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- Ticket Info
2013 Madison County Fair
Tuesday, July 9 - Sunday, July 14
Saturday, July 13 Entertainment
Opening Act — Neal McCoy (read more)
The Country Music Association’s choice as the best New Artist of 2012 earned his trophy because of his intense, single-minded dedication to his music.
Hunter Hayes works at his craft virtually every waking hour. In his world, there are no days off. There are no hobbies or outside interests. Everything is focused on musical self-improvement.
“With me, it’s always going to be music,” he states. “That’s the one thing I know. That is my thing. That is my place. I make music because it’s the only way I can breathe. This is how I want to spend the rest of my life.”
His laser-like focus has resulted in an album that is the talk of the country-music community. He wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on Hunter Hayes. He co-produced it. He sings all the vocals, and he plays all of the 30-some instruments heard on the record.
The barn-burning “Storm Warning” became the collection’s debut Gold Single. His gripping ballad “Wanted” soared to No. 1 and is quickly nearing Double Platinum status, lilting, groove-soaked “Somebody’s Heartbreak” has become the album’s third major hit –becoming a Top 30 hit in only two weeks and was most added week of release.
Whether mournful on a ballad like “Rainy Season” or passionately upbeat? on a tempo tune such as “Love Makes Me,” his performances on Hunter Hayes are consistently engaging. The airy “If You Told Me To,” bluesy and aggressive “More Than I Should,” softly persuasive “What You Gonna Do” and lightly wry “Everybody’s Got Somebody But Me” showcase various aspects of the gifted tunesmith.
The album’s textures range from the stately, thoughtful “Cry with You” to the upbeat yet philosophical “Faith to Fall Back On” or the sadly resigned “All You Ever.” Although Hunter Hayes is only 21 years old, these are the songs of a proverbial “old soul.”
Despite his youth, he already has a lifetime of musical experience. The Louisiana native began picking up various instruments when he was only two years old. At age four, he joined his first band. He took his accordion on stage and sang “Jambalaya” with Hank Williams Jr. that year, too. At age six, he was cast in the Robert Duvall film The Apostle. The actor gave Hayes his first guitar. Hunter recorded his first album when he was nine and his second at the age of 10.
“Being an only child absolutely helped,” he says of his extraordinarily youthful development. “I credit a lot to that. It gave me more time to be alone and spend more time with the art.
“I won’t say I grew up faster, but I definitely got into what I wanted to do quicker because I had to. Music was all I had. And my parents did everything they could to support me. They learned a business they knew nothing about, just so that I could make music. I was surrounded by positive energy all the time.”
Hunter Hayes spent his early teenage years playing shows and making two more albums. That is also when he began to develop as a songwriter.
“At school, I was a quiet kid. I was really shy. My safe zone was music. In writing music, I had my friend, the one thing that would never let me down. Writing songs was like me keeping a journal. I really took it seriously when I realized how powerful of a tool it was and how much I needed it.
“I spent a lot of time in my little studio that I built at our house. I spent so much time there that I neglected going out or hanging out. I skipped all the parties. I skipped the prom every year because it always fell on a date when I had a gig to play.
“I voluntarily skipped out on a lot. I was working on song demos. That was the one thing that was going really well. I was going to give every minute to it that I possibly could.”
During his high-school years, his parents began taking him on trips to Nashville. Gradually, a team of supportive entertainment-industry insiders began to form around the youngster in Music City. He found interest from a manager, a song publisher, a record label and a producer during those trips. When his mother found out about a correspondence course that her son could take to complete his senior year, the family moved to Nashville in 2008.
“I made a promise to myself that as soon as I finished that course, I was going to write at least a song a week,” Hayes recalls. “In fact, that first week, I wrote a song every day. As soon as I finished that course, I was in the song-publishing office at least once a week, writing with somebody.”
Songs About Nothing, an independent record he played all the instruments on himself, was an example he used with Atlantic Records and producer Dann Huff that he could “do it all” on his debut major-label effort.
“Songs About Nothing was kind of my sales pitch to say, ‘I know it’s a leap of faith, but this proves that it can be done. This proves that technologically, it’s possible. Time-wise, it’s feasible. And creatively, it might actually be a good idea.’
“I was asking a major label to give me a budget to make a record by myself, with Dann Huff. Dann even took a little while to warm up to the idea. But to his credit, and to everyone’s credit, everybody was open-minded, positive about it and optimistic. I think everybody’s mindset was, ‘Why not try it? Let’s see if it works.’
“We went in and did four songs. I played them ‘Storm Warning,’ and they went, ‘We like this. It’s got a cool sound. We should just keep doing it this way.’ And so that’s what we did.”
When “Storm Warning” appeared as the debut Hunter Hayes single, Taylor Swift chose him as her opening act. So did Rascal Flatts, to whom Hayes gave his song “Play.”
Since the release of Hunter Hayes, the singer-songwriter has embarked on a blitzkrieg of television appearances. He has sung on The Late Show with David Letterman, Good Morning America, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, The Talk, E! News and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. One highlight was his appearance on the ABC-TV special The CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock, performing “Wanted” surrounded by 50,000 fans.
“It was nerve wracking, but when I was singing and the people around me were singing my song back to me, that was one of those moments. I was like, ‘This is, apparently, working.’ Then when ‘Wanted’ went to No. 1, that was another one. Getting announced as the opening act on the Carrie Underwood tour was definitely a big moment for me. I sold out my first theater show this year. That was a big deal to me, too.”
Along the way, he also picked up a Teen Choice Award as the Male Country Artist of the Year, earned a No. 1 video with “Wanted,” won a BMI songwriting award for “Storm Warning” and was a nominee at both the Academy of Country Music Awards and the CMT Music Awards. He was also chosen to sing the National Anthem at a New Orleans Saints game. Now comes Hunter Hayes Live, an EP that captures his style as an on-stage entertainer.
“There’s an energy that happens live. That’s where I’m most myself. There is nothing as honest as my live performance. That is what I live for every day.
“When I get on stage, that’s my home. That’s my element, and I’m not shy anymore. That’s where I’m comfortable. Getting to play live every night, that’s what I’ve always dreamed about.
“I’m blessed beyond belief.”
“Everybody wants to find that song
that hits the sweet spot,
that is pretty much them, but everybody else, too.
“I think I finally found that song!” – Neal McCoy
In a world where every single is the biggest hit, every song the best one ever, Neal McCoy has had his share of feel good radio records, a few meaningful ballads, the BMI Song of the Year with “Wink” and “The Shake” and a whole lot of fun. But he’s spent almost two decades chasing ‘that song.’
With “A-OK, the song that co-producer Blake Shelton found the Longview, Texan entertainer, McCoy’s quest may be over. With its bouncing beat, bright melody and yes, pure Andy Griffith whistle, the song about seeing the glass as half-full and the smile upside down in a frown, along with the Barry Dean/Luke Laird/Brett Eldridge mid-tempo, is the perfect distillation of McCoy’s always effervescent show.
“I think any song that says ‘It’s gonna be okay, it’s gonna be alright…’ and feels like this one does, has got to be a winner. People really wanna hear, and almost need to hear, that right now…Times being the way they are, and something that makes people feel good? Well, anyone who knows me knows I’m all about that,” McCoy explains.
Ask anyone about Neal McCoy, and they may not be able to name all of the songs, but they’ll go on and on about his live concerts: full-tilt celebrations of music, life, laughter, joy and yes, his five #1s. But don’t make it about Neal McCoy, he sure wouldn’t.
“I think when people come to see you, sure they want to hear your music,” he explains. “But they really wanna be somewhere that makes’em forget their troubles for a little bit; to have some fun, to laugh and remember how good life can be. I always say, they’re not fans…they’re friends and I want’em to have a good time.”
Modesty aside, McCoy has sold over 6 million albums. His entrance into the country music world was championed by Hall of Famer Charley Pride, and his return is being orchestrated by CMA Entertainer of the Year nominee and reigning Male Vocalist of the Year Blake Shelton, and CMA/ACM Album, Single and Female Vocalist of the Year Miranda Lambert.
People like that know music – and performing. Those who came before and those who’re now setting the standard both recognize how special McCoy’s kind of country is.
Or as Blake Shelton himself says, “The only thing that blows me away more than Neal McCoy in concert is the fact he asked me to be involved in making his new album.... I'm honored to work with a hero of mine.”
And the album helmed by Lambert, Shelton and guitar-slinger Brent Rowan is no less special. Nashville’s very best writers – Song of the Year winner Tom Douglas, Rivers Rutherford, Jamey Johnson, Allen Shamblin, and new hitmakers Luke Laird, Brett Eldredge, George Terren & Barry Dean – have all opened up their secret stash of songs saved for the very few who deserve them to provide the songs for XII, McCoy’s Blaster Records debut.
“It’s like my shows, a little bit of everything that makes music special,” explains the man who’s done 15 USO tours, represented President Bush at the inauguration of Phillipine President Arroyo, established the East Texas Angel Network 17 years ago for children with life threatening illnesses, helping over 400 families along the way, and co-written the good natured “Lucky Enough,” an all street corner bravado shuffle and bright-eyed look at life, dreams and love.
“There is so much great music…beyond the labels…we have a little bit of church, a little bit of bar-room, a couple ballads that’ll encourage, and a real Texas thing about finding your groove in the midst of heartbreak with a cold beer and a good jukebox,” McCoy explains.
“It’s like me, but it’s better. Blake and Miranda had definite ideas about what this should be. Blake had met me in ’95 when he’d first come to town and was looking around. He walked in the front door of Atlantic Records – and there I was in the lobby answering phones. I’d had a couple hits by then, but I was goofy like that,” he adds.
“We met again years later, doing radio interviews – and he told me about that. That he couldn’t believe it; but that’s the kinda guys we both are. And Miranda, she’d grown up 30 miles away, playing talent shows around the area and dreaming of doing what I was doing…so, they came to this more invested than I would’ve ever imagined. Both of them get who I am and what makes me, me, and that was what drove all their decisions. That’s Blake playing a lot of the acoustic guitar – and you can hear’em singing all over the single. They had such good ideas, you almost couldn’t hold’em back.”
Sunday, July 14 Entertainment
THE BAND PERRY
THE BAND PERRY
Kimberly Perry — lead vocals, guitar, piano / Reid Perry —
bass, vocals / Neil Perry —
mandolin, drums, accordion, vocals
Since releasing their selftitled debut album in 2010, The Band Perry have ascended to dizzying heights. Fronted by Kimberly Perry and rounded out by her younger brothers Neil and Reid, the
band has notched a string of hit singles, including the quadrupleplatinum “If I Die Young” (which climbed to No. 1 on Billboard’s Country and AC charts), the platinum “You Lie,” and the Country No. 1 “All Your Life.” They’ve also enjoyed soldout
tours and a showering of honors, including multiple ACM, CMA, and CMT Music awards, as well as Grammy, Teen Choice, AMA, ACA, and Billboard Music award nominations — all of which has cemented the sibling trio as one of the hottest acts in recent history.
But despite the validation that comes with such success, Kimberly, Reid, and Neil felt as if they were walking into the unknown when it came time to write and record their second album, which
they’ve called Pioneer. “People hear the word ‘pioneer’ and they think of covered wagons or astronauts on the moon, but to us the idea of a pioneer is very modern,” Reid says. “It reflects the
idea of putting one foot in front of the other when you’re unsure how to get where you’re going. It’s about marching forward and making noise.”
“We had so many questions about our future, both personally and professionally,” Kimberly explains. “You can hear it in the lyrics to the song ‘Pioneer,’ which asks, ‘Where are we going?’‘What will become of us?’ After writing those lines, the song became our guiding light throughout the process of recording the album, which is why we chose it as the title track. It’s truly about the last three years of our lives and trusting that the songs we wrote would lead us where we were supposed to go. We also had to let go of fear and trust the boldness that has always informed our creative decisions.”
The boldness is clearly evident in everything from Pioneer’s album cover — with its bright red, grey, and black color scheme and the band’s confident leaningforward stance — to the album’s
fiery, rock and rollinfluenced country sound. It’s the first recording the trio feels truly captures the fullthrottle intensity of The Band Perry’s live show, which they attribute to the input of the album’s
producer Dann Huff. Huff, a Nashville veteran who was mentored by Mutt Lange and has worked with Faith Hill, Keith Urban, and Rascal Flatts, is the first producer who insisted on seeing them in
the band in its live element.
“He was flabbergasted,” Kimberly recalls. “His mouth was hanging open. The first thing he said when we got off stage, was, ‘Whoa, you guys have a rock and roll edge. This is what you do.’ He
had never heard it represented in our recorded music and he opened up our minds to that in the studio. That led us to add more electric guitars and background vocals, which created more daring
musical moments. Dann threw out the rulebook and let us go anywhere we wanted.”
The result is a collection of countryrock stompers like “DONE.” (an empowerment anthem “about how you feel when you’ve given the best of yourself and it’s still not good enough,” Kimberly
explains), the blistering “Night Gone Wasted,” and the Queeninfluenced, punkpoppish “Forever Mine Nevermind.” There are also vulnerable, thoughtful tunes like “Pioneer,” “Mother Like Mine,” (an emotional tribute to the siblings’ parents, especially their mother), “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely,” “I Saw A Light,” and “End of Time,” a ballad that recalls the band’s Southern roots.
The trio’s love for Southern Gothic culture, including such authors as Flannery O’Connor and William Faulkner, is reflected on the platinumselling first single “Better Dig Two” — a foreboding
tale of a woman who makes a lifelong, somewhat unhinged commitment, while still wearing her heart on her sleeve. “The song expresses what we love about the deep South,” Kimberly says.
“When you listen to the lullabies and fairy tales told in that part of the country, they feel a lot like the lyrics in this song.” (The platinumselling “Better Dig Two,” which spent two consecutive weeks at No. 1 on the Country chart, is The Band Perry’s fastestrising single at radio ever, as well as their first No. 1 song in Canada.)
Then there’s “I’m A Keeper,” which Kimberly feels is very much her story. “I feel like I’m a free spirit first and foremost,” she says. “And the woman in this song has big plans, with or without a man.
Maybe she’ll join the military, or maybe she’ll buy a house out on the prairie. All she knows is she has a big life ahead of her.”
One of the most meaningful songs to the band is “Back To Me Without You,” which was written in real time while Kimberly was dealing with the aftermath of a friendship that had imploded. “It was literally crashing and burning as we were writing the song,” Reid says. “She was heartbroken and had to take breaks from writing it in the front of the bus to go to the back of the bus to cry. Neil and I kept telling her, ‘Get back to what you know’ and ‘Get back to what you do,’ which ended up being lyrics in the song.” The track is just one example of how the band members raised the bar for themselves as songwriters on Pioneer. “We wrote every song on this album probably four times,” Neil explains. “Each time we’d finish, we’d ask ourselves, ‘Is this song completely honest about
where we are in life? Does it say everything we want it to say?’"
“Our first album was an honest representation of where we were at the time,” Kimberly says. “When we sat down to write songs, we had pictures in our head, and back then it was very
romantic imagery, like Ferris wheels at the county fair. This time our inspirational images were of armies and marching bands moving forward. It was very militaristic, and I think you can hear that in the melodies and the lyrics.” Adds Neil: “We didn’t discuss the images we had in our heads with each other at first. It was just what we all felt and how we processed the meaning behind the
Taken as a whole, Pioneer enables The Band Perry to accomplish one of its primary goals: to bring the romantic mystique of bands back to music — something they’ve dreamed of doing ever since
forming the group in Mobile, Alabama, where the Perry kids moved with their parents after a childhood spent in Jackson, Mississippi. Kimberly started her first band at age 15, with tenyearold Reid and eightyearold Neil observing every rehearsal from the sidelines. “When the drummer and bassist would take a water break, they would jump on their instruments,” Kimberly recalls with a
laugh. “They caught the fever immediately.” Reid and Neil started their own band, traveling with their family in a 36foot motor home, playing modest shows in malls, campgrounds, and fairs.
“Sometimes there’d be more people onstage than there were in out in the crowd,” Kimberly says. “But our parents, who had no legitimate experience in the music industry, said, ‘We’re not going to allow you to have a fallback plan. You were born to do music. We’ll support you, we’ll help you figure it out. This is what you need to do with your life.’ That was really the moment the three of us
joined forces as The Band Perry. All the friends I had been playing with become interested in other things. I needed a band and Reid and Neil needed a lead singer.” Kimberly, Reid, and Neil spent
the next ten years traveling, performing, and honing their skills before signing with Universal Republic in 2009 and being catapulted into the spotlight with “If I Die Young.” To this day, they are most comfortable onstage. “Just learning that craft made us feel comfortable when we started to book shows at the big arenas that we’re now getting to play,” Neil says.
The songs on Pioneer are tailormade for arena shows. “We needed songs that could fill large spaces,” Kimberly says. “Our show is very aggressive; there are a lot of electric guitars and hardhitting drums, and the music on Pioneer captures that.” “Playing the new songs has given our live show a new burst of energy and the crowd feels it, too,” Neil adds. “They’re as excited to have new music as we are.”
All tickets will go on sale May 1st at 8:00 am
from the Madison County Fair Office or by phone (402) 454-2144.
Credit Cards Accepted
(General Admission - No Reserved Seating)
For one low price of $40, you may purchase a GENERAL SEATING FUNPASS, entitling you to attend the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Mid-States Rodeo, Saturday evening performance of Hunter Hayes, Sunday Noon Barbecue, and Sunday evening performance of The Band Perry. With this FUNPASS, children age 5 and under are FREE.
For one low price of $50, you may purchase a RESERVED SEATING FUNPASS, entitling you to attend the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Rodeo, Saturday evening performance of Hunter Hayes, Sunday Noon Barbecue, and Sunday evening performance of The Band Perry. RESERVED SEATING FUNPASS will allow you to have reserved seating for ALL rodeo and concert performances. All persons seated in the RESERVED GRANDSTAND MUST purchase a ticket.
|DAILY RODEO ADMISSION TICKETS
Daily Rodeo Admission Tickets will go on sale at 6:00 pm based upon availability. Prices of general admission tickets are as follows:
Rodeo $7 for general admission and $10 for reserved
(based on availability).
Concert-Only tickets are available at the Fair Office, (402) 454-2144. Concert-Only Tickets may either be purchased as a Concert Only Funpass with 1 Hunter Hayes General Admission Ticket and 1 The Band Perry General Admission Ticket for $30. Or you may purchase one of either night’s performers for $30. After July 8 all General Admission Concert Only Ticket will be $30 each per night.
Reservations for 4-H families May 6th - May 10th from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
and 8:00 a.m. May 13th for the general public
Camp sites - 40 sites with full hookups; 100 sites with water and electricity
Dump site on grounds
20 sites with sewer, power & water
20 sites with electricity only
66 sites with water & electricity
Long term parking available at reduced rate
(Campsites are available throughout the year — call the Fair Office for details)
Madison County Fairgrounds Map
- Horse Stalls & Barn
- Beef Tie Rails
- Sheep Pens
- Indoor Livestock Show Arena
- Swine Pens
- Small Pets Building
- 4-H Offices
- Commercial Building
- 4-H Building
- Kids Zone Building
- Concession Hall
- Open Class Building
- Activity Center
- Ticket Office
- First Aid Station
- Grandstand - Reserved Seating
- Grandstand Rodeo Arena
- Rodeo Chutes & Pens
- General Admission Seating
- Concert Stage - General Admission Seating During Rodeo
- Beer Garden
- East Horse Arena
- Commercial Parking
- Carnival/Midway Area
Madison County Fair History
Early picture of Madison County Fair - Date Unknown.
Early picture of Madison County Fair - Date Unknown.
The Madison County Fair was started in 1873 at the First Presbyterian Church on the corner of third and Main. On March 2, 1874 those interested in the Madison County Agricultural Society met to make plans for the second Madison County Fair and to better organize. Section 8 of the regulations governing the society was amended to require parties competing to pay $1.00 and thus become members in the society and secure funds to conduct the fair. They secured twenty-three members. A committee was then formed to prepare a track for the exhibition of trotting and running stock. It was then decided to hold the fair at Madison, Nebraska. The Fair was conducted mostly by volunteers.
The Madison County Ag Society membership elected to carry out the fair was called "The Fair Board" for many years. It is now called the Board of Directors and all registered voters are considered a member of the Madison County Ag Society. Any of the registered voters may run for a seat on the Board of Directors and vote. There are five voted on each year to serve a term of three years, they may re-run if they so wish. The Board of Directors of the Madison County Ag Society now number fifteen members. They donate their time, energy and talents to produce one of the best fairs and rodeos in the State of Nebraska.
The fair was held in the downtown area until 1882. After tornadoes and a big fire hampered the events in the downtown area, they moved to the Pete Barnes farm, (now the Gary White farm) and held the events in a meadow. The 4-H groups and schools were beginning to become active participants and volunteers in participating and helping with the fair.
In 1885 a group of Madison citizens known as the Madison Driving Park Association, incorporated for the purpose of purchasing 25 acres in the northwest part of Madison (part of the present day fairgrounds) for use as the County Fairgrounds and leased it to the Madison County Ag Society (MCAS). It also built a trotting horse race track, which until the late 1930's was a part of the fair attraction. Madison Downs then began with horse racing. The racing program was separated from the fair until attendance fell off. Horse racing came to an end in 1971. The MCAS then became the main supporter of events. They incorporated and started meeting once each month and still do to this day.
The Fairgrounds were used for other events throughout the year, the school rented it for an athletic field; buildings were rented to organizations and family groups for meetings, reunions etc. In the 1930's, the Army leased some of the grounds to build a CCC Camp, which, in 1943 were returned to the MCAS by the Army. They were then utilized for use as 4-H horse barns for the fair and rented out for stables in the winters. (These were later torn down and a multipurpose livestock barn with inside arena was built. (One of the original barns is still used).
In the last years of the races the Madison Downs group authorized the Madison Jaycees to use the fairgrounds for a Rodeo. In 1998 upon expiration of the original contract with the Jaycees, MCAS took over the rodeo. To this day the rodeo is a main attraction for the Madison County Fair. National entertainment artists have been featured at the fair as well. The 4-H Clubs all have exhibits and livestock shows they participate in during the fair. The schools also display student artwork during the fair. A large fireworks finale was began in 1996 and has become a tradition. The carnival during the fair was first introduced in early 1900 and is still a main attraction. During the day there are all kinds of action: contests and shows, turtle races, ice cream eating contest, etc. to draw everyone's interest. The Fair and Rodeo is usually held in the month of July.
The Madison County Fairgrounds have grown from 25 acres and a few old houses to 75 acres and many modern updated buildings - 3 arenas (two outside and one large inside one), beef, horse, sheep, swine, and small animal housing with electricity, lights, plugs for grooming animals, and wash racks. It has plenty of parking with shuttle service to and from the parking areas to the main entrance. A camping area is available for those that was to stay all week during the fair and for camper tours etc. Restrooms are modern; two have showers with hot water. In 1995 a large fair office and boardroom were constructed. Additional facilities include: an Open Air building, concession stand, nearly new grandstands, and the Octagon Building (older historic building that was called the center building. It was built sometime in the mid 1800's). The grounds, buildings, and arenas are rented out and used year-round.
The 133rd Annual Madison County Fair will again be the host to well over 50,000 fairgoers this year. Attendance at the Fair has grown from a crowd of 50 to 60 people in 1873 to over 50,000 during the week in 2000.
Click on an event on the calendar to show a complete description.
You can click on the agenda tab to get a quick view of all upcoming events.
The Madison County Fair Board invites you to take a look at the buildings available for your event planning needs.
Commercial Exhibit Hall
Seats 400-800 people
(depending on table and chair setup)
Heat and Air Conditioning
Large kitchen with serving window
See images from a wedding rental!
Kitchen with serving window
Seats 200-400 people
(depending on table and chair setup)
McLeb Meeting Room
Heat and Air
Kitchen with serving window
Seats 50-75 people
70' x 150'
Indoor seating for 400+
Outdoor area - concrete floor - covered roof
Picnic tables available
Power for bands and etc.
Dump site on grounds
20 sites with sewer, power & water
20 sites with electricity only
66 sites with water and electricity
Long term parking available at reduced rate
Madison County Fair Survey
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