Maren Morris

Grammy-winning singer Maren Morris will play the Nebraska State Fair this year.

The Nebraska State Fair has expanded the number of concerts at this year's fair to 13, including a Labor Day concert for the first time.

This year's State Fair will run from Aug. 23 through Sept. 2.

According to Lori Cox, State Fair executive director, a new feature of this year's concerts will be a bundling concept where the public can purchase tickets for three performers for $79, which will include admission to the fairgrounds on the day of the concerts.

The new concert concept is part of a new look for the State Fair, which will be celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, along with its 10th anniversary in Grand Island.

The three bundles include rock, hot country and red dirt country.

The rock bundle includes Theory of a Deadman on Tuesday, Aug. 27; Bad Wolves on Wednesday, Aug. 28; and Halestorm on Saturday, Aug. 31.

The hot country bundle includes Brett Eldredge on Saturday, Aug. 24; Maren Morris on Friday, Aug. 30; and Little Big Town on Sunday, Sept. 1.

The red dirt lineup includes Granger Smith and Earl Dibbles Jr. on Aug. 23, Cody Jinks on Aug. 25 and Whiskey Myers and Reckless Kelly on Aug. 26.

Brett Eldredge is a country music singer, songwriter and record producer. He is the cousin of Terry Eldredge of The Grascals, Eldredge has had three No. 1 singles on the Billboard Country Airplay chart from his debut studio album, "Bring You Back": "Don't Ya," "Beat of the Music" and "Mean to Me."

Maren Larae Morris is a country music singer, songwriter, and record producer. She has released four studio albums. Her 2015 extended play, Maren Morris, charted on two Billboard charts. Her major label debut album, "Hero," reached number five on the Billboard 200 chart and number one on the Top Country Albums chart.

Theory of a Deadman is a Canadian rock band from Delta, British Columbia. Formed in 2001, the band is currently signed to Roadrunner Records as well as 604 Records. It also includes traits of other music styles, such as country and acoustic, as well as its post-grunge and alternative rock base.

Bad Wolves is an American heavy metal supergroup formed in 2017. It is best known for its 2018 cover of The Cranberries' "Zombie."

Halestorm is an American rock band from Red Lion, Pa., consisting of lead vocalist and guitarist Lzzy Hale; her brother, drummer and percussionist Arejay Hale; guitarist Joe Hottinger; and bassist Josh Smith.

Texas country singer Granger Smith responsible for hit country songs such as "Backraod Song," "If the Boot Fits" and "Happens Like That." He also performs as his alter ego, Earl Dibbles Jr.

Cody Jinks is a critically lauded country singer, and his latest album, "Lifers," hit No. 2 on the country albums chart. 

Whiskey Myers sounds like the name of a person, but it's a Texas rock and country band with hit songs such as "Stone."

There will be 10 bands in the three bundles. The State Fair will announce three more concerts in February, including the Older Nebraskans Day concert, the Christian concert and the Labor Day concert that will salute members and veterans of the military.

"This new ticket format, combined with the largest all-star lineup in decades, is sure to be a State Fair experience no one will forget," Cox said.

There will be no outdoor concerts this year. She said her staff and the State Fair board are exploring future alternatives concerning holding outdoor concerts at the fair. All of this year's concerts will be in the Heartland Events Center.

The outdoor concert series started four years ago and was held during the first weekend of the fair. It was an effort by the State Fair to draw bigger name performers. To help pay for higher costs of having those top list performers, the outdoor concerts were in the infield of the Fonner Park race track, where more tickets could be sold. The outdoor concert series was a hit and miss effort but did have some successes, such as the Pentatonix and Keith Urban concerts, which each drew more than 12,000 people. Other big name performers didn't fare as well.

General admission ticket bundles will sell for $79 and will include gate admission, a $12 value. According to Cox, that means each concert ticket is $16.

"That is a 60 percent savings compared to past concert prices," she said.

There will be a limited number of single tickets that will be sold in the spring at $48 each. They will also include gate admission.

"All seats are first come, first served," Cox said.

Along with general admission, pit pass bundles will be available for $129 including gate admission. Cox said these tickets offer fans a standing-room-only experience at the front of the stage. Single ticket pit passes will not be available for purchase.

"For all the bundles, fans will receive three tickets for the concerts and three separate tickets for gate admission," she said.

Chelsey Jungck, chief of entertainment for the fair, called the bundling concept "revolutionary."

"You can split your tickets up among friends if you can't attend all three shows," Jungck said. "We hope people will find magic in the bundle."

Bundles will go on sale at 10 a.m. Jan. 25. Tickets will be sold at the new State Fair box office, which will be located on the first floor of the Nebraska Building at Fonner Park. Hours of operation will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Tickets for all shows can also be purchased at etix.com and statefair.org.

All the bundle concerts will start at 8 p.m.

Reporter - Entertainment/music/concert

Kevin Coffey covers music, whether it's pop, indie or punk, through artist interviews, reviews and trend stories. He also occasionally cover other entertainment. Follow him on Twitter @owhmusicguy. Phone: 402-444-1557.

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