Delaware State Fair attendance sees dropoff over last year
By Craig Anderson--Delaware State News
July 31, 2013
HARRINGTON — Looking to rebuild overall attendance that dropped 10 percent in 2013, Delaware State Fair officials are already working to book top-notch concerts for next year’s 10-day extravaganza.
Assistant General Manager Danny Aguilar said Wednesday afternoon that fair attendance, which this year numbered more than 228,000, is directly tied to the quality of artists filling the nightly concert showcases, and at least four offers have already been made for the 2014 session.
“We’re trying to find up-and-coming artists we can book now before their popularity, demand and ticket price go up by next summer,” Mr. Aguilar said.
The importance of finding popular musicians was best illustrated by this year’s Luke Bryan show on a sweltering day when temperatures reached 97 degrees and were accompanied by a significant amount of humidity as well.
Despite brutal conditions outside, the July 28 opening day attendance topped the year thanks to the sold -out draw of country music star Bryan — joined by the popular duo Florida Georgia Line — and a track ticket available for $49. In 2012, a Monster Truck opener failed to help draw a similar overall crowd despite better weather.
By early afternoon on opening day this year, waves of leather-boot wearing music fans were streaming into the fairgrounds as the temperatures rose steadily in the hours before the show.
“We’re finding a direct correlation between the strength of entertainment lineups to attendance,” Mr. Aguilar said. “The stronger the shows, the larger the overall crowds will be.”
Mr. Aguilar said other fairs are also struggling to provide quality entertainment bills throughout several days, and competing with more venues, routing availability for artists and ability to keep ticket prices more affordable.
According to officials, four concert offers have already been made for next year.