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NY State Fair to stagger start times for evening concerts

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Chevy Court

Chicago performs at Chevy Court in September 2016. 

Chevy Court or Chevy Park? Next year, New York State Fair attendees won't have to choose. 

The fair announced Monday that concerts at Chevy Court will begin at 6 p.m. The decision, according to a news release, will allow fairgoers to attend both major evening concerts at Chevy Court and the fair's Chevy Park venue on the west end of the fairgrounds. 

The change is based on feedback from fairgoers. When booking headliners for evening shows at Chevy Court and Chevy Park, State Fair Director Troy Waffner told The Citizen that they sought to counterprogram the acts. For example, they could put a country music artist on one stage and a rock group on another. Waffner said they thought by counterprogramming the concerts they would draw different audiences. 

"But you can't believe the number of people who said to me, 'We don't care. We don't even care if we like it. It's a free show and we want to see them both,'" Waffner added. 

For the 2021 fair, evening concerts at Chevy Court were held at 7 p.m., while Chevy Park had its headliners perform at 8 p.m. The fair's lineup for both stages was diverse. At Chevy Court, rock group Dropkick Murphys, country duo LOCASH and rock band Three Dog Night were among the performers. Chevy Park hosted singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge, hip-hop artist Nelly and The Beach Boys, a legendary rock band. 

Now, there will be more time between the evening concerts to give fairgoers a chance to see the two shows. 

"I think it will allow us to really draw some big acts to both venues, which will be good for the vendors that are on Chevy Court and the vendors out toward the western edge of the fairgrounds," Waffner said. 

The fair announced its first concert for the 2022 event. Art of Rap, which will feature Ice-T and co-founder Mick Benzo, will perform at 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, at Chevy Park. 

Other Art of Rap performers include host Boogie Black and DJ Kevie Kev Rockwell. The concert is free with fair admission. 

The concert is scheduled for the second night of the fair, which begins Aug. 24, 2022, and runs through Sept. 5. Gov. Kathy Hochul ended the one-year experiment with an 18-day fair and decided to return to a 13-day schedule beginning in 2022. 

Online producer Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.


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Online producer and politics reporter

I have been The Citizen's online producer and politics reporter since December 2009. I'm the author of the Eye on NY blog and write the weekly Eye on NY column that appears every Sunday in the print edition of The Citizen and online at

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