Amateur Night at The Apollo’s Battle of the Boroughs


Contestants from Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island, and New Jersey to Compete for the Chance to Win $20,000


On Wednesday, July 26, 12 contestants from across Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island, and New Jersey will take the famed Amateur Night at the Apollo stage to compete for bragging rights, and a chance to win $20,000. In a night of neighborhood rivalry, artists from the five New York City boroughs and New Jersey will bring their singing, dancing, and more to Harlem and to the nation’s original talent show, Amateur Night at The Apollo. Will the birthplace of hip-hop, the Boogie Down Bronx, where Jennifer Lopez and Fat Joe made a name for themselves, come out on top? Or will it be Brooklyn, the borough that gave birth to legendary artists such as Jay-Z and Maxwell? Or might it be Manhattan, Alicia Keys’s old stomping grounds, and home to Broadway and countless iconic theaters? Will it be Queens, the home to so many genre-defining rappers like Nas? Or the never to be forgotten borough, Staten Island, where Wu-Tang made their name? Or perhaps the Garden State, home to talents from Queen Latifah to former Amateur Night contestant Lauryn Hill to Whitney Houston.

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.

Amateur Night is hosted by the comedian Capone. Each show begins with a festive pre-party with the longtime Amateur Night band featuring video and music by DJ Jess and Set It Off Man Greginald Spencer, and throughout the show CP Lacey, the resident “Executioner,” sweeps booed contestants off the stage.

Tickets for the 89th year of Amateur Night are on sale now at Auditions for Amateur Night happen twice yearly in person at The Apollo and are accepted on an ongoing basis online at


Wednesday, July 26 7:30 p.m. EST, and every Wednesday through the November finale.


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


Tickets for Amateur Night are available at


Amateur Night at the Apollo is sponsored by Coca-Cola.


The legendary Apollo—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. In 2023, The Apollo will open The Apollo’s Victoria Theaters, which will include two new theater spaces, and begin the renovation of its Historic Theater, marking the first ever expansion and renovation of The Apollo in its nearly 90-year history. Read more about the project here:

With music at its core, The Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, spoken word, and more. This includes the world premieres of The Blues and Its People and 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; 100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella; and the annual Africa Now! Festival. The non-profit Apollo is a performing arts presenter, commissioner, and collaborator that also produces festivals, 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

For more information, please contact:    

Sydney Edwards  The Apollo Public Relations Manager

Destanie Martin-Johnson / Elizabeth Cregan  Resnicow and Associates 212-671-5172 / 212-671-5183

Wednesday, July 26 7:30 p.m. EST
The Apollo’s Historic Theater – 253 W. 125th Street
Tickets for Amateur Night are available at
Tickets for Amateur Night are available at
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About The Apollo

The Apollo is an American cultural treasure. It is a vibrant non-profit organization rooted in the Harlem community that engages people from around New York, the nation, and the world. Since 1934, The Apollo has celebrated, created, and presented work that centers Black artists and voices from across the African Diaspora. It has also been a catalyst for social and civic advocacy. Today, The Apollo is the largest performing arts institution committed to Black culture and creativity.

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The Apollo is a commissioner and presenter; catalyst for new artists, audiences, and creative workforce; and partner in the projection of the African American narrative and its role in the development of American and global culture.

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Artist on stage at Apollo Theater

The Apollo envisions a new American canon centered on contributions to the performing arts by artists of the African diaspora, in America and beyond.

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