Here’s the Artists Playing State Fairs This Summer
I was surprised to see a Facebook note from a radio friend talking about Blake Shelton playing the Iowa State Fair this summer. And even more shocked when I went to their website to see the entire lineup. So I decided to do some snooping and see what states have already announced some of their acts for Fairs scheduled for this summer.
The Iowa State Fair lineup is impressive. And their fair takes place the same dates ours does. Is it too much to ask some of these artists to play Missouri too? Artists appearing at the Iowa State Fair from August 12 -August 22 include: Blake Shelton and Matt Stell, Sam Hunt and Kip Moore, The Beach Boys and Hanson, Styx and Tesla, Chris Stapleton, and Keith Urban and Russell Dickerson. Is that a line up or what?
The Kansas State Fair lineup isn't as impressive, and I believe their running out the line-up they planned for last year. Artists appearing at the Kansas State Fair from September 10 - September 19 include: Logan Mize and Tracy Lawrence, Chris Janson, Newsboys, Nelly and .38 Special.
Illinois also is running their fair the same dates as Missouri and Iowa, August 12-22, has also released their line-up. Playing the Illinois State Fair: Staind, Gabriel Iglesias, Toby Keith, The Traveling Salvation Show (a tribute to Neil Diamond), Chris Young with Ingrid Andress, I Love the 90-s Tour featuring Vanilla Ice, Naughty By Nature, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, All 4 One, Tone Loc, Young MC and Rob Base, Kelsea Ballerini, and George Thorogood with .39 Special.
The Wisconsin State Fair is running from August 5 -15 and has announced five headliners scheduled to perform last year that have been rescheduled this year. They include: Skillet, Chris Young with Sarah Evans, Brothers Osbourne, Boyz II Men with Ginuwine and The Beach Boys. They'll be adding more acts too.
Although Wisconsin's big music fest isn't so much the State Fair, it's Summerfest on Milwaukee's lakefront the last week of June and first two weeks of July. They've booked or re-scheduled Khalid, Luke Bryan, Justin Bieber, Dave Matthews Band, Blink 182, Halsey, Chris Stapleton and Guns 'N' Roses for their big amphitheater shows. And will have over a 1,000 performances on 12 stages during the festival.
Of course, at this point The Missouri State Fair isn't the only fair that has been mum about concerts. The granddaddy of all the state fairs, the State Fair of Texas hasn't announced any shows. And I couldn't tell if the Oklahoma State Fair actually has big name concerts from their website. So obviously they're not talking about anything yet.
Last summer the Missouri State Fair didn't get very far in announcing acts before tours ground to a halt. They had only announced the interesting pairing of the Steve Miller Band with Marty Stuart and Trace Adkins before things ground to a halt.
So what does all this tell us? I'm not sure it tells us very much. It gives us an indication of whose planning to be out and touring this summer. And in many cases who might be available that the Missouri State Fair could book.
Blake Shelton would be a huge get for the Missouri State Fair. So would Chris Stapleton. Styx and Tesla, while not as huge a get for the fair as Shelton and Stapleton, would still be one hell of a rock show. I think it would do as well as Foreigner. A lot of the rest of the artists, they're the artists I would expect to see play our fair.
I'd be pleasantly surprised if either the I Love the 90's Tour or Boyz II Men with Ginuwine got booked at the Missouri State Fair. But both of those shows would be fun to see and might broaden the fair's entertainment appeal.
As I've said before, it's easy to play arm chair concert promoter. It's a lot harder to be over in the fair's administration building trying to build a concert line-up. The people involved in that probably have budget limitations, competition from other fairs and festivals that want to book the same acts, competition from venues in Kansas City and Columbia that want to book acts. And this year, a sort of sense of the unknown.
We'll know soon enough who'll be playing the fair. Right now it's time to dream about who you might get to see at the Missouri State Fair.