- Associated Press - Thursday, April 28, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - This year’s state fair will no longer host live music at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.

Indiana State Fair Lesley Gordon said exhibitors of draft horses, cattle and goats requested more flexibility in a coliseum schedule that’s been split between music and animals. Instead of a concert series in 2016, an uninterrupted slate of 17 days of livestock shows will be held.

“We are trying to continue to have one of the best livestock shows in the nation,” Gordon said. “A lot of state fairs have gone away from the agriculture and livestock showing. We still maintain that.”

According to Gordon, it’s challenging to find acts that can sell enough tickets to fill the coliseum and fit within the fair’s budget.

Although the Coliseum hosts concerts year-round, the 8,200-capacity venue has not hosted a blockbuster show during the fair since succeeding the Hoosier Lottery Grandstand as a ticketed venue in 2014. Stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan attracted the largest audience of any act to play the Coliseum in the last two years. More than 5,000 people paid to see Gaffigan in 2014.

A deadly accident in 2011 brought an end to concerts at the grandstand. Stage rigging collapsed in high winds just before country-pop duo Sugarland was to perform. Seven people were killed, and more than 50 were injured.

The Indianapolis Star (https://indy.st/1rC2uHm ) reports that touring acts still will perform on the Free Stage, where admission is included with each fair ticket.


Information from: The Indianapolis Star, https://www.indystar.com

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