Doobie Brothers, Thompson Square highlight Western Idaho Fair grandstand lineup

It’s not just the 75-degree weather. Summer really is near. Why else would the Western Idaho Fair reveal its grandstand music lineup?

Over the years, the fair experimented before settling on the current ticketing model: free. Free is advantageous for two reasons. First of all, it means you don’t have to pay anything besides the fair’s modest general-admission gate price to see concerts. Very cool. Secondly, it means you can’t whine about the entertainment, because if you’re not paying for it, you can’t criticize it. (Unless you’re a total curmudgeon, of course.)

That said, what’s your opinion on this summer’s lineup?

  • Aug. 21: The Doobie Brothers (The obvious people’s choice; they were a smash at the fair in 2010.)

A significant difference about this year’s lineup is that there are two fewer concerts — at least so far. We’ll see if they’re cutting back, or if a couple more trickle out eventually. (I have no idea. The fair doesn’t send us a press release announcing shows anymore. I got the information from the website, just like you.)

Here are rough attendance numbers from the last year’s grandstand shows, which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that if it’s free, they will come. (Nine-freaking-thousand for Foreigner?): 2,500 for Los Cuates de Sinaloa; 4,000 for Kutless; 9,000 for Foreigner; 3,500 for The Guess Who; 9,000 for Brantley Gilbert and 6,500 for Clay Walker.

Michael Deeds is the Idaho Statesman’s entertainment columnist and Scene magazine editor. His column runs Fridays and Sundays. He appears on the 6 p.m. broadcast of "Today's 6 News" on Thursdays and hosts a music show, "The Other Studio," from 9-10 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.

Posted in Words & Deeds