American state and local fairs are a treasured past time that typically bring to mind the fall season and tons of greasy, deep-fried treats just waiting to clog up arteries. In between the indulgent foods, carnival rides, and vendors, the fair is a great place to check out top-notch entertainment. Check out our recommendations for the regional fairs that will host some of music’s finest acts this fall.
Celebrate the best New England has to offer and head to the Eastern States Exposition, more fondly known as The Big E, in West Springfield, MA. The three-week event kicks off September 15 and will feature a variety of artists to its main performance stage. The ones to be most excited for, however, are country stars Cole Swindell and Cam. Swindell garnered radio play with hits like “You Should Be Here” and “Middle of a Memory” and will take the Big E stage September 16. Cam, who earned a Grammy nomination last year for breakout single “Burning House,” will surely bring in a crowd when she performs September 22.
The South Carolina State Fair promises to be jam-packed with entertainment and giddy visitors throughout its 12-day run. Anyone near or traveling to Columbia, SC should not miss out on this year’s celebration of the state’s culture. Highlights of the fair will be country duo Brothers Osborne, who are the first act up when the fair opens October 11. One week later on the 18th, classic rock group ZZ Top hit the stage for what’s sure to be a high-energy set.
The Midwest certainly loves their state fairs, from Iowa to Indiana, Illinois and beyond. We suggest heading up to Allegan, MI for the Allegan County Fair, which will feature a weekend full of can’t-miss shows. Thomas Rhett kicks things off on September 14, followed by Alabama with John Michael Montgomery September 15 and an exciting demolition derby on the 16th. Browse tickets for all three events here.
Last but not least is the Los Angeles County Fair, which attracts over a million visitors each year and is the largest in scale on this list. Running now through September 24, the Pamona, CA-based fair has something for everyone. Modern music aficionados will not want to miss a chance to see Fifth Harmony on September 15 and hip-hop trio Migos, who will give the final performance of the event on the 24th. Classic rock lovers can enjoy concerts from Styx and Kansas on September 16 and Chicago one week later.