Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo collect top concert paycheck at Indiana State Fair

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Benatar Giraldo
Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo performed Aug. 7 at the Indiana State Fair. (Photo provided by Indiana State Fair)

Include the Indiana State Fair among entities spending more for services in 2022, as overall performance fees for musicians playing the fair’s Free Stage spiked 25% when compared to 2021.

The fair paid $883,750 in artist compensation for 18 shows presented from July 29 to Aug. 21 at the Free Stage. Last year, $706,250 was paid for 18 shows.

Two of this year’s headliners collected six-figure paychecks. Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo were the top-paid act of the fair, thanks to a $125,000 payday on Aug. 7. Chaka Khan was paid $100,000 on Aug. 3.

Indiana State Fair contracts are public record because the State of Indiana manages the event through its fair commission.

The contracts include riders that detail artist requirements for onstage gear and their backstage requests for food, beverages and amenities.

Classic rock band Kansas conveyed the importance of its requests by instructing the fair to leave a handwritten note saying, “I have read your rider!” for the band’s tour manager.

Benatar, who will be inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in November, apparently has an affinity for coconut. She requested six bottles of Harmless Harvest brand coconut water, a bottle of toasted coconut flavored Califia Farms almond milk and a small bottle of Everyone brand coconut lemon hand sanitizer spray.

The fair does not provide alcoholic beverages to artists. At other tour stops, country singer Travis Tritt requests four bottles of pinot noir wine, 18 cans of Stella Artois beer, 18 cans of Heineken beer, a fifth of a gallon of Crown Royal Canadian whisky, a fifth of a gallon of Grey Goose vodka and one bottle of Blanton’s Bourbon for his traveling party.

Here’s a breakdown of performance fees paid to 2022 fair musicians:

1. Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, $125,000 on Aug. 7.
2. Chaka Khan, $100,000 on Aug. 3
3 (tie). Kansas, $75,000 on July 29.
3 (tie). Trace Adkins, $75,000 on Aug. 10.
5. Travis Tritt, $72,500 on Aug. 5.
6. “Happy Together” tour featuring the Turtles, $67,500 on Aug. 17.
7 (tie). KC & the Sunshine Band, $65,000 on Aug. 12.
7 (tie). Carly Pearce, $65,000 on Aug. 19
9. “Gospel Music Day” featuring Fred Hammond, $58,250 on Aug. 21.
10. Zach Williams, $50,500 on Aug. 14.
11. We the Kingdom, $40,000 on July 31.
12. Jesse McCartney, $25,000 on July 30.
13. Vixen and Autograph, $23,000 on Aug. 20.
14. “Latino Fest” featuring Patrulla 81, $20,000 on Aug. 13.
15. The Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, $10,000 on Aug. 6.
16. Jimmy Buffett tribute act Gone 2 Paradise, $4,500 on Aug. 4.
17. John Mellencamp tribute act Small Town, $4,000 on Aug. 18.
18. Foo Fighters tribute act Too Fighters, $3,500 on Aug. 11.

Top-paid fair acts in recent years:
2021: The Beach Boys, $76,500.
2020: No fair because of the pandemic.
2019: Boyz II Men, $80,000.
2018: Anthony Hamilton, $85,000.
2017: Patti LaBelle, $95,000.

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