Iowa’s Fair Lineup Complete, Missouri’s Still Three Shows Short
If there's one thing we like to do here in Missouri, we like to compare our fair concerts to the Iowa State Fair lineup. It's not really a fair comparison since there's a big difference between asking major music stars to play a show in Des Moines and coming to rural Missouri for a show. However, that never stops us from making the comparison.
First, let's look at the Iowa State Fair lineup:
Thursday, August 10 - For King + Country
Friday, August 11 - Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line
Saturday, August 12 - New Kids On The Block
Sunday, August 13 - Eric Church with Special Guest Jackson Dean
Monday, August 14 -The Black Keys
Tuesday, August 15 - Comedian Jeff Dunham
Wednesday, August 16 - Lindsey Stirling
Thursday, August 17 - Maren Morris with Special Guest Lindsay Ell
Friday, August 18 - Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges with Special Guest Sean Kingston
Saturday, August 19 - The Chicks, with Special Guest Ben Harper
Sunday, August 20 - Jason Aldean with Special Guest Corey Kent
It's not the best lineup I think we've ever seen the Iowa State Fair run out. The big fun Classic Rock / Hits show seems to be missing in action. Although the Black Keys isn't a bad rock act. Country's king this year in Iowa with The Chicks, Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Tyler Hubbard, and Maren Morris. While the New Kids is an interesting and fairly safe nostalgia play for the Fair.
Recently here in Sedalia, it's been radio silence from the Missouri State Fair regarding our Grandstand Shows. Here's the lineup as it lays out on April 20:
Thursday, August 10 - Tyler Hubbard of Florida Georgia Line with Parmalee
Friday, August 11 - Lainey Wilson with Jackson Dean
Saturday, August 12 - 3 Doors Down with Candlebox
Sunday, August 13 - Missouri State Fair Shoot Out and Tractor Pulls
Monday, August 14 - Pro Pulling League
Tuesday, August 15 - Show TBA
Wednesday, August 16 - Cory Asbury and CAIN
Thursday, August 17 - Show TBA
Friday, August 18 - Nelly
Saturday, August 19 - Show TBA
Sunday, August 20 - 2023 Poweri 410 Spring Cars, B Modifieds, and Show Me Vintage Race Cars
Looking at the acts scheduled for Iowa. Who could play the Missouri State Fair, and on what night?
The Chicks are a no-go for the Missouri State Fair, their tour has them playing in other places. Eric Church is a possibility for the open date on Tuesday, August 15. Marren Morris could fill that Tuesday night show date as well, and Jason Aldean could play either that Tuesday night slot or Thursday, August 17.
The Black Keys are playing both St. Louis and Kansas City the week after the fair, so I'd doubt that would get them a fair booking. The New Kids On The Block seem wide open for any of the nights.
I looked to see who the Illinois State Fair has booked, and they seem to have fewer shows than we have announced at this point.
Old Dominion is playing the Illinois State Fair on Friday, August 11, and it seems their tour is open and could play any of our fair's open dates. Alter Bridge with Mammoth WVH is playing Illinois on Wednesday, August 16, and their tour schedule has open dates for all three of our unannounced show dates. REO Speedwagon plays Illinois on Tuesday, August 15, so they could play either of our fair's open dates on the 17th or 19th.
There are also a lot of great Classic Rock / Classic Hits artists mounting tours over the summer, and many of them don't seem to have a lot of mid to late-August dates fleshed out at this point. Those artists include Pat Benatar, Drive By Truckers, and Bryan Adams/Joan Jett.
Not to mention that the Tuesday show traditionally has been the alt-country / red dirt type artist for the Missouri State Fair. That said, with the fair shaking things up a little bit line-up-wise this summer, there's no guarantee that what usually pops into those slots will this summer.
So what do I make of all this? If the Missouri State Fair wants to book a Styx, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar-type act there's a good chance they can do that. They can probably get it for that Saturday, August 19 slot too
If they want to Zag instead of Zig and double down on "surprised the fair booked THIS" act Alter Bridge with Wolfie Van Halen's Mammoth would be a great choice.
It also wouldn't surprise me at all if they book one of the Country artists booked for Iowa. Aldean, Church, and Morris would all work well for a show at our fair. The question is how expensive is it to book Aldean or Church, and could you get their fans out on a weeknight to make money on the show? (Didn't work for ZZ Top on a weeknight last year.) Morris, being a newer artist, may be less financially risky for a weeknight slot.
I know two things for sure. One, The Iowa Lineup isn't as strong as it usually is. Second, a lot of us can't wait for the Missouri State Fair to break their silence and announce the rest of the grandstand lineup.