Hanson, Rick Springfield among free concerts announced at 2018 Indiana State Fair


Top: For King & Country (left), Hanson (right); Bottom: Hunter Hayes (left), Rick Springfield (middle), and Kirk Franklin (right) (Images from Getty)

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Rick Springfield, Hanson and Hunter Hayes are among the featured performers for free concerts at this year’s Indiana State Fair.

Organizers have now revealed the first 11 free shows for the 2018 Indiana State Fair. Each night of the event features a concert that’s free with paid admission.

Here’s a look at the lineup so far:

  • Rick Springfield – Friday, August 3
  • Why Don’t We – Sunday, August 5
  • Tyler Childers – Tuesday, August 7
  • Randy Houser with special guest Nora Collins – Wednesday, August 8
  • Kool & The Gang – Thursday, August 9
  • Hanson – Friday, August 10
  • For King & Country – Sunday, August 12
  • Happy Together Tour – Monday, August 13 featuring: The Turtles, Chuck Negron (formerly of Three Dog Night), Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, The Association, Mark Lindsay (formerly of Paul Revere & The Raiders and The Cowsills
  • Grand Funk Railroad – Wednesday, August 15
  • An Evening with Hunter Hayes – Thursday, August 16
  • Kirk Franklin – Sunday, August 19

The Indiana State Fair runs from Aug. 3 through Aug. 19 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Online tickets are on sale for $8 plus a convenience fee at the State Fair website. Tickets can also be purchased at the discounted rate at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum Box Office. Admission is $13 at the gate.

Here’s more about each performer from fair organizers:

Rick Springfield

Over the past four decades, Rick Springfield has worn many hats as an entertainer and performer. The creator of some of the finest power-pop of the ’80s, a Grammy winning singer, songwriter, and musician who has sold 25 million albums and scored 17 U.S. Top 40 hits, including “Jessie’s Girl,” “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “An Affair of the Heart,” “I’ve Done Everything for You,” “Love Somebody,” and “Human Touch.” He’s an accomplished actor who has starred opposite Meryl Streep in the feature film Ricki and the Flash, gave a chameleonic performance as the creepy Dr. Pitlor in HBO’s prestige drama True Detective, earned great reviews for his portrayal of Lucifer this season on the CW hit, Supernatural and most recently played Pastor Charles on American Horror Story. In 2014, Springfield was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located around the corner from the first apartment he lived in when he first arrived in the U.S. from Australia in 1971.

Rick’s latest Album, “The Snake King” finds Rick travelling down a dusty dirt road to explore the blues side of his rock ‘n roll and marks a definite departure from the power pop he has been known for.

Why Don’t We

Since forming in September 2016, the five members of rising dance-pop group Why Don’t We has quickly gained recognition in the boy band scene after their debut album “Only the Beginning,” followed up by the release of hit albums “Something Different,” “Why Don’t We Just” and “Invitation.” Having grown close as friends with genuine camaraderie, Why Don’t We is widely known for its feel-good, melody-minded, harmony-laden music and the positive messages it shares with fans all across the world.

Tyler Childers

Like many great Southern storytellers, singer-songwriter Tyler Childers has fallen in love with a place. The people, landmarks and legendary moments from his childhood home of Lawrence County, Kentucky, populate the 10 songs in his formidable debut, Purgatory, an album that’s simultaneously modern and as ancient as the Appalachian Mountains in which events unfold.

The album, co-produced by Grammy Award winners Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson, is a semiautobiographical sketch of Childers’ growth from wayward youth to happily married man, told in the tradition of a Southern gothic novel with a classic noir antihero who may just be irredeemable. Purgatory is a chiaroscuro painting with darkness framing light in high relief. There’s catharsis and redemption. Sin and temptation. Murder and deceit. Demons and angels. Moonshine and cocaine. So much moonshine and cocaine. All played out on the large, colorful canvas of Eastern Kentucky.

Randy Houser & Nora Collins

Having racked up five consecutive country radio hits and over five million singles sales, Randy Houser has topped the charts with songs “How Country Feels,” “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight,” “Goodnight Kiss” and “We Went.” Houser has also earned critical acclaim for his powerful delivery of the CMA Song of the Year-nominated “Like A Cowboy.” With a singing voice described by the New York Times as “wholly different, thicker and more throbbing, a caldron bubbling over,” Houser’s mix of passion, talent, and showmanship places him among this generation’s most compelling country music artists.

Nora Collins is quickly making a name for herself in the country music scene by penning and performing new-world topics with an old-soul voice that seems effortless, yet emotional and crystalline. Bringing a unique vocal quality that is both sensitive and upbeat with positive energy, Collins released her first CD “Red Chuck Taylors” in May 2009 when she was 14 years old. She continued to climb her way to fame with subsequent albums “My Radio,” “Only the Beginning,” and hit singles, such as her recent song “Who knows Who.” In addition to winning the 2016 Best of Milwaukee Award for Female Vocalist, Collins was recognized as Best Female Vocalist and Best Acoustic Musician in 2013-2015.

Kool & the Gang

Having sold over 70 million albums worldwide and influenced the music of three generations, Kool & The Gang has earned two Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, 25 top ten R&B hits, nine top ten pop hits, and 31 gold and platinum albums throughout their music career. Known for hit songs “Celebration,” “Cherish,” “Jungle Boogie,” “Summer Madness” and “Open Sesame,” Kool & The Gang’s bulletproof funk and tough, jazzy arrangements have made them one of the most sampled bands of all time. Having performed continuously for the past 45 years, longer than any R&B group in history, Kool & The Gang remains one of the most active touring bands.


Having sold over 16 million albums, scoring multiple Grammy nominations along with five consecutive top 40 singles, including “Where’s The Love,” “I Will Come To You” and “Weird,” Hanson has achieved global fame and reached fans from Tulsa to Tokyo with their drive to create great art, inspire connection, and cultivate community. The pop-rock trio has been entertaining audiences for more than 25 years, and after a sold-out world tour celebrating their 25 years together, Hanson marks their 26th birthday with “Hanson String Theory,” a musical manifesto arranged by legendary composer David Campbell that showcases their new and career-spanning works alongside the world’s leading symphonies.

For King & Country

Having garnered two Grammy awards, more than 600,000 record sales and 150 million streams of their music, For King and Country is known for their soaring melodies, driving rhythms, theatrical instrumentation and personal themes. The Christian pop duo have performed on numerous network television shows, including “The View,” “The Today Show,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “The Tonight Show,” and is best known for their sophomore album Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong, which featured songs “Fix My Eyes,” “Shoulders” and “It’s Not Over Yet.”

Happy Together Tour

This summer, music fans will rejoice as the celebrated Happy Together Tour returns to their city featuring the best musical talent of the sixties and seventies. The 2018 tour will include six headline artists with many Billboard mega-hits amongst them. The 2018 lineup features The Turtles, Chuck Negron (formerly of Three Dog Night), Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, The Association, Mark Lindsay (formerly of Paul Revere & The Raiders and The Cowsills).

Grand Funk Railroad

Having laid the groundwork for such bands as Foreigner, Journey, Van Halen and Bon Jovi with its signature hard driving sound, soulful vocals, muscular instrumentation and forceful pop melodies, Grand Funk Railroad has established a forty year legacy that still reigns over the Classic Rock landscape. Known for mega-hits “We’re An American Band,” “I’m Your Captain/Closer To Home,” “Locomotion” and “Some Kind Of Wonderful,” Grand Funk Railroad has accumulated 19 charted singles, 8 Top 40 hits and two Number One singles along with 13 gold and 10 platinum records. Still maintaining their high-energy drive, the band marks a 49-year milestone with its 2018 tour.

Hunter Hayes

Having been nominated for five Grammy Awards which include Best New Artist, winning CMA’s New Artist of the Year in 2012 with three BMI Awards, and recognized as the youngest member to be inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, Hunter Hayes has reached number one on the charts with his songs “Somebody’s Heartbreak” and “Wanted.” The country music singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist released his debut self-titled album in 2011, and it quickly rose to number one in the top Country album chart and clinched onto number seven in the Billboard chart.

Kirk Franklin

Since his debut in 1993 with the album “Kirk Franklin & the Family,” Kirk Franklin has become one of the brightest stars in contemporary gospel music. Since going on and beginning his solo career in 2001, Kirk Franklin has received 12 Grammy Awards, 40 Stellar Awards and 16 GMA Dove Awards. His twelfth studio album, “Losing My Religion,” debuted in 2015 at number 10 on the Billboard 200 and sold 35,000 copies in its first week.

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