It’s only rock ‘n’ roll but the fairs like it


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Classic rock and pop bands from the ‘70s and ‘80s are as integral to drawing crowds to county fairs as carnival rides and deep-fried goodies.

But over the last decade or so, the managers of the county fairs in Southern California have seen increased competition to book musical acts from tribal casinos and other big concert venues.


As a result, the cost of booking such musical acts has jumped from about $30,000 a show to more than $100,000, according to concert venue managers.

For example, organizers of the Orange County Fair tried to book Pat Benatar for the fair’s summer concert series but lost out to the Greek Theatre, where she will perform July 31.

Despite the heated competition, the county fairs in Southern California will feature some of the top acts of the era, including Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, ZZ Top, the B52s, Blue Oyster Cult and Kenny Loggins.

-- Hugo Martin