SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The 2010 Illinois State Fair will feature Grandstand entertainment every night! The line-up, which was announced today at a Main Gate press conference on the Illinois State Fairgrounds, includes an eclectic mix of country, rock, pop and Christian recording stars, plus two free shows, an Illinois Symphony Orchestra performance Monday, Aug. 16 and an appearance by home and style expert Sandra Lee, host of the hit Food Network show “Semi-Homemade Cooking,” Thursday, Aug. 19.
“I wanted to bring entertainment to the Grandstand during the week and not just concentrate on the weekends when crowds are the largest,” State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick said. “I’m really pleased. The line-up is diverse, which I think fairgoers should find appealing, and fit our limited budget.”
Lady Antebellum, a country trio nominated for an industry-leading seven Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards, including song of the year for its chart-topping single “Need You Now,” will perform on opening night of the fair, Friday, Aug. 13. Lady Antebellum’s first #1 song, “I Run to You,” won a Country Music Association award for single of the year last November. The group will learn whether it has received a second such honor when the ACM awards are presented April 18.
The first weekend’s Grandstand entertainment is devoted to rock. Saturday, Aug. 14, Kiss Army, a tribute band noted for an excellent reproduction of its legendary namesake’s costumes and music, will take the stage for a $5 per ticket show. Then Sunday, Shinedown, a hard rock band that has sold more than six million albums worldwide, will bring its version of heavy metal to the Grandstand.
“Our grounds crew will be plenty busy this year,” Bliefnick said. “In addition to the evening entertainment to prepare for, the Grandstand also will host harness horse and auto races. There will be no twilight races this year. All harness races will take place at noon. The USAC and ARCA auto races will be held Aug. 21 and Aug. 22.”
The biggest name in contemporary Christian music will give a State Fair concert Tuesday, Aug. 17. MercyMe has 22 #1 songs to its credit and was named Billboard magazine’s Christian artist of the decade for the 2000s.
Blake Shelton, a country artist who has had six #1 singles since his debut in 2001, will perform the following night. Shelton’s latest hit song, “Hillbilly Bone,” reached the top of the country charts just two weeks ago.
Rock icons Cheap Trick and Blondie will headline the Friday, Aug. 20 concert. Cheap Trick, a Rockford, Ill., band, and rock ‘n roll Hall of Fame inductee Blondie both produced a slew of hits in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Cheap Trick is best known for such hits as “Dream Police,” “I Want You to Want Me,” “Ain’t That A Shame,” and “Surrender.” Blondie’s top singles include “Heart of Glass,” “One Way or Another,” “Call Me,” and “Rapture.”
The Grandstand entertainment concludes with performances Aug. 21 by Selena Gomez and Aug. 22 by Darius Rucker. Gomez, star of the Disney Channel’s Wizards of Waverly Place, is touring to support her debut album, “Kiss & Tell.” Fellow Disney star Mitchel Musso, who plays Oliver Oken on the popular “Hannah Montana” show, will open for Gomez.
Rucker, who gained fame as lead singer of Hootie and the Blowfish, has launched a successful country music career. The first three singles on his debut album “Learn to Live” soared to the top of the charts and resulted in his nomination for an ACM award as top male vocalist. Supporting Rucker’s appearance will be Eric Church. Church’s current single, “Hell on The Heart,” from his sophomore album “Carolina,” is Top 20 and climbing on both country radio charts.
All concerts begin at 8 p.m. except for the Selena Gomez concert, which will begin at 7 p.m. Grandstand reserved seats and track tickets will go on sale Saturday, April 17, at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster. Tickets can be purchased either on the internet at Ticketmaster.com, by calling 1-800-745-3000 or visiting any Ticketmaster outlet. Ticket order forms can be downloaded on the Illinois State Fair website at www.illinoisstatefair.info. The Grandstand ticket office will open Saturday, June 5, at 9 a.m.
All adults and children 3 years of age and older must have a ticket. All sales are final. The fair does not provide refunds or exchanges on ticket purchases.
DATE PERFORMER TICKET PRICES Reserved Track
Aug. 13 Lady Antebellum $28-23-18 $28
Aug. 14 Kiss Army $5-5-5 $5
Aug. 15 Shinedown with Chevelle $25-21-17 $25
Aug. 17 MercyMe with 10th Avenue North $18-15-15 $18
Aug. 18 Blake Shelton with Candy Coburn $20-18-15 $20
Aug. 20 Cheap Trick with Blondie $25-20-20 $25
Aug. 21 Selena Gomez with Mitchel Musso $25-20-20 $25
Aug. 22 Darius Rucker with Eric Church $25-20-18 $25
Aug. 16 Illinois Symphony Free Admission
Aug. 19 Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Free Admission
Aug. 21 USAC Silver Crown Series Auto Races Adults $20 Children $10
Day of event - $25
Aug. 22 ARCA Super Series Auto Races Adults $20 Children $10
Day of event -$25