Just 50 days before opening, the Minnesota State Fair finally announced its grandstand lineup Wednesday. Of course, the fair didn't greenlight its return after the COVID-19 hiatus until June 11.
The lineup features one of country music's hottest names, Maren Morris; a movie star who sings, Kevin Costner; a DJ duo who were hitmakers in the 2010s, the Chainsmokers; a pop-jazz group with a Minnesota-influenced moniker, Lake Street Dive; as well as a string of oldies including TLC, the Spinners and George Thorogood.
Also included are four carry-overs from 2020's scotched fair, including country faves Miranda Lambert and Tim McGraw plus rock stalwarts the Doobie Brothers (with Michael McDonald back in the lineup).
All but one of the grandstand concerts were booked when the State Fair announced its return last month after the pandemic pause, but officials wanted to wait to share information about all the shows. In previous years, the fair has announced some acts as they are booked or the full lineup in June.
Obviously, this year's fair — and last year's canceled event — presented challenges because of the pandemic. Renee Alexander, deputy general manager, stopped booking grandstand concerts in May 2020.
"Once restrictions were lifted, I pressed the gas pedal on booking," she said. "I did lose two of the seven that were originally booked due to scheduling conflicts."
The returnees from 2020's roster are State Fair veterans. This will be the sixth grandstand appearance for McGraw, the second for Lambert and the third for the Doobies, who were inducted last year into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Here is the full grandstand lineup for 2021:
Miranda Lambert and Lindsay Ell, Aug. 26, $40-$65, on sale now.
Maren Morris, Aug. 27, $40-$65, on sale July 21.
Lake Street Dive, Low Cut Connie and Kiss the Tiger, Aug. 28, $28-$38, on sale July 14.
TLC, Shaggy and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Aug. 29, $37-$57, on sale July 21.
The Spinners, Little Anthony & the Imperials and the Grass Roots, Aug. 30, $31, on sale July 14.
Doobie Brothers and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Aug. 31, $50-$65, on sale now.
Tim McGraw and Midland, Sept. 1, $60-$88, on sale now.
The Chainsmokers and Gashi, Sept. 2, $50-$70, on sale July 14.
Kevin Costner (music, movie and conversation) and Modern West, Sept. 3, $25-$75, on sale July 21.
George Thorogood & the Destroyers and Night Ranger, Sept. 4, $36-$46, on sale July 21.
Amateur Talent Contest finals, Sept. 5, free.
Darci Lynne and the Okee Dokee Brothers, Sept. 6, $25, on sale now.
Tickets are available at etix.com and 1-800-514-3849.
Twitter: @JonBream • 612-673-1719