Two nights of grandstand music helped to propel the Jackson County Fair to record-breaking attendance this year, so they’re repeating it in 2019.
Fair officials announced their grandstand lineup, including Friday and Saturday night’s musical entertainment for the fair, which runs July 23-28.
Vince Neil and Hells Bells top the bill for rock night July 26.
Country singer Kip Moore takes the stage after Canadian country duo High Valley for country night July 27.
Tickets for both concerts, as well as Night of Destruction, are for sale now.
Continuing from last year, the fair kicks off with a parade Tuesday and free fair admission. The fair board hired the comedy stunt show act Tumbleweed Crossing to entertain fairgoers in front of the stage that evening.
The truck and tractor pull returns to Wednesday night in front of the grandstand.
“It worked out well for us last year,” Fair Manager Lanny Simpson said.
Stock car races maintain their Thursday night timeslot, and Trackside Promotions’ Nick McCrady returns to operate stock car affairs this year.
Hells Bells will kick of rock music night at 7:30 p.m. July 26, bringing to life the music of AC/DC. The tribute band formed in 1994 and has performed more than 1,500 shows across Canada and the United States. “Rolling Stone” magazine called Hells Bells the best AC/DC cover band performing.
With his long, blond hair and shrieking falsetto, Neil, 57, is perhaps best known as the front man for 1980s rock band Motley Crue. The band is known for such songs as “Girls Girls Girls” and “Dr. Feelgood,” among others. Neil will be singing all the Motley Crue classics, Simpson said.
In 1993, Neil debuted his first solo album at No. 13 on the Billboard charts. He also delved into acting roles and multiple business ventures, including various bars and a gentlemen’s club. While those didn’t pan out, he started Las Vegas tattoo parlor Vince Neil Ink, a line of tequila, and the West Palm Beach restaurant Dr. Feelgood’s Bar and Grill.
High Valley opens country music night at the fair July 27 at 7:30 p.m. The duo consists of brothers Brad and Curtis Rempel, whose voices harmonize seamlessly, especially when they show their bluegrass roots. Their radio hits include “She’s With Me” and “Make You Mine.”
Moore is a 38-year-old country singer and songwriter born in Georgia.
“As far as I know of, he’s not related to any of the Moores living around here,” Simpson said, laughing.
The radio release of his second track, “Somethin’ ’Bout a Truck,” in 2011 launched his career, hitting No. 1 on the Billboard country charts.
The raspy-voiced singer’s other hits include “Beer Money,” “Hey Pretty Girl,” “I’m to Blame,” “More Girls Like You,” and his current single, “Last Shot.”
Simpson said pleasing the most fairgoers is an ever-moving target.
“We throw names [of entertainers] out there that we want to see and whomever signs the contracts first is who we get,” Simpson explained. “We look at who’s available, who’s in our price range, and is it a good fit for our Maquoketa-Jackson County-Eastern Iowa area. You have to play that game every time — who’s going to be the best fit.”
General fair admission costs $12 per night per person and pays for one seat in the side wings of the grandstand. Fairgoers who want a front-and-center view can reserve a seat in the main grandstand for $10 or a party pit pass to stand in front of the stage for $29.95, which is about a $10 increase from recent years.
Ticket prices will increase as concert dates draw near.
Buy tickets online at Eventbrite, or stop by the fair office on the Jackson County Fairgrounds, 1212 E. Quarry St., Maquoketa, to buy tickets and have them printed out.