The Utah State Fair kicks off this Thursday, Sept. 9, and among all the fuzzy farm animals, diverting carny attractions, rodeo-goin’ and fair food, there’s also a ton of music to catch while you’re there. Below is a round-up of acts slated for the 10 roaring days of the fair, so you can find just the act to suit your taste, among the dozens and dozens of great folks filling the Fairpark with music. All music at the fair is included with the cost of admission, unless otherwise noted.
Kicking off With Country. While the first days of the fest are filled out by jazz and swing from folks like Arran “The Arrangement” Jones, the Jake Dreier Trio (Sept. 9) and some experimental electronic pop from Southernmost Gravy, the closing acts of the first few days of the fair are all rockin’ country. Blasted Past and Stephanie Dana set the tone for the West-wandering wild bunch Jana & The Rebels to close out the first day of the fair. On the following night of Sept. 10, classic rock originals and covers will be delivered by the BD Howes Band, followed by rising homegrown country star Whitney Lusk; local-famous bands Ginger & The Gents and Jagertown close out the night with their signature rollicking sounds.
‘Billy Tunes and a Vintage Beat. As the festival settles into itself, festival-goers can look forward to a series of humble daytime acts of the country, folk and bluegrass varieties, or by way of the 50+ member community effort of the Murray Concert Band (Sept. 11). There’s the Utah Old Time Fiddlers that same day, plus the acoustics of Corner Street Band, followed by the rockabilly and hillbilly Western swing efforts of Lean Canteen and the 1940s-focused tunes of The Benson Sisters. The night will be closed by fellow vintage rock gals Mothers of Mayhem, whose riffs are as tight as their pin curls, and Riding Gravity, another mid-century rockabilly outfit. Sept. 12 will continue with much of the same: Picky Out the Stingers bring bluegrass, country and honky-tonk, as does closer Mars Highway, and Slim Chance & His Psycho-Billy Playboys live up to their name. Then on Sept. 13 and 14, Utah Slim & The Desert Poets bring their desert-minded ruminations to join in on the Western fun, alongside blues from Vintage Overdrive and Americana from Dead Cowboys.
The Bullfrog Concert Series. In the middle of the usual fair happenings, there’s also the Bullfrog Concert Series, which kicks off on Tuesday, Sept. 14 with a performance by two legendary bands, Styx and REO Speedwagon. This Bullfrog Concert Series show and those that follow are not included in the cost of entrance to the fair, though, and tickets for the first one are $39 – $169. The Days of ’47 Arena debut will be followed by a performance by Jon Pardi the next night, on Wednesday, Sept. 15, which is $39 – $59. The third musical performance rounding out the Bullfrog Concert Series is Nelly on Thursday, Sept. 16, and tickets for that range from $35 – $55. Tickets to the Bullfrog Concert Series, however, do include admission to the fair, making this one hell of a two-fer.
Mixed Bag Middle Days. The next few days are a mixed bag of genres: There’s rock with mid-day performances by DeNovo (Sept. 15), Michael Barrow & The Tourists and Scarlet Rain (Sept. 17), pop from Lavi$h (Sept. 16) and EIXO (Sept. 17) and country from JD & the Brass Saddle Band, Pistol Rock (Sept. 15) and Columbia Jones & the Harpoons (Sept. 17). These three days are the days to visit if your attending group is also a mixed bag of interests and tastes. There’ll be something for everyone spread out between the South Plaza Stage and the Gazebo Stage, from the day ’til the night.
Farewell to the Fair Days. The fair concludes with just a few acts over its last two days, Sept. 18 – 19. On Saturday, Sept. 18, things start off late in the day with solo singer and songwriter Kristen Beckwith, who will open things up for the band Vann Moon, formerly known as The Tasty Snakes. Then comes a double header, with Intravenus and the Cosmonauts performing on the South Plaza Stage at 9:30 p.m., and local country singer Steven Bosco performing his originals on the Gazebo Stage at the same time. Sunday, Sept. 19 will feature a rousing set by the Scottish Festival Performers in the morning until the late afternoon, whose vigor will be tempered back down to a casual vibe by soloist Katie Angie. Closing out the fair will be the local country boys, The Fox Brothers Band, performing at the South Plaza Stage at 9 p.m.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, and there are many, many acts filling out all of the hours of each day the fair goes on. Make sure to visit utahstatefair.com for a full list of performers with dates, times and stage locations.