Just in time for the start of fair season in the Central Valley, The Big Fresno Fair announces the first wave of artists for its concert series, which kicks off Wednesday, Oct. 5.
It’s a diverse grab-bag of artists that hits three of the fair’s go-to genres – hip-hop, country and contemporary Christian music.
There’s also comedy.
“Every year we strive to make our entertainment lineup match the diverse musical tastes of our Fairgoers and we are definitely off to a great start!” the fair’s CEO John C. Alkire, said in a release announcing the performers.
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Here’s a look at the lineup so far:
▪ Cole Swindell (Wednesday, Oct. 5): The fair kicks off the concert series with a country up-and-comer. As in: American Country Music’s new artist of the year in 2014. As in: Five No. 1 songs on the hot country songs charts, including “You Should Be Here.” Tickets: $25-$33.
▪ Gabriel Iglesias (Saturday, Oct. 8): This is a no-brainer of a booking. The comedian –Fluffy to his fans – is returning for his fourth year at the fair. It will likely be his forth sold-out performance. Tickets $33-38.
▪ Marie Osmond (Monday, Oct. 10): Osmond is that rare breed of musician; a complete entertainer. She’s known for his music, (1973’s “Paper Roses”) but for his roles on television (the ABC variety show “Donny and Marie”) and theater. Her most Osmond recent album, “Music Is Medicine,” was released in April and was No. 8 on iTunes country albums chart. Tickets $25-$35.
▪ MercyMe (Tuesday, Oct. 11): One of the most popular bands to emerge out of the contemporary Christian music scene, MercyMe is no stranger to Fresno. The Texas band founded the ultra popular Rock & Worship Roadshow, and has played the concert six of the last seven years its been at the Save Mart Center. Tickets: $15-$20.
▪ Big & Rich (Friday, Oct. 14): The country duo is known for their over-the-top on-stage personalities and the 2004 hit “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy).” To get a real sense of the pair: They recently joined Joe Jonas’ band DNCE onstage in Nashville to perform “Cake by the Ocean.” Big & Rich were in the area last year at the annual Jugfest concert. Tickets $30-$35.
▪ Flo Rida (Saturday, Oct. 15): The Florida rapper had a smash with the 2008 single “Low,” which featuring T-Pain and hit the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. Flo Rida has collaborated with pop singers like Sia, Kesha, Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga (and also the rock band Nickleback). Earlier this month, it was announced the rapper would remix his hit “Hello Friday” for the ESPN for the network’s baseball coverage this season. Tickets: $31-$38.
Tickets for all shows will go on sale, 9 a.m. Monday, Aug. 15. Big Fair Fan Club members will be able to get tickets, online only, 9 a.m. Monday Aug. 1 to 11:49 p.m. Sunday Aug. 14.
Expect another round of artists to be announced next month.