Fairgrounds to host six drive-in country concerts this month

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By Matt Nagle

matt@tacomaweekly.com

With COVID-19 forcing everyone to stay separated, and causing a temporary halt to going out for a movie, concert of any such event, the Washington State Fair is not being deterred. From July 16-19, the Fair is hosting its first-ever drive-in concert series.

Harkening back to days past when drive-in entertainment was a very popular pastime, these days it has taken on a whole new meaning but remains a great way to gather up family and friends to get out of the house for a while in the safety and comfort of your own vehicle. Guests will enjoy great music and Fair food favorites while under the stars enjoying our incomparable Northwest summer. 

Featuring six country acts, the concert line-up is:

July 16, 7 p.m. – Aaron Crawford with Dusty Slay: Blending classic country with his Seattle rock influences, Crawford’s charismatic live performance, honed from more than 1,000 shows and three studio albums, instantly converts the casual listener to a fan. Slay’s positive, observational comedy and distinctive, relatable point of view have made him a fast-rising comedian and the youngest comedian to ever perform at the legendary Grand Ole Opry. 

July 17, 7 p.m. – Jimmie Allen: This American singer/songwriter has gained a lot of attention in a very short time, having released his first album, “Mercury Lane,” in 2018. His first official single from the album, “Best Shot,” in its first week was the second most-added song to country music radio playlists. “Best Shot” reached the number one position on Country Airplay, making Allen the first black artist to send his debut single to the top of that chart.

July 18, 1 p.m. – Country Artist Tribute featuring Kenny Chesney and Eric Church: Two powerhouse country artists team up to honor the legends.

July 18, 7 p.m. – Country Trio: Bryan White, James Otto and Lila McCann: In 1994, White released his self-titled debut album when he was just 20 years old and his second album, “Between Now and Forever,” in 1996, both reaching certified platinum status. Since then he has charted 17 singles on the Billboard country charts. Otto’s second album, 2008’s “Sunset Man,” included his first #1 hit and #1 Billboard single “Just Got Started Lovin’ You.” Puyallup born and bred McCann made her debut at age 16, charting on Billboard’s Hot Country Singles with “Down Came a Blackbird,” and since then she has charted 12 singles and the certified gold album “Something in the Air.”

July 19, 1 p.m. – Chris Bandi: Bandi made his debut in 2016 with the chart-topping single “Man Enough Now,” which quickly reached more than 1 million streams on Spotify. His self-titled debut EP dropped in May, showcasing Bandi’s range from good-time tunes to emotionally charged tracks. 

July 19, 7 p.m. – Mitch Rossell: Newcomer Rossell’s prolific songwriting and unique artistry have brought him fans all around the world. Opening shows for Garth Brooks with just his acoustic guitar, fans were thrilled when Brooks recorded Rossell’s song “Ask Me How I Know” and it became Brooks’ first #1 single since 2007. Rossell is working on new material for an album to be released later this year.

All concerts will be held in the fairground’s Green Lot; enter off of Fairview Avenue between 5thand 15thstreets on the west side of the grounds. General admission is $80 per vehicle (four passengers) plus a $12 processing and order fee. Up to four additional passengers can be added for $20 each, with no more than eight passengers per car, each with a legal seatbelt. Youth ages 3 and under get in free. Reserved premium parking is $120 per vehicle (four passengers) plus a $12 processing and order fee, and includes admission for up to four passengers per vehicle.Maximum vehicle length is 17 feet. No alcohol is allowed, and smoking is permitted only in vehicles.

Learn more and get tickets at www.thefair.com/drive-in-concerts.

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