Saturday, April 23


Illinois State Fair grandstand features country lineup          Send a link to a friend

[APRIL 23, 2005]  SPRINGFIELD -- On Thursday, Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced the grandstand lineup for the 2005 Illinois State Fair. Among the bands taking the stage Aug. 12-21 are two of the hottest county music acts on the circuit, CMA Award winners Brad Paisley and Rascal Flatts, along with Velvet Revolver, which placed No. 1 in two sections in an early 2005 issue of the Rolling Stone Readers' Poll, for Best New Artist and Best Hard Rock/Metal Band.

"The state fair staff has done an excellent job putting together a grandstand lineup that appeals to a broad range of music fans, from country to classic, Southern and modern rock," Gov. Blagojevich said. "The 2005 state fair grandstand lineup will not only showcase great bands, but the prices are also affordable, keeping with our tradition to maintain a family-friendly event."
  • Friday, Aug. 12: The Illinois State Fair kicks off with 2005 County Music Association Award winners Rascal Flatts taking the stage. The group took home the 2005 CMA award for Best Group Video of the Year for "Feels Like Today." Altogether, their first three albums have sold more than 6 million copies, and their recent hit single "Bless the Broken Road" sat at No. 1 for five consecutive weeks. Opening the evening for Rascal Flatts is county music star Blake Shelton. Tickets are $17.50, $22.50 and $27.50 for reserved grandstand seats and $27.50 for the track area in front of the stage.

  • Saturday, Aug. 13: Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd will perform over 30 years of hits. The band recently collected its 18th gold and 12th platinum award for "Thyrty," a double-disc anniversary hits collection. They are best known for songs including "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird." Alternative country up-and-comers Cross Canadian Ragweed will open the show. Tickets are $18.

  • Sunday, Aug. 14: Classic Rock group REO Speedwagon returns to the grandstand. Their performance at the 2000 Illinois State Fair with Styx sold over 11,000 tickets. They will be joined at the state fair by Cheap Trick and Head East. Tickets are $18.

  • Monday, Aug. 15, and Tuesday, Aug. 16: Visitors will enjoy evening harness racing at the fair. Tentative post time is 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 17: The Illinois State Fair presents Velvet Revolver, with Scott Weiland, lead vocals; Slash, guitar; Duff McKagan, bass; Matt Sorum, drums; and Dave Kushner, guitar. They are touring arenas in connection with their platinum-plus debut "Contraband" album, featuring the Grammy Award-winning and No. 1 rock single "Slither," as well as the band's other No. 1 rock hit, "Fall To Pieces," plus their blazing new single, "Dirty Little Thing." "Contraband" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart, selling over 250,000 copies. Newsweek describes the band as "truly explosive," and Maxim says, "Slash and Scott Weiland bring unpredictability back to rock." Tickets are $30, $25 and $20 for reserved grandstand seats and $30 for the track area in front of the stage.

  • Friday, Aug. 19: Award-winning country music artist Brad Paisley will perform on the grandstand stage. Paisley walked away from the 2005 CMA Awards with Best Collaborative Video of the Year for "Whisky Lullaby," with Alison Krauss. His most recent album, "Mud on the Tires," has reached double platinum status, and the title track song is Paisley's fourth No. 1 hit. County music trio SHeDAISY will open the show. Tickets are $22.50, $17.50 and $15 for reserved grandstand seats and $22.50 for the track area in front of the stage.

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  • Saturday, Aug. 20: Simple Plan will take the stage. Their recently released album "Still Not Getting Any…" has sold millions of copies and features hit songs including "Shut Up!" "Me Against the World" and "Untitled (How Could This Happen to Me?)." The group has shared the stage with everyone from Rancid to Aerosmith, made appearances on the Vans Warped Tour for three years running (two as headliners) and has been nominated for four MTV Video Music Awards. Jesse McCartney will open the show. Tickets are $27.50, $22.50 and $17.50 for reserved grandstand seats and $27.50 for the track area in front on the stage.

  • Sunday, Aug. 21: The grandstand entertainment concludes with a free concert by the Illinois Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m.

Presale tickets will be available through Ticketmaster by phone and Internet starting April 30, and sales open at all Ticketmaster locations May 14. Presale tickets can also be purchased on the Web at To order presale tickets by phone, call 1 (800) 827-8927 or TTY 1 (800) 359-2525. The state fair ticket office will open June 4.

Grandstand schedule and prices
(Date, performers, reserved tickets, track tickets)

  • Aug. 12 -- Rascal Flatts, Blake Shelton, $27.50-22.50-17.50, $27.50
  • Aug. 13 -- Lynyrd Skynyrd, Cross Canadian Ragweed, $18, $18
  • Aug. 14 -- REO, Cheap Trick, Head East, $18, $18
  • Aug. 15 -- Evening harness racing, free admission
  • Aug. 16 -- Evening harness racing, free admission
  • Aug. 17 -- Velvet Revolver, $30-25-20, $30
  • Aug. 18 -- Tractor Pulls, $10-5
  • Aug. 19 -- Brad Paisley, SHeDAISY, $22.50-17.50-15.00, $22.50
  • Aug. 20 -- Simple Plan, Jesse McCartney, $27.50-22.50-17.50, $27.50
  • Aug. 21 -- Illinois Symphony, free admission

*All artists above have approved this announcement; however, concerts are subject to contracts being finalized.

[Illinois State Fair news release]

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