Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jola Szubielski 518-457-0752
Dave Bullard 315-487-7711 x 1377

September 06, 2015

Chevy Court Already Smashes All-Time Attendance Record Due to Increase in Talent Investment

Big Numbers for Shows Prove ‘Chevy Court is Our Future’
The Future Brings Transformation to an Even Larger Venue

Attendance at Chevy Court at the Great New York State Fair is smashing the all-time attendance mark, nearing 220,000 people through 10 days of the 2015 Fair, State Fair Acting Director Troy Waffner announced today.  The stage will soon undergo a transformation as part of the $50 million plan to renovate the Fairgrounds, aimed at hosting even larger national acts and larger audiences.

In 2014, 175,600 people watched 23 national acts at Chevy Court.  That mark fell on Thursday, just eight days into the Fair, when Jason Derulo played to 24,800 people.  As of Sunday morning, the 2015 Fair stands at 219,600 in total attendance at Chevy Court.

“With three big shows left in our concert season, we’re already breaking records at Chevy Court. We’ve increased our investment in talent for this stage and created a much more diverse lineup. That effort is paying big dividends for the Fair, its vendors, and music fans.  We’ve said that we’re the best free music festival among all state fairs.  These numbers prove that the future of music at the Great New York state Fair is at Chevy Court,” said Waffner.

This is the final year for the current incarnation of Chevy Court.  Later this fall, the current stage and backstage area will be torn down and rebuilt in time for the 2016 Fair.  The rebuilt stage will allow for even larger shows with more elaborate stage and lighting setups to take place.  The renovation is part of the $50 million project to reshape the Great New York State Fair and Fairgrounds for the 21st century and includes a permanent RV park, new program area to highlight everything good about New York State, new entrances that echo the classic entrances of the Fair’s past, and, by 2017, a 110,000 square foot arena for larger equestrian shows, large trade shows, and other significant indoor events.

Today, the Disney boy band R5 performs at 2 p.m.  Rock icon Steve Miller takes the stage at 8 p.m. tonight.  Pop star Nick Jonas closes the concert series Sunday night at the special time of 6 p.m.

Some facts from the numbers:

  • Average attendance for Chevy Court shows in 2015 is 10,980, an increase of 30.5% over 2014’s 7,635.  When only national acts are counted, the overall average is 11,506, almost 500 people higher than the average for just the 8 p.m. shows in 2014.
  • Seven out of 10 8 p.m. shows have outdrawn shows at the Grandstand.  The show by Nas, a last-minute replacement for Snoop Dogg, is one of five shows all-time to draw more than 30,000 fans.
  • 2 p.m. shows at Chevy Court typically draw a third to a quarter of the attendance of the evening shows.  This year, a 2 p.m. Senior Day show from The Oak Ridge Boys drew 9,200 – outdrawing or equaling more than half of the 8 p.m. lineup from last year. (Joan Jett and the Blackhearts drew 9,200 people, with Barenaked Ladies, The Bacon Brothers, Young The Giant, John Kay & Steppenwolf, Night Ranger, and Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes all drawing fewer people.)
In addition to its main mission of promoting agriculture, the Fair is a gigantic music festival featuring more than 500 free performances on more than a dozen stages offered by the Fair and by some of its vendors.

2015 Press Releases