recoiled cobra snake that waits for its moment and then strikes with a vengeance. I've been seeing the resurgence of a new generation of young rockers around the fringes of the mainstream who are ready for a new national platform. It's irreverent…like it's supposed to be…it's loud like it's supposed to be…it’s got a new attitude, and it's gaining an underground audience…like it's supposed to…and now we're going to expose it coast to coast and enable these new young rock stars to connect with a national audience and hotwire the scene. Count this as a warning."

John Varvatos, commenting on neXt2rock 2017, said, “I’m extremely excited to partner with Cumulus on their ‘NEXT’ project. Can’t wait to find the new R’N’R Rebel…Long Live Rock!!”

How the Competition Works

Beginning today, local artists may enter the competition via participating local station websites (see full station list at next2rock.com). Three local music industry professionals will judge each competitor’s fan-rated original song. Local markets will then host live events or select their finalist by judging the contestants in a video performance of that original song.

Local winners will move on to the national challenge, submitting a live performance video showcasing their best original song, with the top five artists selected by rock industry professionals. Those national finalists will then compete at a live concert event, hosted at the Viper Room in Los Angeles on December 12, where the panel of celebrity mentor judges will select the neXt2rock 2017 winner.

Rock is on the Rise

Across radio, one out of every three (33%) Americans listens to rock music weekly. The rising popularity of the rock genre can be attributed to a younger audience coming to the format, with Millennials making up more than 30% of weekly listeners. (Source: Nielsen Audio Fall 2016)

National Sponsor

neXt2rock 2017 is sponsored nationally by Tile, the world’s best-selling Bluetooth tracker.


You can follow neXt2rock 2017 on Facebook, @neXt2rock on twitter and @neXt2rock on Instagram.


About Cumulus Media

A leader in the radio broadcasting industry, Cumulus Media (NASDAQ:CMLS) combines high-quality local programming with iconic, nationally syndicated media, sports and entertainment brands to deliver premium content choices to the 245 million people reached each week through its 447 owned-and-operated stations broadcasting in 90 US media markets (including eight of the top 10), 8,000 broadcast radio stations affiliated with its Westwood One network and numerous digital channels. Together, the Cumulus/Westwood One platforms make Cumulus Media one of the few media companies that can provide advertisers with national reach and local impact. Cumulus/Westwood One is the exclusive radio broadcast partner to some of the largest brands in sports, entertainment, news, and talk, including the NFL, the NCAA, the Masters, the Olympics, the GRAMMYs, the Academy of Country Music Awards, the American Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, Westwood One News, and more. Additionally, it is the nation's leading provider of country music and lifestyle content through its NASH brand, which serves country fans nationwide through radio programming, exclusive digital content, and live events. For more information, visit www.cumulus.com.


Jana Polsky

Westwood One


(212) 641-2101