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Grandstand only part of a fair's success

Grandstand only part of a fair's success

August 9th, 2018 by Bob Watson in Local News
The 2018 Missouri State Fair is Aug. 9-19 in Sedalia.

The Missouri State Fair begins today — and the Pepsi Grandstand entertainment line-up is one of the fair's annual attractions.

"I think we really look at that as having a good concert line-up as part of the things available for folks as they come to the fair," Director Mark Wolfe said last week. "We look at it as another part of the package.

"Do I think our attendance would fall off dramatically without concerts? Not necessarily.

"(But) I think there are a lot of folks who come out in the evening just to go to the concert, and then go back home."

As usual, the six nights of scheduled concerts lean heavily toward country music acts.

"I can tell you that history has proven itself over and over out here," Wolfe said, "that country music is the best seller.

"We've tried to go to the edges a little bit on music before — and you spend a lot of money, (but) there's not enough folks interested in it to make it financially feasible.

"If an act costs $200,000, and you have 500 people show up, that's not a very good return on your money — you're taking a direct loss."

Wolfe also said there are times when fair officials want to get a specific act to come to Sedalia, and it doesn't happen.

"It's not always just the amount of money it takes for a particular act," he explained. "A lot of times, it doesn't matter how much you offer — if they're routed through the state of California in August, they're not coming here."

The Missouri State Fair uses a booking agency from Louisville, Kentucky, that also works with several nearby states, he noted — and that's a good thing.

"They create mini tours through the course of a week for groups coming in, and that allows all of us to get a better price," Wolfe noted. "They have a short hop from night to night, without long-haul traveling and things like that.

"So, it's been a real benefit that we all are working with the same company."

All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted.

And all concert ticket prices are in addition to the admission prices to the fair, which are $10 for adults; $7 for Seniors, ages 60 and older; $2 for children 6-12; and free for children younger than 6.

The music programs begin tonight, with Montgomery Gentry & Whiskey Myers.

Tickets are $35, Track seating and $25 for the Grandstand seats.

Friday, it's "Rock of the Seventies," featuring Foghat, Atlanta Rhythm Section, Firefall and the Pat Travers Band.

Tickets: $30, Track; $20, Grandstand; Children 2 and younger, free — but they must sit on an adult's lap.

Saturday's concert is Hank Williams Jr. and Frank Foster.

Tickets: $57 for Premium Track; $47 for Regular Track seats; $42 for Premium Grandstand; and $37 for the Regular Grandstand seats.

On Tuesday, Aug. 14, it's the "Roots and Boots Tour" with Sammy Kershaw, Aaron Tippin and Collin Raye.

Tickets: $30, Track; $20, Grandstand; Children 2 and younger, free — but they must sit on an adult's lap.

Wednesday, Aug. 15, the concert is the "Southern Uprising Tour: A Southern Rock Revival" featuring Travis Tritt, The Charlie Daniels Band, The Marshall Tucker Band, and The Outlaws.

Time: 6 p.m. Tickets: $50, Premium Track; $40, Regular Track; $35, Premium Grandstand; and $30, Regular Grandstand; Children 2 and younger, free — but they must sit on an adult's lap.

Aug. 16, Casting Crowns and Zach Williams.

Tickets: $25, Track; $20, Grandstand; Children 2 and younger, free — but they must sit on an adult's lap.

Aug. 17, is Aaron Watson and Tim Montana.

Tickets: $30, Track; $20, Grandstand; Children 2 and younger, free — but they must sit on an adult's lap.

Aug. 18, is Cole Swindell and RaeLynn.

Tickets: $50, Premium Track; $40, Regular Track; $35, Premium Grandstand; $25, Regular Grandstand.

Non-music Grandstand entertainment includes:

Sunday, Missouri State Fair Shoot-Out, noon and 6 p.m.

The event features the Missouri Association Championship Truck and Tractor Pull Qualifying and Finals.

Lucas Oil All Day Ticket: $20 Adults; $10 ages 6-12. Children 5 and younger, free — if they sit on an adult's lap.

Monday, Outlaw Truck & Tractor Pulling Association, 1 and 6:30 p.m.

All Day Ticket: $25 Adults; $12 ages 6-12; Children 5 and younger, free — if they sit on an adult's lap.

Aug. 19, ASCS National Sprint Car and Ulma Late Model Races; 6 p.m. Hot Laps, 7 p.m. Heat Races.

Tickets: $20 Adult; $18 Military and Seniors (age 65+); $10 ages 13-17; $5 age 6-12; Children 5 and under, Free — if they sit on an adult's lap.

On its webpage, www.mostatefair.com/locations/pepsi-grandstand, the fair also has a "Beware of Ticket Scams" note, which says: "Though many online ticket brokers may imply that they are an official website for ticket purchase for our events, only this website and Ticketmaster.com are official online ticket purchase points for 2018 Missouri State Fair concerts and events.

"We cannot guarantee that tickets purchased from other sources are legitimate. We will not be able to assist you if there is a problem with tickets purchased from such companies."