California Mid-State Fair Grandstand Arena (KSBY photo)
During week two of the California Mid-State Fair, the star-studded entertainment continues. Next up Monday night at the Grandstand Arena is music icon John Mayer with guest The Night Game.
Tom Keffury, who leads publicity and sponsorship at the fair, says since the fair had Buck Owens as the first grandstand arena act in 1969, there have been 300-400 performing acts on the stage. Aerosmith, Tom Petty, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez and Blake Shelton are just a few of the big names that have graced the stage.
"We have a little bit of a reputation," Keffury said. "There's really only a handful of fairs in the nation that book the big, big name entertainment like we do, and we're one of them."
Over the course of 12 days, after one act performs, another rolls in and that starts with the crew.
"Usually people get going as soon as it's light, you know, 7 o'clock," Keffury said. "People are starting to rig the lights and set up the sound but ultimately they're working all day in here to get ready for when we open the doors an hour before showtime."
Some of these performers require loads of trucks and trailers to bring in all of their equipment. Keffury says Mayer's concert will bring in around seven buses and three or four trucks full of equipment.
All the lighting, sound checks and cleaning are completed by crews before showtime. However, before that can happen, Keffury says it tends to be fairly quiet behind the scenes as audience members are let into the arena.
Everybody is in their spot, ready to go, then the arena lights go out, and that's when the real fun begins.
"Fans start going crazy, boom the lights come on, artist comes on stage, it's kind of the thrilling moment in the concert," Keffury said.