The Great New York State Fair – There Is a Reason It’s Called “Great”

This year’s Great New York State Fair is adding up to be one spectacular event with headlining shows at the Grandstand and Chevy Court venues, while the regional stages offer a diverse mix for music lovers of all genres. Taking place for 12 days and nights – August 21-September 1, 2014.

The Great NY State Fair is appropriately named as Syracuse, NY was the site of the nations very first State Fair back in 1841. The fair traveled for the next 47 years amongst New York State cities until finding its final home in Syracuse in 1890; when the Syracuse Land Co. donated its current 100 acre property. Originally held to promote agricultural improvement and local farm and home, the fair has evolved over the years to feature not only these items, but also to promote both local musicians and national musicians as they celebrate traditional customs and cultures of regional areas and attract families to the event. In 1972, Sonny & Cher’s performance broke all concert attendance records, holding the record until 2009 when Shinedown’s concert of 15,000 strong exceeded the record, only to be ousted once again in 2011 when Bruno Mars drew more than 35,000 concert goers to Chevy Court. Can any acts beat that attendance record this year? It could happen I believe with the stellar line up being offered.

In addition to multitude of fair like attractions; i.e. livestock, carnival rides, competitions for home-made goods and wares, and of course fried everything, the New York State Fair also offers five stages throughout the fairgrounds featuring the most diverse collection of music and entertainment for all attendees.  The State Fair Grandstand is the largest venue hosting the powerhouse performers and events each evening, while Chevy Court is an attendee favorite as huge acts come to perform for the fairgoers free of charge right inside the main gates twice a day. The Midway Music Series features acts on the west side of the fairgrounds over by the Midway carnival rides showcasing national and regional performers of all sorts throughout the entire day, while the Regional Artists Variety Stage features special regional artists and acts from our great state. The Empire Theater Stage is located inside at the Art & Home Center and features a multitude of talent from special speakers, to performers, and dancers all day long inside the cover of the Art & Home Center Building.

NYS Music Music Guide will be there throughout the week to highlight as many shows as possible for our readers. With acts all over the grounds at the same time, our team will try to bring to you a diverse mix of national, regional, and local entertainment throughout the week with sneak peek photos, social media uploads, and a full review of shows, interviews, and photo galleries we are able to document.

Overview of  Venue Lineups

Grandstands – For dates, times, and ticket information please go online to

Brad Paisley/Randy Houser/Leah Turner/Charlie Worsham – This amazing line up has been touring this summer bringing down the house in venues all over the nation.  Each one of these acts are favorites in country music and to have all four together is a real treat and a must see lineup for everyone.  Brad Paisley shreds like a rock star, Randy Houser still has me floored with how he showed up at Taste of Country after his bus broke down and did the most amazing acoustic set I have ever seen, while Leah Turner rocks the stage like a country superstar, and one of the most loved new artists Charlie Worsham gives so much back to his fans that it’s no wonder he’s a fan favorite.

Carrie Underwood – Super excited to have this sensational powerhouse here this year.  One of the first to be announced, the anticipation of her arrival performing at the Grandstands mounts daily.

Journey/Cheap Trick – Both amazing rock and roll bands, their music spans generations of fans bringing to Central NY one amazing rock show.  These bands are timeless and it is bound to be packed.
Uproar – Entire Lineup of Bands was featured in NYS Music ‘s recent preview article.  Have you seen it yet?  This will be one full day of energy and mayhem. Mark my words.

Train/Wallflowers – Having Train and the Wallflowers together totally is mind-blowing and has me in high anticipation of this show as these two Grammy award-winning groups will absolute blow the roof off the stage. Can’t wait. Forget San Franciso, just save me.

Jason Aldean/Florida Georgia Line/Tyler Farr -Wow is all I can say about this trio of acts.  Some of the biggest names in country music on the stage on the same night?  Each should be headlining their own shows, and together they are a winning trifecta. Definite winning bet.

Kid Rock with Big Smo – This multi talented musician has made leaps across genres bringing to audiences everywhere an amazing eclectic sound.  Opening with Big Smo, who is categorized as an american country rap musician, what an awesome combo.

Pitbull – The 315 can’t wait to welcome the 305 to the state fair this year as this international superstar fires up the stage at the fair.

CHEVY COURT – for dates and times please go online to

Jason Derulo – Can he possibly break the record set in 2011? I’m betting on this one.

Kellie Pickler – Opening the stage for the first show, this country superstar will get this party started.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – Nothing is cooler than a rocking chick with a guitar, and Joan Jett is the epitome of rock and roll.

Angie Johnson – Up and coming country artist Angie Johnson is best known as part of Cee Lo Green’s team on The Voice, but what makes this young lady so special is her dedication to her country as part of our military.

Eli Young Band – This highly popular country band has been topping the charts over the past eight years, and for those who have not had a chance to experience the  Eli Young Band, you are in for a treat.

Uncle Kracker – Hugely popular country musician, Uncle Kracker is one of those musicians that can leap across genres with the ease of spiderman.  Love that voice.

MKTO – These two young men share their talents in not only stage but screen.  Emerging pop duo hit the charts already with “Classic”, can’t wait to see what else is on their new album.

Phillip Phillips – Hard to believe Phillip Phillips just won Idol only two years ago.  Since that time he’s released two albums hitting the charts and making his way in the business as a veteran now.

Barenaked Ladies – This Canadian rock band certainly has a way of bringing to life their music in a fun-loving, quick quitted, fast paced manner, that makes it fun to experience.

Smash Mouth – California-based rock band, Smash Mouth has a unique way of bringing to life covers as well as their own original music that has an effect on your feet that can’t stop them moving around in time to the music.  Strange…very strange.

The Bacon Brothers – Okay, who’s with me on this one?….Is there anything better than Bacon?  Okay maybe two of them then.  I stand corrected.

Sean Kingston – This dynamic Jamaican based musician brings the tropics together with the asphalt jungle mixing music in a way that moves his audiences.

Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone – Original lead vocalist will bring audience members back to their 60’s roots with hits such as “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” and “There’s A Kind of Hush”

Bowser’s Rock and Roll Party – Like to travel back to the ’50s Bowser certainly has a way of transporting you with his Rock and Roll Party

Night Ranger – Turning the volume back up with Night Ranger is just what the audience will love as they belt out hits such as “Sister Christian”

Chef Anne Burrell – Originally from the central New York region (Cazenovia), it’s a pleasure to welcome back Food Network host and great Chef Anne Burrell.

The Neighbourhood – It’s fitting to have the band who plays “Sweater Weather” come to upstate NY and share their talents. We promise to keep it cool without the need for any sweaters.

Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes – Jersey based rock group, this band has been making music with the likes of Steve Van Zandt and the Boss and Jon Bon Jovi over the years.

Bell Biv Devoe – When talking about R&B and Hip Hop in the 90’s you can’t help but think of Bell Biv Devoe.  Again, it does something to your feet, where twitching begins and movement takes over.

John Kay & Steppenwolf – Classic rock at it’s best, these guys were “Born to Be Wild” and CNY is ready to be wild right along with them.

The Doobie Brothers – No introduction is needed for this group.  This group is considered timeless rock, and deservedly so.

As you meander around the fairgrounds don’t forget to stop in at the Region Artists Variety Stage, The Midway Music Stage, and the Empire Stages to get a taste of local and regional music and performers. Looking to see dancers, don’t miss the Ukrainian Dancers, the Irish Dancers, or the Cloggers. For a special treat this year you can see the contestants from The Voice, three of the original Brady Bunch children, ice carving demonstrations, comedians from Chelsea Lately, a hypnotist, favorites from The Amazing Race and Big Brother, and variety of instrumentalists. As for music, there is something for everyone from Caribbean and Latin acts of One Black Voice and Panigma Steel Drum Bands, and Grupo Pagan, to Polka with Fritz’s Polka Band.  You’ll have Indian music with Veena & Devesh, and Folk/Americana Music with Mark Zane, Dark Hollow, Ruddy Well Band, and Big Eyed Phish.   If Country is more your thing fans will see John Anderson with Logan Brill  and Morgan Frazier, and newcomer Shannon Marie. For those into Hard-Rock/Rock  you’ll love Afterburn, Pacinello, Young The Giant, 4 Point 0, Mo Chester, and Action Item.  For a diverse mix, don’t miss these other regional favorites – Ferguson & Rogers, Margo Macero, Wagner Inc., Two Hour Delay, Ashley Allen with the Goonies, Cold Sweat Roc, Jenna Renae, Action Item, Bill Schmitt & The Bluesmasters, Until It’s Over There, Merry Mischief, Cash, Chris Dukes Band, Anthony Gargiula & The AG Dance Crew, Jason J., Megan & Liz With Heyday, The Lake Effect, the Rick Short Band, and Michael & Anjela Lynn featuring the Talented Ones.

To find out more information about specials each day at the fair, purchasing tickets online, maps and directions, vendors, or schedule of events and competitions, please visit the Great New York State Fair webpage.

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