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Published November 12, 2011, 12:03 PM

Red River Valley Fair books The Band Perry

Country Music Association Award-winners to play in 2012 FARGO – Some people say it’s all about timing in the entertainment industry. The Red River Valley Fair just took advantage of the moment by announcing it has booked the hottest country band in the land.

By: Robert Morast, INFORUM

FARGO – Some people say it’s all about timing in the entertainment industry. The Red River Valley Fair just took advantage of the moment by announcing it has booked the hottest country band in the land.

Friday morning, the Fair revealed that The Band Perry, fresh off of a career-altering three awards at the Country Music Association Awards, will play the West Fargo fairgrounds on July 11.

It’s the first announcement of the Fair’s 2012 grandstand lineup – and the only act it has booked to this point. But this already feels a little like a coup for the county fair to secure the most buzz-worthy country act in Nashville at this moment.

Jodi Buresh, the fair’s assistant general manager, says they usually don’t announce grandstand acts until after the holidays, but given The Band Perry’s success at Wednesday night’s awards show, they decided to spread the word before it was leaked online.

“It’s hard to keep this quiet,” Buresh says. “They’re coming off a good high right now.”

Also tucked away in the Friday news release was the detail that the Red River Valley Fair will be shorter in 2012, running only six nights from July 10-15. The fair had previously announced July 6-14 as the date range.

The abbreviated run is, in part, due to the fair’s contracted carnival pro­vider. If the fair started on July 6, the carnival would have lost some business in smaller cities. So the fair cut them a break. But Buresh doesn’t think it means the fair will offer a lesser product.

“We think we can put on a better show in six days,” Buresh said. “We’re keeping our budget the same.”

That means there’s the potential for more “bigger name” acts being booked for the grandstand lineup.

However, Buresh stressed that the fair isn’t close to signing any other acts and won’t until some fair officials attend the International Association of Fairs and Expositions convention in Las Vegas later this month. She said that convention is where some of the discussions for booking grandstand acts begin.

And, she cautioned, don’t expect superstars like Kid Rock on the Red River Valley Fair’s 2012 lineup. The organization will still be looking at less-costly up-and-coming acts, such as The Band Perry.

The group – which counts three siblings named Perry as its members – just won the CMA awards for new artist, single of the year and song of the year for their hit “If I Die Young.”

The Band Perry date is reminiscent of 2009 when the fair booked another up-and-coming country music act, the Zac Brown Band, just as the group was reaching the next level of popularity. That concert drew more than 10,000 people to the fairgrounds – which was more than the rock band Green Day attracted to the Fargodome on the same night.

Buresh feels confident The Band Perry can bring a similar crowd to the fairgrounds.

“Easy. We can get 9,000 for Hairball. We can easily get 10,000 for The Band Perry,” she said before referencing this past summer. “We had 12,000 for Uncle Cracker.”

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