The Iowa State Fair’s Best-Selling Musical Acts So Far in 2022

The Iowa State Fair knows how to attract audiences. Grandstand shows broke attendance records in 2021, drawing the biggest crowd since its renovation in 2018, with Chris Stapleton’s appearance drawing 17,320 people at the Kum & Go stage. The country superstar’s concert spent the Record of 17,032 previously held by local metal band Slipknot in 2019.

With acts such as Nelly, Demi Lovato, Carrie Underwood and Disturbed in 2022, the State Fair is ready to open the doors to grandstand acts. But which shows are already sold out? And what does attendance at Brooks & Dunn, Kane Brown and Skillet look like? Here’s a look at ticket sales for this year’s State Fair Grandstand issues through August 1.

After:5 new things at the 2022 Iowa State Fair, including a world record attempt and new events

Over 14,000 tickets sold

Brooks & Dunn

Fans buy tickets to see Kix Brooks, left, and Ronnie Dunn.

When: 8 p.m., August 12

Tickets: $47 to $92

Special guest: Alex Miller

The fair’s two best-selling shows sold over 14,000 tickets, putting both shows near the roughly 15,000-seat mark for the venue before around 2,000 more tickets went on sale for standing room uniquely.

Brooks & Dunn is made up of the longtime country combination of Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, who appeared at the Iowa State Fair nine times from 1992 to 2009. The duo are famous for songs like “Play Something Country” and ” My Next Broken Heart.”

Opening for the classic country duo that night is rising country music star Alex Miller, who appeared on season 19 of “American Idol.” Last year Miller released “Don’t Let the Barn Door Hit Ya” and his first full album, “Miller Time” earlier this year.

After:Brooks & Dunn Perform “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” and Other Country Hits at Iowa State Fair

Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood closes the Iowa State Fair with the final show on August 21.

When: 8 p.m., August 21

Tickets: $45 to $100

Special guest: Adam Sander

Country superstar Carrie Underwood, who plays on the final night of the 2022 State Fair, is second with ticket sales so far.

Underwood, who appeared at the last state fairs in 2007 and 2015shot to fame after winning “American Idol” in 2005. Since then, she’s released hits such as “Something in the Water” and “Before He Cheats” and won seven Grammy Awards.

Opening for Underwood is country music singer-songwriter Adam Sanders, who has written music for Luke Bryan, Dustin Lynch and Blake Shelton. Last year he released his album “What If I’m Right”.

After:Country music star Carrie Underwood takes to the grandstand at the Iowa State Fair this summer

Over 10,000 tickets sold

Kane Brown

Kane Brown is playing on the grandstand at the Iowa State Fair this summer.

When: 8 p.m. August 18

Tickets: $45 to $90

Special guest: Jessie James Decker

Country artist Kane Brown has already sold nearly 13,000 tickets. The country star is famous for songs like “Used to Love You Sober” and “Whiskey Sour.” Since bursting onto the music scene in 2015, he’s won five American Music Awards and collaborated with artists including HER and Chris Young.

Brown’s opening is Jessie James Decker, a country pop singer who has produced songs such as “Should Have Known Better” and “The Woman I Have Become.”

After:Budding country star Kane Brown performs on the grandstand at the Iowa State Fair this summer

Keith Urban

Keith Urban will perform on the grandstand at the 2022 Iowa State Fair.

When: 8 p.m., August 20

Tickets: $45 to $90

Special guest: Ingrid Andress

Iowa State Fair organizers wanted country star Keith Urban back on the stand since his last appearance in 2020 was canceled due to the pandemic. Its ticket sales are about where it was in 2020 with just over 12,000 tickets sold.

The four-time Grammy Award winner is known for hits such as “You’ll Think of Me” and “Blue Ain’t Your Color.” Last year, when Urban was forced to cancel his appearance at the State Fair due to an “unforeseen scheduling conflict”, he was replaced by pop duo Dan + Shay.

Ingrid Andress, who plays before Urban, will be familiar to some central Iowans. She played in the 2021 Big Country Bash. The rising country artist has released songs such as “More Hearts Than Mine” and, in collaboration with Sam Hunt, “Wishful Drinking”.

After:Keith Urban announced as the Iowa State Fair’s first grandstand number in 2022 after it was canceled in 2021

Alanis Morissette

Alanis Morissette is performing on the grandstand at the Iowa State Fair this summer.

When: 8 p.m., August 15

Tickets: $45 to $95

Special guest: Morgan Wade

Hot on the heels of Urban in ticket sales is Alanis Morissette, who has sold approximately 11,500 tickets so far.

The rock star rose to fame with his 1995 album ‘Jagged Little Pill’ – which recently inspired a Tony-winning musical of the same name – and has since gone on to foster a prolific career. His releases since that first album include “Ironic” and “All I Really Want”.

Morissette’s opening is country singer Morgan Wade, who – in the few years she’s been active – has released songs such as “Take Me Away” and “Wilder Days”.

After:Alanis Morissette brings her women’s anthem “You Oughta Know” to the Iowa State Fair


Famous hip-hop artist Nelly will perform at the Iowa State Fair on August 13, 2022.

When: 8 p.m., August 13

Tickets: $30 to $55

Special guest: Ginu wine

Hip-hop star Nelly is on course to sell 11,000 tickets for her grandstand show this year.

Nelly’s 2000 debut solo album, “Country Grammar,” had a lasting influence on hip hop and remains one of the genre’s best sellers. Since then he has continued to release songs such as “Hot In Herre” and “Just a Dream”.

Opening for Nelly is R&B singer-songwriter Ginuwine who, in addition to solo performances, is part of TGT with fellow musicians Tank and Tyrese Gibson.

After:Famous hip-hop artist Nelly will make his first appearance at the 2022 Iowa State Fair

Less than 10,000 tickets sold

High ZZ

High ZZ

When: 8 p.m., August 16

Tickets: $40 to $60

Special guest: Anne Wilson

Classic rock band ZZ Top, which will perform at the Iowa State Fair as part of the band’s Raw Whiskey tour, sold around 6,500 tickets.

The group has a substantial catalog of hits which include “La Grange”, “Legs” and “Sharp Dressed Man”.

Last summer, bassist and original member Dusty Hill died at age 72, and Elwood Francis, who was already working with the band as guitarist, took his place.

Special guest Ann Wilson, lead singer of rock band Heart, will open for ZZ Top. Her debut album “Hope & Glory” was released in 2007 and her latest solo album, “Fierce Bliss”, was released in April.

After:ZZ Top Rockers Round Out Iowa State Fair Grandstand Lineup With Heart’s Ann Wilson


Heavy metal band, Disturbed

When: 8 p.m., August 19

Tickets: $40 to $85

Special guest: Chevelle

Disturbed, a rock band famous for songs like “Land of Confusion” and “Down with the Sickness,” tied for ticket sales with ZZ Top.

Disturbed emerged from Chicago in the 1990s and has since gone platinum with albums like “Ten Thousand Fists” and “Immortalized.”

Alternative metal band Chevelle, known for “Send the Pain Below” and “Red”, open for Disturbed.

After:Get ‘Down with the Sickness’ when Disturbed with Chevelle plays Iowa State Fair

Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato

When: 8 p.m., August 14

Tickets: $35 to $65

Special guest: Not announced yet

Sitting around 5,500 tickets sold is Demi Lovato, the pop music artist who became a household name over a decade ago and starred in Disney Channel projects such as ‘Camp Rock’ and ‘Sonny with a Chance”.

Since then, Lovato has released hits such as “Give Your Heart a Break” and “Sorry Not Sorry.” His latest album, “Dancing with the Devil… the art of starting over”, was released at the same time as a documentary with the same title.

While a special guest star has yet to be announced for Lovato, State Fair organizers said an announcement for a guest performer is forthcoming.

After:Pop Star Demi Lovato Brings ‘Sorry Not Sorry’ and More to the Iowa State Fair Grandstand


Skillet, left to right, guitarist Korey Cooper, vocalist/bassist John Cooper, drummer/vocalist Jen Ledger and guitarist Seth Morrison.

When: 8 p.m., August 11

Tickets: $30 to $55

Special guest: Dante Bowe

Skillet, the alternative Christian band that kicks off grandstand performances on the very first day of this year’s State Fair, also sold around 5,500 tickets.

The group released notable hits such as “Monster” and “Hero”. At the beginning of this year, the band released their latest album “Dominion”.

Take the stage in front of Skillet is Dante Bowea cult singer whose notable releases include songs such as “Champion” and “Joyful.”

John Christ

Comedian John Crist

When: 8 p.m., August 17

Tickets: $30 to $60

Special guest: dusty kill

Currently trailing ticket sales at nearly 5,000 sold, John Crist is the only non-musical grandstand act this year.

Crist is a stand-up comedian who makes comedy sketch videos on YouTube and Buzzfeed. His comedy focuses on his experiences as a Christian in modern times as well as broader social topics.

Opening for Crist is Dusty Slay who, at age 36, became the youngest comedian to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. He was one of “Variety” magazine’s 10 comics to watch in 2019 and appeared in three seasons of Netflix’s “The Standups.”

After:Christian comedian John Crist will appear on the Iowa State Fair grandstand this summer

Tickets, as well as more information on all of these shows and other State Fair activities, can be found at

More info on the Iowa State Fair

Isaac Hamlet covers arts, entertainment and culture at the Des Moines Register. Join it at [email protected] or 319-600-2124, follow him on Twitter @IsaacHamlet.