SPRINGFIELD, ILL. – Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich today announced a star-studded Grandstand line-up featuring country music Male Vocalist of the Year Kenny Chesney and platinum-selling country rock duo Montgomery Gentry and the Goo Goo Dolls with special guest Lisa Marie Presley will entertain visitors to the 2003 Illinois State Fair.
Other featured performers include country music legend Hank Williams Jr., Ted Nugent, 70s supergroup Boston, Grammy Award-winners Hootie and the Blowfish and Smashmouth with Everclear.
“This line-up more than upholds the fair’s tradition of offering quality entertainment at affordable prices,” Blagojevich said. “It combines chart-topping artists of today, popular acts from yesteryear and the rising stars of tomorrow into an attractive package that should have wide appeal.”
Williams will perform on the opening day of the fair -- Friday, Aug. 8 -- and will be followed on Saturday night, Aug. 9, by Chesney, who won the Academy of Country Music’s Record of the Year award for “The Good Stuff.”
On Sunday, Aug. 10, Montgomery Gentry will play its trademark “hillbilly honky tonk,” a sound that has produced two hit albums, including the duo’s current release, “Carrying On.” Becca Rae, a 17-year-old Springfield High School student and aspiring country music singer will open for Gentry. Rae’s rich, bluesy voice has won many accolades, including the Illinois High School Association’s highest honor for vocal performance, and landed her a guest spot on the Maury Povich Show. She also has opened for Loretta Lynn and will record her first CD of original material this summer.
Ted Nugent, “The Motor City Madman,” will return to the Grandstand Monday, Aug. 11. Nugent, who has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide, will share the stage with The Fabulous Thunderbirds. Presley and the Goo Goo Dolls will perform Tuesday, Aug. 12, followed on Wednesday, Aug. 13, by Boston, whose credits include three No. 1 records.
The fair’s final weekend includes concerts Friday, Aug. 15, by Hootie and the Blowfish, Saturday, Aug. 16, by Smashmouth with Everclear and Sunday, Aug. 17 by the Symphonic Pops Orchestra of Chicago.
In addition to the musical entertainment, the Grandstand will feature motor sports. Truck and tractor pulls are scheduled Thursday, Aug. 14, at 7 p.m. and Friday, Aug. 15, at 10 a.m., and auto races will be held both Saturday, Aug. 16, and Sunday, Aug. 17.
All concerts begin at 8 p.m., except for the performance by the Symphonic Pops Orchestra of Chicago, which starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for both reserved seats and the infield track will go on sale Saturday, June 28, at 10 a.m. in the Grandstand Ticket Office on the Illinois State Fairgrounds and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Ticket prices range from $15 to $30.
Fairgoers can purchase tickets at the same time for concerts to be held in the Multi-purpose arena. That line-up includes Nazareth Aug. 10, Buckwheat Zydeco Aug. 11, Eddie Money Aug. 12, the Supremes Starring Mary Wilson Aug. 14 and John Mayall and the Blues Breakers Aug. 17. Free entertainment also will be offered in the Arena, including the Navy Great Lakes Band Horizon Aug. 10, an Elvis Extravaganza Aug. 13 and a Battle of the Bands Competition Aug. 15-16. Motocross racing is scheduled Aug. 8-9. Advance tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and younger. The adult price will increase $2 a ticket the day of the competition.
Phone orders for tickets to the Grandstand and Arena events can be placed by calling the Grandstand Ticket Office at 217-782-1979 (TDD 217-524-9833) or Ticketmaster at 800-827-8927 (TDD 800-359-2525). Mail orders will be accepted, but must be postmarked June 23 or later and sent to the Illinois State Fair Ticket Office, P.O. Box 19427, Springfield, Ill., 62794. Forms can be obtained by calling Grandstand Ticket Office or visiting the Illinois State Fair website at www.illinoisstatefair.info.
No phone or walk-up orders will be accepted prior to June 28. All sales are final. The fair does not provide refunds or exchanges on ticket purchases.
The 2003 Illinois State Fair will be held Aug. 8–17.