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Iowa State Fair Grandstand Spells Success C-O-U-N-T-R-Y

Phil Walter, Getty Images

Each year, the Iowa State Fair grandstand lineup is loaded with country music headliners. The reason is simple. It works. Three of the five most successful shows at the fair in the last 13 years have been country, as well as the fair’s highest-grossing concert.

Which concerts have sold the most tickets at the fair since 2004? Here’s the top five, according to the Iowa City Press Citizen:

5. Journey (2012)
4. Keith Urban (2005: 10,912 tickets sold)
3. Journey (2009)
2. Florida Georgia Line (2014: 11,139 tickets sold)
1. Jason Aldean (2011: 11,236 tickets sold)

We’ve been lucky enough to host both Florida Georgia Line and Keith Urban the last two summers in Monticello. Next year, Jason Aldean returns to K-Hawk Country for a show Thursday, July 19. Thank you to the Great Jones County Fair for bringing this level of talent to eastern Iowa year after year!

I can’t forget the highest grossing concert at the Iowa State Fair, who also performed at last year’s fair in Monticello. Carrie Underwood’s gross ticket sales for her appearance at the 2015 show in Des Moines was $628,800!

This year’s fair isn’t quite as laden with country shows. Alabama and the Charlie Daniels Band perform Thursday, August 17. Little Big Town is in Des Moines Friday, August 18. Crossover artist Kid Rock concludes this year’s fair Sunday, August 20. Kid Rock will receive $600,000 for his performance… the highest amount ever paid to a grandstand artist in Des Moines. Tickets remain for all three of the shows above. Details HERE.

Iowa State Fair CEO and manager, Gary Slater, told the Des Moines Register,

… country music singer-songwriter Luke Bryan charges about $1 million per show. I’ve only got 10,000 seats.

That’s why we don’t have a Luke Bryan-type act here.”

There are also plenty of FREE country shows at this year’s fair, featuring some fast-rising talent. Check out the list HERE.

Which concert has been your favorite at the Iowa State Fair? Comment with your choice below and enjoy this year’s fair. The fun begins Thursday and continues through August 20.

New Foods Announced for the 2017 Iowa State Fair

[via Iowa City Press-Citizen and Des Moines Register]

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