OPINION: Headliners at 2023 MontanaFair are a Great Mix for Billings
Everybody says the food is the top thing they're excited about at the fair.
Yes, the food is undoubtedly a highlight. Funnel cakes dusted with a thick layer of powdered sugar, a paper tray full of gooey cheese curds, and a side of marinara (or more likely ranch dressing). Turkey legs, Vikings, cotton candy. Chocolate-covered strawberries and a ridiculous variety of caramel apples from the vendor pavilion. Yeah... the food is always a big deal. The entertainment this year is nothing to scoff at either.
MetraPark officials certainly have a difficult time choosing headlining acts that take center stage at First Interstate Arena. We always get PRCA rodeo action. There's always a motorsports night (this year the crew from Octane Addictions is bringing thrilling flips and tricks to MontanaFair). And there are always a few nights of headlining bands or singers that hit the stage.
You can't please everybody.
Even if MetraPark could afford someone like Taylor Swift or Luke Combs, people would complain. If they brought Metallica or George Strait, others would complain. "Too old!" "Why can't we get Cardi B?!" Others would throw a fit if it was Cardi B. It's a difficult job, working with the fair's entertainment budget.
A good mix for 2023?
I'll admit there have been years that I was not excited about any of the headliners at MontanaFair. This year, I feel like they've done a good job of trying to please everyone.
Kick off the fair with Chevelle. Friday, August 11.
My co-worker Jaci can't wait to see the late 90's - mid-2000s "alt-rockers" Chevelle on Friday night. It was her first concert in Billings in 2005. They have a number of hits.
Carly Pearce w/ Juliette Angelo. Saturday, August 12.
Pearce is a Grammy-winning artist who hit #1 on the Country chart with her hit "What He Didn't Do." She just announced a headlining tour that kicks off this fall with stops in LA, NY, Detroit, and St. Louis. If you aren't familiar with Pearce yet, you will be soon.
Local rising singer/songwriter Juliette Angelo will be opening for Pearce. We were impressed by two original songs (with an acoustic guitar!) she performed for us at the media luncheon earlier this week. She's very talented and could be one of those artists that in five years, you'll say "Oh my God, I saw her in Billings at the fair in 20203!", as she's accepting a CMA award.
Luda! Sunday, August 13th.
Ludacris has sold millions of records and has remained relevant after 20+ years in the entertainment industry, finding new fans with his segue into acting. His brand of hip hop is really fun, his voice is instantly recognizable, and his music is fairly mass-appeal. My 11-year-old kid is begging to see him, and he has equal appeal to those in the 40'ish age group too.
If none of these acts appeal to you, who or what types of music/bands would you like to see at MontanaFair next year?