Cass County Fair Board members said Friday they’ve signed contracts with country music performers Dustin Lynch and Thomas Rhett for the county fair’s July 10 concert.
Board members plan to sell a maximum of 3,700 tickets for the fair’s second annual large concert, scheduled for 8 p.m. on the Wednesday night of fair week.
Last year’s concert, meant to be a new way of raising money for the fair, was a success, according to fair board member Alan Liming. About 3,420 tickets sold for the performance by country star Justin Moore, he said, so board members hope to top that this year.
He and board member Mark Musall characterized Lynch and Rhett as “up-and-coming” country music performers.
Lynch’s debut single “Cowboys and Angels” was released in 2012 with Broken Bow Records, according to iTunes Music. The performer’s latest single, “She Cranks My Tractor,” peaked at 15 on the Billboard “Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles” chart the week of Feb. 9.
Rhett, son of country crooner Rhett Akins, debuted the single “Something to Do with My Hands” in 2011. His self-titled debut EP hit No. 1 on the iTunes Country Albums chart hours after its release last August, according to Rhett’s website, and lately he’s become known for the single “Beer with Jesus.”
“We knew that country seems to go over real well in Cass County,” said Musall, “and they kind of fit the bill. We feel like they’re up and coming. They’ve got a few hits out there right now and it just seems like a fit for our fair.”
Liming said the fair board members decided to attempt selling 3,700 tickets this year, up from the 3,500 maximum of 2012. Eventually they hope to work their way up to a large concert with nationally known music stars.
“Until we get this concert thing built up,” Liming said, to the point that many people from outside the county are aware that it happens each year, they’ll stick to signing up-and-coming names rather than established stars.
However, once the fair is established as a regular concert venue, “then we’ll start working up the ladder, trying to get more popular names,” he added. He’d like to bring a rock’n’roll band to the fair after it’s established, though he’s unsure how many years it will be before that’s feasible.
“We were lucky last year that Justin [Moore] ended up having a couple more popular songs just before fair came, and that really boosted it up, I think, on sales,” Liming explained. “These guys here, they’re working their way up to the top and we’ve still got five months yet for them to come out with a song that the radio stations are going to play to death.”
Tickets are expected to go on sale in early May for $23 through the Cass County Fair’s website, casscofair.com.
Sarah Einselen is news editor for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-732-5151.