First look: State Fair concerts

February 13, 2009
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More than any other concert series, the Indiana State Fair's is influenced as much by the atmosphere as it is by the act. Catch a slight breeze on a warm-but-not-too-hot night after a loop around the Fair with friends or family and almost any performer can sound great. An act that knows how to catch and magnify the spirit of a Fair crowd can transcend. And one that doesn't quite know how to engage those with funnel cake in their bellies and sweat on their T-shirts, well, those are the ones who get talked about all year.

Today, the Indiana State Fair folks will be announcing the first round of acts to be performing this summer. They include Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson, MercyMe (with Lafayette native Jeremy Camp opening), Sandi Patty and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (nice to see the ISO players in the mix) and "Camp Rock" star Demi Lovato (for the Disney Channel crowd).

Also being announced: The inclusion of Indiana MusicFest, headlined by Jon McLaughlin and featuring The Elms and The Why Store.

This year's Fair runs Aug. 7-23. And, for the record, it's "The Year of Tomatoes." Just remember: No throwing them at the stage.

Look for more information to be posted at

Your thoughts (not only on these acts but also on the State Fair as a music venue)? Care to share your thoughts on concerts you've seen there in the past?
  • Not a single one of those will tempt me other than the ISO and I would rather see them at Symphony on the Prairie. David Cassidy a couple years ago was groovy - and free! He actually sounded pretty good.
  • Firewoman, if you like the style of music performed by the ISO. You should give Jon McLaughlin a shot. Very much piano oriented music with harmonic and melodic chords and back up music. Not poppy and loud like the rest of todays music. Its very realxing and fun.
  • Jon McLaughlin is great and he's an Indiana native (Anderson). Check him out!

    I'm wondering if the Why Store is really the full band or just Chris Shaffer and his new band using the moniker The Why Store?
  • I don't have a strong opinion one way or the other about the concerts, but I love that this is The Year of Tomatoes.

    Maybe the theme will spread to the beauty pageant so that in addition to evening gowns and swimsuits the young women will compete for best saucy dress. Maybe along with a lemon shake-up you'll be able to buy a plate of fried green tomatoes or a cone of cherry tomatoes with a small cup of ranch dressing on the side. Maybe someone will win a blue ribbon for best tomato-and-toothpick sculpture. Maybe one of the hot air balloons will be in the shape of a tomato. Maybe there will be new hybrid tomatoes to marvel over in the agriculture building, but also thick, juicy slices of heirloom tomatoes to enjoy with a sprinkling of salt.

    Oh, my goodness, my mouth is watering just thinking about that.

    Hope Baugh
    Indy Theatre Habit
  • YAWN!!!!
  • I think it's a smart lineup for the State Fair folks. The clearly know their demographics and hope that each of the show does well.

    1. I think the Kelly Clarkson concert could be huge. She's got a #1 single right now and if her soon-to-be released album hits big - she'll be the hot ticket this summer. I think this will even be her 3rd time at the Fair.

    2. Sandi Patty with the ISO. I think it's great that the ISO will be at the fair. Definitely not your traditional fair act. I think it's a wonderful opportunity to expose some new people to the ISO - especially those out of town who might likely come back for Symphony on the Prairie or Yuletide.

    3. I know my neice will be excited for Demi Lovato. I'm amazed by the buying power/brand appeal for these Disney Channel inventions.

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