Josh Turner to be headliner at 2016 Garfield County Fair
Josh Turner will headline the 2016 Garfield County Fair and Rodeo Friday night concert, signaling continued success in bringing mainstream country musicians with widespread name recognition to the fair, according to fair officials.
The county formally announced the lineup Tuesday, one day after county commissioners approved a contract not to exceed $50,000 to bring Turner to the fairgrounds in Rifle in August.
According to a rider attached to the contract, Turner will take the stage at 8 p.m. Aug. 5 and play for a minimum of 75 minutes. The county is still in negotiations with an opening act.
Turner started gaining name recognition in 2003 with his platinum-selling album “Long Black Train,” according to a press release. He has garnered multiple Grammy, Country Music Association, and Academy of Country Music award nominations. His hit songs, according to the release, include “Your Man,” “Why Don’t We Just Dance,” “Firecracker,” “Would You Go with Me,” “All Over Me” and “Time Is Love.”
The 3,550 sellable tickets will range in price from $10 to $60, according to the contract rider. The price range is the same as last year’s Friday night performance, which featured Gary Allan — a familiar name toward the top of the Billboard Country Albums Chart.
Allan’s performance at the fair signaled a shift in efforts toward bringing in acts with more name recognition, which fair officials previously credited for helping make last year’s fair the most successful one to date.
The 2015 fair set records for ticket revenue, attendance and sponsorships, according to a report released in December. Ticket sales for events in 2015 exceeded the previous year with $121,795 compared with $93,980 in 2014.
“The concert during the Garfield County Fair has grown in popularity with a sell-out crowd last year,” Doreen Herriott, Garfield County Fair and events coordinator, stated in a press release. “And last year, the premium seating sold out weeks before the fair. The talent we have been able to acquire has been instrumental in attracting these crowds, and we are pleased to be able to step into the arena of bringing Josh Turner to our fair this year, which is an even greater attestation to the talent we can garner.”
That higher level of talent does come at a cost. While in many instances the contractual language “not to exceed” is typically used as a maximum number intended to allow for some room to negotiate, the $50,000 to land Turner is pretty much a set cost, Herriott said Tuesday.
It’s a bargain, she added, considering an act like Turner usually costs closer to $75,000 — the fair date and location happen to fall between two other concert dates — and it’s possible that by the time of the fair Turner’s services could cost even more.
Given the amount of tickets and pricing, the contract rider states that the concert could generate an adjusted gross potential of $94,250.
The rider includes some special provisions, including 50 tickets for Josh Turner fan club presale and approval of all advertising materials by Turner’s representation before the materials can be used.
Another special provision prevents any logos or signage displaying alcohol or tobacco sponsors from appearing on the stage.
The 2016 Garfield County Fair is scheduled for Aug. 1-6, with tickets for the fair’s ticketed events — including the PRCA ProRodeo, Xtreme Bulls, the Josh Turner concert, a demolition derby and a monster truck show — going on sale June 1.
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