Illinois State Fair Grandstand Box Office Opens Saturday

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Beginning this weekend, tickets for 2011 Illinois State Fair concerts can be purchased at the Grandstand box office on the fairgrounds.  The box office will open June 4 with special Saturday hours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Thereafter it will be open weekdays, except holidays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  The Grandstand box office will also be open July 30 and Aug. 6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“I think fairgoers will find this year’s line-up very appealing and very diverse,” State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick said.  “We have country, comedy, rock, rap, R&B and even a Broadway musical.  There’s something for everyone to enjoy!”  

Ventriloquist and stand-up comedian Jeff Dunham will open the State Fair concerts Friday, Aug. 12.  Dunham has starred in several Comedy Central specials, including “Jeff Dunham: Arguing with Myself,” “Jeff Dunham: Spark of Insanity” and “Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special.”

3 Doors Down will take the stage Saturday, Aug. 13.  3 Doors Down rose to national fame in 2000 with the release of their first single, “Kryptonite.”   The band's fifth album, “Time of My Life”, is scheduled to be released this summer.  

Jason Aldean, winner of the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Top New Male Vocalist Award in 2006 and nominee for this year’s ACM Entertainer of the Year Award, will entertain fairgoers Sunday, Aug. 14.  Five of his songs – “Why,” “She's Country,” “Big Green Tractor,” “The Truth” and “Don't You Wanna Stay” -  have reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts.  Grammy nominee Chris Young will sing his hit singles “Gettin' You Home,” “Voices” and “The Man I Want To Be.”  Thompson Square also will perform.

The Illinois Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago cast of Million Dollar Quartet will give a free concert Monday, Aug. 15.  Million Dollar Quartet is inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock 'n' roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time.  The musical is currently running on Broadway at the Nederlander Theatre and at the Apollo Theater in Chicago.

Luke Bryan will sing his chart topping hits “Rain Is a Good Thing” and “Someone Else Calling You Baby” Tuesday, Aug. 16.  Trailer Choir, who is touring to support its debut album, “Tailgate,” will open for Bryan.

The legendary Oak Ridge Boys and Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers will take the stage Wednesday, Aug. 17.  The Oak Ridge Boys have won dozens of awards and sold more than 30 million records during their 30 year career.  Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers became one of country music's most successful acts of the 1970s and 1980s.

Greyson Chance has been booked to open for Allstar Weekend Thursday, Aug. 18, Bliefnick said.  Chance released his debut single “Waiting Outside the Lines” in 2010 and is set to release his debut album “Hold on ‘Til the Night” Aug. 2, 2011.  Allstar Weekend released its debut album “Suddenly Yours” and guest starred on the popular Disney Channel series “Sonny With a Chance” last fall.

38 Special will perform hits like “Hold On Loosely” and “Caught Up in You” the following night.  Loverboy, April Wine and The Tubes also will rock the stage Friday, Aug. 19.

Rapper MC Hammer and Boyz II Men will headline the Saturday, Aug. 20 concert.  MC Hammer won numerous awards for his 1990 smash hit “U Can’t Touch This.”  Boyz II Men is the best-selling R&B group of all time.

The Grandstand entertainment concludes on Sunday, Aug. 21 with country superstars Lady Antebellum.  Lady Antebellum’s hit song “Need You Now" won five awards at this year’s Grammy Awards.  The trio also won Album of the Year and Top Vocal Group of the Year at the 2011 ACM Awards.  Stealing Angels will open the show.

All concerts begin at 8 p.m. except for the Allstar Weekend concert, which begins at 6:30 p.m. and the 38 Special concert, which starts at 5 p.m.   Tickets can also be purchased on the internet at Ticketmaster.com, by calling 1-800-745-3000 or visiting any Ticketmaster outlet.

All adults and children 3 years of age and older must have a ticket.  All sales are final.  The fair does not provide refunds or exchanges on ticket purchases.

DATE                    PERFORMER                                                                                                TICKET PRICES                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Reserved                             Track

Aug. 12                 Jeff Dunham                                                                                     $25-20-18                            $30

Aug. 13                 3 Doors Down                                                                                    $30-25-20                            $35   

Aug. 14                 Jason Aldean with Chris Young and Thompson Square    $35-30-25                            $40        

Aug. 15                 Illinois Symphony Orchestra & Million Dollar Quartet       FREE ADMISSION

Aug. 16                 Luke Bryan with Trailer Choir                                                     $20-18-15                            $25

Aug. 17                 Oak Ridge Boys with Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers               $20-15-10                            $20

Aug. 18                 Allstar Weekend with Greyson Chance                                 $15-10-10                            $15

Aug. 19                 38 Special with Loverboy, April Wine and The Tubes        $25-25-25                            $25

Aug. 20                 MC Hammer & Boyz II Men                                                         $20-17-15                            $23        

Aug. 21                 Lady Antebellum with Stealing Angels                                    $37-32-27                            $42