SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A stellar Grandstand
entertainment line-up is being assembled for the 2013
Illinois State Fair.  State Fair Manager Amy
Bliefnick today announced additional concert bookings
for the August festival, including performances by
The Band Perry, Billy Currington, Gary Allan,
Thompson Square, Styx and REO Speedwagon.

“The progress that has been made is exciting,”
Bliefnick said.  “Coupled with the previously
announced booking of country superstar Toby Keith and
the return of the Million Dollar Quartet, we are well
on the way to delivering the kind of top-notch
entertainment that fairgoers have come to expect.”

Currington, a country singer and songwriter, has ten
Top 10 hits to his credit, including six number ones.
His signature song, “People Are Crazy,” earned him
Grammy nominations in 2010 for Best Male Country
Vocal Performance and Best Country Song.  He will
open the Grandstand entertainment Aug. 9.

The Aug. 10 show will feature Illinois-based classic
rock as Styx, REO Speedwagon and Head East share the
stage.  Styx, which got its start in Chicago, was the
first band to ever release four consecutive
multi-platinum albums.  It is best known for such
rock standards as “Come Sail Away,” “Renegade,” “Blue
Collar Man” and “Fooling Yourself.”  REO Speedwagon
has sold more than 40 million albums and recorded 13
Top-40 singles in its illustrious career.  Like Head
East, which gained notoriety in the 1970s with the
release of the hit single “Never Been Any Reason,”
the group hails from Champaign.

The cast of Million Dollar Quartet will give a free
concert Monday, Aug. 12.  The musical, which
currently is running at the Apollo Theater in
Chicago, was inspired by the famed 1956 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.  New Odyssey, a
talented trio that plays 30 different instruments
during its show, will open for the Million Dollar



The Band Perry, comprised of siblings Kimberly, Neil
and Reid Perry, will perform Aug. 13.  Their
self-titled, platinum, debut album charted five hits,
including the number one singles “All Your Life” and
“If I Die Young.  “Better Dig Two,” the first single
off the group’s soon-to-be-released sophomore CD, has
soared to the top of the charts as well, giving the
red-hot band three number one singles in just two

Acclaimed country artist Gary Allan and Thompson
Square, the Academy of Country Music’s reigning Top
Vocal Duo, will headline a concert Aug. 16 that also
features rising stars Frankie Ballard, The Farm and
Brushfire.  Allan, whose 17-year recording career has
produced four gold and three platinum albums, just
recently charted his fourth number one hit, “Every
Storm (Runs Out of Rain).”  The song is the first
single on his new album, “Set You Free.”  Thompson
Square also has a single racing up the charts.  “If I
Didn’t Have You” is the initial release off the duo’s
second album, “Just Feels Good.”  Thompson Square is
best known for its number one smash “Are You Gonna
Kiss Me or Not.”

The new concert bookings were announced during a
preview party on the fairgrounds to begin a six-month
countdown to the fair.  The event also included the
unveiling of the 2013 Illinois State Fair theme,
“Where Illinois Comes Together.”

“‘Where Illinois Comes Together’ captures the essence
of the fair perfectly,” Agriculture Director Bob
Flider said.  “The Illinois State Fair is a wonderful
celebration of our state’s people, culture and
agricultural heritage, and for 160 years Illinoisans
from all walks of life have come together to
demonstrate their talents, exhibit the products of
their hard work and, of course, enjoy the fair’s
attractions and family entertainment.”

The 2013 fair will begin Thursday, Aug. 8, and
continue through Sunday, Aug. 18.  Tickets for the
Aug. 14 Toby Keith concert will go on sale Saturday,
Feb. 9, beginning at 10 a.m. They can be purchased
online at, by calling 1-800-745-3000
or by visiting any Ticketmaster outlet.  Sales dates
for the other shows will be announced soon.


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