Taking her space on the stage

When Colbie Caillat takes the stage Friday at the OC Fair, the person who jump-started her career may be in the audience.

Well, why not? Caillat has no idea who that first Myspace supporter was, but he or she could be anywhere.

In 2005, the Malibu native started an account on the social-media page and, with a friend's help, posted a handful of recordings on it. Soon, the clicks began — dozens, then hundreds, then thousands, then millions, then a deal with Universal Republic Records, chart success and a pair of Grammys.

To say that Caillat, who was barely past high school age and working at a tanning salon when her tunes went online, didn't expect that kind of success would be an understatement.

"I had no idea," the singer-songwriter said by phone Wednesday. "I didn't even do it. It was my friend who started the [Myspace] page for me, so it was a huge shock to me and to my family when I started getting hundreds of thousands of followers, people adding my songs to their page and sending my songs to their friends."

Since that initial burst of fame, Caillat has released four studio albums — most recently the holiday-themed "Christmas in the Sand," which came out last year — and has been a regular on the fair circuit. In late June, she played the San Diego County Fair, and Friday's gig will mark her first appearance at Orange County's annual event.

The Toyota Summer Concert Series, which runs through Aug. 11, features a who's-who of performers — many of whose careers far predate the days of Myspace. Scattered throughout the summer lineup are the Go-Go's, Alan Jackson, the B-52s, Three Dog Night, Weezer, ZZ Top, Daryl Hall & John Oates and Roger Daltrey, among others. (Visit http://www.ocfair.com/2013 for a complete lineup.)

Dan Gaines, the fair's entertainment director, said he was encouraged so far by advance ticket sales.

"We're 10 or 11% ahead of any July 5 we've ever had," he said. "I think it's going to be a great year."

Something else will be different this summer at the concert series: The $13.8-million renovation at the Pacific Amphitheatre, which removed the berm seating area, will result in tighter confines. The 8,500 fixed seats remain, but the amphitheater no longer offers the grassy space that it used in the past for overflow crowds.

"I think what anyone will notice who's going in there is that the venue feels much more intimate," Gaines said. "It feels like a small venue now."

Intimate or not, Caillat is ready to take on another fair audience. She's spoken to the media in the past about her chronic stage fright, and she admitted Wednesday that she still battles it. Still, an event as big as Costa Mesa's offers a chance to win over converts.

"The only thing is, sometimes I'm not sure if everyone's a fan of mine," Caillat said. "Not everyone could be paying attention or listening to the music, which is distracting. But it's good because you can gain new fans and listeners, people who have never heard of you before."

And when they get home, Myspace is just a click away.

If You Go

Who: Colbie Caillat

Where: Pacific Amphitheatre, OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa

When: 7:45 p.m. Friday

Cost: $20.70 to $54.40

Information: (714) 708-1500 or pacamp.com/pa

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