Montana State Fair concert lineup announced
The Montana State Fair night concert lineup is out for 2023.
This year’s fair is July 28-Aug. 5.
In February, Cascade County Commissioners voted to approve using a new talent booking company for the Montana Expo Park, including the state fair.
Commissioners voted to use NesteLive! for talent booking services this year.
County approves use of new talent booking firm for state fair
Contracts for this year’s state fair acts have not yet gone before the commission for approval.
Chris Janson plays July 30.
Toby Mac plays July 31.
Josh Turner plays Aug. 1.
Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias plays Aug. 2.
The Commodores play Aug. 4.
Awolnation plays Aug. 5.
The county solicited proposals for talent booking services through the Rocky Mountain Association of Fairs.
County releases 2022 fair numbers
Three proposals were submitted to the county from the current firm Romeo Entertainment Group, as well as NesteLive! and Pepper Entertainment.
The county has used Romeo for years.
A “Cascade County evaluation committee” consisting of the Montana Expo Park manager, marketing and sales manager, event coordinator and administrative assistant, met three times to score the proposals, according to the staff report.
The committee recommended NesteLive!
Susan Shannon, Expo Park manager, told commissioners during their Feb. 8 work session that the company hadn’t made recommendations for this year’s fair acts and there’s no cost associated with the agenda documents for the Feb. 14 meeting.
Shannon said previously the county contracted with Romeo on an annual basis.
Commissioner Joe Briggs said that this action would approve the use of NesteLive! as the booking agency and they’d review the contract for acts separately.
Last year, the county said the fair revenues were $1,882,000 and it was a “near record breaking year, only to be surpassed by 2021.”
County financials in 2021 showed the fair generated $1.8 million in total revenues.
County Commission disbands fair board
The Electric requested the county’s expenses for the fair and according to that document, the total estimated expenses for the 2022 fair were $1,791,784.
That equates to a net estimated profit of $90,326 according to the county financials.
In 2021, the county voted to disband the fair advisory board, which typically reviewed the financials annually.
The night shows generated $547,000 in revenue in 2022, according to the county, for “the greatest producing night show revenue in the history of the Montana State Fair.
County releases fair revenues; fair board says there’s room for improvement 
In July 2022, commissioners approved a $451,000 contract with Romeo Entertainment for the night show concerts that included Mini Pop Kids, the Beach Boys, Skillet, Cheap Trick, Chase Rice and Dwight Yoakam.
In 2021, the Romeo contract was $496,060 and night show ticket revenue, according to financials provided to the since disbanded fair advisory board, was $481,134.