The Big Fresno Fair has a hard task putting together its annual concert lineup at the Paul Paul Theatre. Locking down 14 touring acts on 12 consecutive days seems like a logistical nightmare. Added to that, the fair makes it a mission to find entertainment that appeals to the diverse crowds streaming through the gates each day.
The result of the work can be seen in this year’s lineup. Here are the performers through Week 1.
▪ Cole Swindell, 7 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 5: The fair kicks off its entertainment lineup with a night of country music from Swindell, who’s single “Middle of a Memory,” was released earlier this year. Swindell is a baseball-cap-wearing country singer who fits into the current crop of artists like Dierks Bentley. In fact, Swindell will join Bentley on his just announced What the Hell tour next year. Tickets: $25-$33.
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▪ Jason Derulo, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6: You may have seen Derulo on television. The singer/dancer was a musical guest on “Dancing With the Stars” and a judge on “So You Think You Can Dance.” He also starred as himself on the Fox series “Empire.” As a singer, Derulo has had a string of popular singles including “Whatcha Say” and “Ridin’ Solo.” Tickets: $40-$45.
▪ The Cult, 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7: The fair is pretty good at booking at least one solid rock band each year. For 2016, we get the Ian Ashbury-fronted English goth-rock band The Cult, whom some may have seen this summer opening for the reunited Guns and Roses, or more recently playing one last show at Irvine Meadows, the popular amphitheater venue in Orange Country. The band is best known for the Rick Rubin-produced 1987 album “Electric.” Tickets: $28-$35.
▪ Gabriel Iglesias, 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8: The stand-up comedian has played the fair for the past three years to sold-out crowds. That should tell you most of what you need to know about the fair’s one comedy night. Tickets: $33-$38.
▪ Daya, noon, Sunday, Oct. 9: This is the first of two early weekend shows that cater to the fair’s younger, popcentric crowd (Disney star Olivia Holt plays Saturday, Oct. 15). Daya herself is only 17 and already an emerging star, according to the 50 million streams on Spotify and her Top 10 spot on the iTunes pop chart. “The Today Show’s” Elvis Duran named Daya an Artist to Watch last year. The singer’s debut album is out Friday, Oct. 7. Ticket: $10-$15.
▪ Banda MS, 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9: This concert was getting a ton of hype even before it was officially announced. The16-member Banda MS formed in Sinaloa, Mexico, in 2003 and has become an introduction to banda music for many bilingual millennials, which might explain its album “Que Bendicion” landing on Billboard’s Top 200. It topped Billboard’s Latin album’s chart. Tickets: $35-$100.
▪ Marie Osmond, 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10: This is a throwback show. Osmond is probably best known for her television work with her brother Donny in the 1970s or her solo career. That said, the 56-year-old has remained in the public eye and continued to release music and perform. The title track from her latest album, “Music Is Medicine,” was released earlier this year and is a fun and inspiring piece of pop music. Tickets $25-$35.
▪ MercyMe, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11: Local Christian rock fans are no doubt familiar with MercyMe, one of the most popular bands in the genre. It also founded the wildly popular Rock & Worship Roadshow and has played the concert six of the past seven years its been at the Save Mart Center. Tickets: $15-$20.
▪ Three Dog Night, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12: Throwback show number two. This is for fans of ’70s radio rock, funk and soul music. Three Dog night fairly ruled the radio at the time, with close to two dozen top 40 hits. “Joy to the World” is probably the most recognizable. Also on the bill for the night is the jazz-rock fusion band Blood Sweat & Tears, which recently brought on “American Idol” competitor Bo Bice for vocals. Blood Sweat and Tears had a few radio hits of its own including “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” and “Spinning Wheel.” Tickets: $21-$28.
▪ The Offspring, 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13: Part of the ’90s punk revival that included Green Day and Blink-182 (which plays Thursday, Oct. 6 at the at the Save Mart Center), The Offspring had a string of snotty sing-along hits – “Come Out and Play,” “Self Esteem.” Those in the scene will remember the band’s 2001 concert at Fresno’s Rainbow Ballroom. It was pretty epic and included a cameo from Jello Biafra. Tickets: $33-$38.