The Minnesota State Fair sometimes likes to call itself the state’s biggest music festival — which is hard to argue, given the mix of big-name Grandstand headliners and seemingly infinite variety of live performances at free (with Fair admission) stages across the grounds. The Fair has just announced this year’s free music lineup, and indeed, it’s formatted like a festival lineup announcement, with names like EN VOGUE and HAR MAR SUPERSTAR in a large font at the top, blending down to smaller-print names like Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots at the bottom.
’90s pop R&B stars En Vogue may be the biggest draw, bringing hits like “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” to the Leinie Lodge on Aug. 27 and 28. (After Wilson Phillips, this makes En Vogue the second of two groups with 1990 hit singles titled “Hold On” to play the Leinie Lodge in recent years.) The Fair’s largest free stage will also host Har Mar Superstar, former Journey singer Steve Augeri, country singer Clay Walker, local standbys the BoDeans, and the horny Tower of Power.
The Schell’s Stage in the West End always hosts a range of top-notch local acts for its sunset series, and this year is no exception: the Last Revel, Mayda, the Dustbowl Revival, the Dave & Deke Combo, Church of Cash, and Rock the Garden performer Chastity Brown will play pairs of dates there this year.
Other notables in the lineup include Humbird (daytime shows at the Schell’s Stage); the Grammy-winning Okee Dokee Brothers (ditto); Martin Devaney (taking the Curtiss A rock-star-at-the-Ramberg slot); and the majestically-titled “I Am, He Said: A Celebration of Neil Diamond,” starring Bobby Vee’s nephew Matt Vee.
Full details are available at the Fair’s website, which also has information on Grandstand performances including The Current’s Music-on-a-Stick with Trampled by Turtles, Lord Huron, and Lissie.