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Concerts at the Pepsi Grandstand: What’s the Holdup? [OPINION]

Missouri State Fair ConcertSaturday night (Aug. 10) was the big Randy Houser and Gary Allan concert, and fans came out in flocks to see this highly anticipated show. A line started to form early and made its way down the Midway. The introduction was done and you could hear Randy Houser finish his first song, so why was the line still down the Midway and back to the Hacienda?

Since I was wearing a station shirt and had my media badge on, I ended up fielding quite a few questions, but unfortunately, I had very few answers. I received questions like, “What’s the holdup?” “Does it always take this long to get in?” “Why are they letting people funnel in from the sides?” “Is this the only way we can get in?” I tried to weather the storm as much as possible and told people that the concert was basically sold out and people waited until the last minute to show up.

One couple told me they were in line at 7:10 and started by Earl B’s. This conversation took place around 7:40 and they hadn’t passed the Bud Tent yet. When I left the Midway, it was 8:15 and a line was still pretty large.

I am not criticizing anyone, I know everyone works really hard to put on the shows and to take tickets and get everyone seated properly for the concert. The only question I was asked that stuck with me was, “Is this the only way we can get in?”  I have always wondered why there is only one entry point for the concerts at the Missouri State Fair. I understand the concept for some of the more low key concerts, but for a concert where the box office was telling people they only had a limited number of tickets left and most were upper grandstand, couldn’t we find a second entry point to break up the wait in line and get people in faster?

Again, I am the last person to criticize anyone, I know how much time and effort goes into the Missouri State Fair. The fair is actually still a fairly new process to me as a media member, and I just wish I was able to provide answers to the questions that were asked by fairgoers about concerts. Is it a problem of not enough employees to take tickets? Is it impossible to find another location for an entry point? Do the fans need to show up an hour earlier? Bottom line is, could the Missouri State Fair use a second entry point for larger concerts if it is possible?

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