The Missouri State Fair took to its Facebook page earlier today to tease fair fans that their first concert announcement is coming next week. I thought this would be a good time to share what artists are booked for other state fairs in the Midwest.

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While every state fair rolls out a different lineup, it's an indicator of what artists are interested in playing at state fair shows. Will they be booked for the Missouri State Fair? We'll have to wait for the concert announcements to find out.

The Iowa State Fair

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The Iowa State Fair has booked contemporary Christian singer Lauren Daigle, Foreigner and their historic farewell tour, Jelly Roll, Thomas Rhett, Motley Crue,  comedian Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias, folk rock band The Avett Brothers, NE-YO, and Kidz Bop Live 2024.

The Illinois State Fair

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The Illinois State Fair has three shows announced so far. Motley Crue, Americana artist Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit with Ashley McBryde and Jordan Davis.

The Kansas State Fair

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Announced shows for the Kansas State Fair include Wynonna Judd, The GooGooDolls, and The Oak Ridge Boys.

The Wisconsin State Fair

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The Wisconsin State Fair has a fairly well fleshed-out lineup for its 2024 fair. Artists scheduled to play the fair include comedian Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias, Rapper Yung Gravy with Nicky Youre, Christian Artist Casting Crowns, Kidz Bop Live 2024, Riley Green, Christian singer Lauren Daigle, Foreigner's farewell tour, and a 60s and 70s package tour called "Happy Together" that includes The Turtles, Jay & the Americans, The Association, Badfinger, The Vogues, and the Cowsills.

The Minnesota State Fair

The Minnesota State Fair has announced four shows so far. Comedian Nate Bargatze, the "Happy Together" tour that's also playing the Wisconsin State Fair, Motley Crue, and Kidz Bop Live 2024.

So Which of These Acts Will Play the Missouri State Fair?

Look, I have no inside information and I'm just spitballing here. I think there's an excellent chance Lauren Daigle finds herself on the bill as the Christian act for this year's fair.

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If the Fair continues it's the tradition of bringing in an Americana or alt-country act The Avett Brothers or Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit is a definite possibility. They're certainly not limited to those two acts, but both seem like a good fit.

If the Missouri State Fair continues broadening the musical entertainment somewhat, NEYO would be the perfect fit. Less perfect, but not out of the realm of possibility if the fair decides to zag instead of zig, is Yung Gravy and Nicky Youre. The Goo Goo Dolls, who have played a late summer gig at Starlight in Kansas City the past few years is a possibility since as of this writing they're not booked at Starlight or Ozarks Amphitheatre.

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Shall we talk Country? The Oak Ridge Boys, Wynonna Judd, and Jordan Davis are all good possibilities for the fair. I wouldn't count out Ashley McBryde being booked as a headliner either. Of course, I'm just speaking to the acts that I've seen playing state fairs around us.

Country music is a huge genre and there are a lot of tours out there, so while I wouldn't be surprised to see ONE of those acts at the Missouri State Fair, there are plenty of artists within our Fair's budget that could be booked.

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Who I Don't Think We'll See in Missouri

I don't think we'll see Motley Crue. Yes, they seem all in on the state fair circuit this summer. Yet, the ticket prices I see for their shows are all higher than what the Missouri State Fair usually charges. If the fair wants to flirt with a higher-priced show, or somehow can get them and keep the ticket prices at $75 or under it becomes a better possibility.

Once again, if the fair zags instead of zigs, we might see a package tour like "Happy Together", but traditionally that doesn't seem likely. I think if the fair's going to book one of those package tours they'd be better off focusing on pop acts from the 80s or 90s. Yet that's just me playing armchair concert booker.

As for Country acts, I think Jelly Roll is out for the same reason Motley Crue is. The ticket price might make it a tough booking. I'm on the fence with Thomas Rhett. His ticket prices seem a bit steep for the Missouri State Fair, but I think our State Fair might be able to swing him.

I don't think we'll see Foreigner booked since they played the fair a couple of years ago. Although that show was epic and well-attended. And Riley Green played the fair last year so I doubt they'd bring him back.

Bottom Line

Trying to read the tea leaves and see who the Missouri State Fair will book is fun. Dreaming and hoping that your favorite artist or your favorite artist of the moment will be booked is fun.

Yet there's so much that goes into fair bookings. There's the cost of the act. How much the Fair feels they can charge for concert tickets. Whether an act wants to come to Sedalia to play our fair. Competition from venues in Kansas City, Camdenton, and perhaps St. Louis. Competition from other state fairs happening at the same time. The technical aspects of bringing an act to the Missouri State Fair stage. It goes on and on.

So while I don't think we'll see Jelly Roll or Motley Crue at the Missouri State Fair, I don't know that for sure. I do know if they get either of these acts I'll be squealing with joy for our friends across the street at the Missouri State Fair because either of those acts would be huge.

I also know two other things. I always have fun at a couple of the Missouri State Fair concerts every year and I expect that won't change this year. Two, if you go to a Friday or Saturday night concert, pick up some cinnamon rolls from the Giant Cookie guy and take them home for Saturday or Sunday breakfast. They're delicious.

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