This year’s Dodge County Fair will be anything but typical.
While many county fairs annually bring in country music acts, the Dodge County Fair Board is going down a different path this year.
Instead of a country singer wearing blue jeans, a plain shirt and a cowboy hat, the stage will be filled with entertainers wearing leather pants, sequined belts and platform boots.
That’s because Hairball will be the featured act on Aug. 2 at the Dodge County Fair in Scribner.
“Hairball is a rock ‘n roll experience you won’t forget. A band puts on a concert – Hairball puts on an event,” states promotional material on Hairball’s website.
The decision to bring in Hairball, a band which performs music by Van Halen, KISS, Motley Crue, Queen, Journey, Aerosmith among others, instead of a country act, was brought on by the public.
“We really do try to listen to what we hear from people and Hairball is something that we have been being asked about for 2-3 years,” Dodge County Fair Board President said. “Honestly, the first time Hairball was brought up to me, I had no idea who Hairball was. All I could think of was a cat with an issue.”
When board members checked in with their booking agency about Hairball, they learned the popular band sells out area venues such as Ralston Arena. The more research they did, the more interested they became.
“Ultimately, after continuing to be asked by not one person, but multiple people, and multiple of us on the board were asked by different people, we decided it was time to give it a try and see,” Schole said. “We’re getting asked for something besides country, we’ve been handed a recommendation, so let’s go ahead and give it a try.”
When the concert announcement recently was made, some people couldn’t believe the fair board was actually bringing in Hairball, a high-energy band known for performing with lights, video screens, smoke, fire, confetti and screaming fans.
“The response has been very, very positive, probably more so than I even anticipated given the demographic that we are typically. You think country bands are what are going to work really well, and they do, and that’s not to say we won’t go back to a country band, but it’s kind of fun to try something new and it’s fun to see people’s responses by trying something new,” Schole said. “We hope that we may get some people to the Dodge County Fair who would have not normally been there and realize that there’s a whole lot more going on there than just whatever it is people believe happens at a county fair.
“It’s kind of fun to pull in a different crowd and your old crowd.”
People familiar with the typical Dodge County Fair also will notice a change to the fair’s schedule.
Instead of the concert being on a Friday night, it is set for Thursday, Aug. 2.
“Our original hope was to stick with our normal Thursday tractor pull, Friday concert and Saturday demo derby/tough trucks,” Schole said. “We actually booked Hairball unofficially in early July of 2017 and they were only available for our weekend for either the Thursday or the Saturday night and we opted to go for the Thursday night to change it up. Typically, concertgoers are happy to come out on a Thursday night and hopefully the tractor pull will be equally as successful on Friday night.”
The Rude Band has been signed as the opening act for Hairball. The band will perform for about an hour before giving way to Hairball’s two-hour show.
Tickets have not yet went on sale for the concert, but Schole said the board anticipates an on-sale date in early March. The fair’s website, www.dodgecountyfair.org, and Facebook page will have ticket details when they become available.
Given the public’s largely positive response so far, Schole said the board is looking forward to a large crowd at this year’s concert.
“I hope this is a good opportunity to show people that we are open to new ideas and it doesn’t get any more different in my mind than Hairball versus Tracy Lawrence,” she said. “We really do want to give it a try and try to appeal to all of the different people who are within the county and within the area to come to the fair.
“Sometimes I think people get caught up in thinking that the county fair never changes and I guess I would definitely stress that we’re willing to change if you’re willing to lead us down the recommendation path. … It’s nice to get a very positive response from the community.”