Darius Rucker, Shinedown to Play Canfield Fair

CANFIELD, Ohio – Two longtime musical favorites in the Mahoning Valley have been tapped to help restart the Canfield Fair.

Country music superstar Darius Rucker will play the grandstand on Sunday, Sept. 5; and rock band Shinedown will take the stage the following evening, Monday, Sept. 6, to close the fair. The six-day fair begins Sept. 1. Both are multi-Platinum-selling artists with a history of selling a lot of tickets in the area.

The pandemic forced the cancellation of the fair last year. For this year’s 175th iteration, Youngstown-based concert promoter JAC Live had the two concerts lined up well in advance but was waiting to see if and when the state would lift COVID-19 restrictions on venue capacity. When that happened as of June 2, the stage was set.

Eric Ryan addresses the press Monday morning.

“This is certainly a day that we weren’t sure would ever come,” said Eric Ryan, president of JAC Live, at a Monday press conference at the fairgrounds. “To be able to bring two successful and magnificent artists to the fair is amazing.”

JAC Live needed capacity limits to be lifted to be able to book the shows, because otherwise they would not financially feasible.

“We needed full capacity to be able to do this,” Ryan said. Since getting the green light, “it’s been a mad race to get this done,” he added.

The grandstand accommodates about 8,000 people for concerts between the bleachers and the ground-level seats.

George Roman, a longtime board member and director of entertainment for the fair, said the grandstand shows are “vital” to making the fair a success.

“Everyone has been kind of contained and not able to go to concerts, and these are two great names,” Roman said of Rucker and Shinedown.

In his planning meetings with Roman, Ryan recalls saying, “we need to get some proven artists here who will sell a lot of tickets.” Ryan said he has done just that.

Canfield Fair board members Dave Dickey, George Roman and Craig Myers.

Both artists have played Youngstown several times, drawing capacity crowds. Rucker last played Covelli Centre in 2015, and Shinedown in 2019. Both Rucker and Shinedown have produced a string of No. 1 albums and too many hit songs to list. Rucker also won a Grammy Award from his early days fronting pop act Hootie and the Blowfish. As a solo artist, Rucker released a song in March, “My Masterpiece.” His most recent album is 2019’s “Imperfect Circle,” a reunion effort with Hootie and the Blowfish.

“One request I heard a lot the last two years is that people want country music at the fair,” Ryan said. “We booked one of the biggest acts in the world.” He pointed out that Rucker’s new song is climbing the charts.

As for Shinedown, Ryan called it “Youngstown’s band.” The Florida band has steadily grown in magnitude over the years, and is now the No. 1 most played rock band in the world, as measured by radio airplay, Ryan said.

“They’re also a clean rock band,” he said – a must for the family audience that the fair attracts. “It’s a perfect fit.”

Darius Rucker and Shinedown headline this year’s Canfield Fair entertainment.

Two other Canfield Fair mainstays will also return to the grandstand this year. The demolition derby will take place Friday, Sept.3; and the tractor pull will be Saturday, Sept. 4. Roman noted that both acts routinely draw crowds that are at or near full capacity.

Tickets for both Darius Rucker and Shinedown will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, June 11, at Ticketmaster.com only. In-person sales will begin at a later date.

Ticket sales for the demolition derby and tractor pull will go on sale later this month. Go to CanfieldFair.com for updates.

Rucker tickets are $125, $85.50, $65.50, $9.50 and $39.50 (fees apply).

Shinedown tickets are $95, $75, $62.50, $49.50 and $35 (fees apply).

An online-only presale for both concerts will take place June 10 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; use the password JACLIVE.

Copyright 2021 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.