Big crowd expected for concert at county fair

Michael Ray, named New Male Artist of the Year at the 2019 Academy of Country Music Awards, is the headliner for the Madison County Fair’s July 7 concert.

(Posted July 1, 2019)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The Madison County Fair is going big with their live musical entertainment this year.

In partnership with WCOL-FM, the fair is bringing country music star Michael Ray to the stage on July 7, along with special guests Drake White & The Big Fire and Clark Manson. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. The first act goes on at 5:30. Tickets are required.

“This is actually a very large investment for us. In polling the community, this is what they want to see, what will bring them to the fair,” said Darrell Champer, Senior Fair Board president. “We’re hoping that it takes off and we can keep main acts coming into the fairgrounds every year.”

The concert is taking place on the infield at the fairgrounds grandstands with the stage situated at the Elm Street end. A beer garden and food vendors will be on-site. Rented bleachers will hold 1,500 concert-goers; the rest is standing room only. All of it is first-come, first-served. Guests are permitted to bring blankets to sit on but no chairs. Bags will be checked.

Drake White & The Big Fire will perform as part of the country music triple-bill at the fair on July 7.

“It is projected we’ll have 3,000 people at the concert. That’s what WCOL said we should expect,” said Nathan Morrison, the Senior Fair Board member in charge of the event.

To handle the extra traffic, the fair board has made arrangements with London City Schools and nearby churches for overflow parking.

Morrison, who pushed for a big-name act for the fair, is excited to see how the concert goes. He has been a Senior Fair Board member for three years, prior to which he was a Junior Fair Livestock Sale Committee member for two years.

“It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a couple of years,” he said. “I grew up in Darke County, and they’ve always done concerts up there.”

After he did a little convincing, his fellow board members said they’d go for it if someone volunteered to head it up.

“I guess I volunteered myself,” Morrison said with a laugh.

Ohio resident Clark Manson will open the concert.

“I want to make the fair better for the kids, for everybody… We have a beautiful facility, and the more people we can get in there, the better,” he said.

Through July 6, tickets are $15 for the concert only or $20 for the concert and fair admission. Fair admission is required to attend the concert. (Fair admission alone is $7; the package deal represents a $2 savings.) Tickets can be purchased by going to

On July 7, the day of the concert, concert-only tickets can be purchased for $20 up until 5:30 p.m. online or at the fairgrounds.

The 2019 Madison County Fair runs July 7-13. The fairgrounds are located at 205 Elm St., London. For a full schedule of events, go to Fair Schedule.

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