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After the successful first year of the Rising Star Stage in 2017, it is returning to the Illinois State Fair. This FREE stage features a different up and coming music act each night of the fair from 7-8 pm. The Rising Star Stage is located on Central Avenue, just east of the Shed.

“We are thrilled to bring the Rising Star Stage back in 2018,” says State Fair Manager Luke Sailer. “This stage gives fairgoers the chance to see artists who are soon to be big names in the music industry for FREE. Last year Ashley McBryde played the Rising Star Stage and this year she is opening for Luke Combs on the grandstand.”

Logan Mize will perform on Thursday, August 9. Mize hails from Kansas and has been doing whatever it takes to reach his goals. His latest record, Come Back Road, debuted in the top 20 Billboard Country Albums ad reached No. 2 on the iTunes Country Charts. This album features the hit song, “It Ain’t Always Pretty.”

Friday, August 10 will feature Walker Country. The sister duo is signed to Warner Music Nashville. The Indiana natives make performing a family affair as their dad plays lead guitar. Typically playing country music, the duo adds some soulful and southern rock flair to their music.

The Howlin’ Brothers will be the rising star on Saturday, August 11. The old-time country/string band trio infuses blues and bluegrass in each show. They mix traditional country music with the sounds of a slide banjo, harmonica, and fiddle. Rolling Stone Magazine called one of their albums “a rip-roarin’, hootenanny on wax that puts a rocked-out spin on old-timey bluegrass.”

Performing on Sunday, August 12 is Ivory Layne. An old soul who began songwriting at just six years old, made the move from North Carolina to Nashville to pursue music. The title track from her second EP, “Something’s Gonna Happen” helped her land two global ad campaigns.

Monday, August 13 will be slightly different featuring a Fall Football Preview with Josh Whitman. Whitman serves as the Athletic Director for the University of Illinois. In addition to getting the inside scoop on the Fighting Illini, this program will also feature a preview of the upcoming high school football season with insight provided by the coaches in the CS8 Conference along with Sports Radio 1450 personalities.  This program will begin at 6 pm.

Wayland will take on the Rising Star Stage on Tuesday, August 14. The rock group was formed in 2010 and has seen widespread success. Their newest album Rinse & Repeat, features the hit “Through the Fire” which has reached into the 20s on Billboard Mainstream Rock. Inspiration comes from many places, but you are guaranteed to hear some crunchy guitar riffs and pounding drums in their songs.

Wednesday, August 15 will feature Brandon Lay. His first single “Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers” perfectly describes Lay’s upbringing. Originally from Tennessee, he wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on his upcoming album including his latest hit, “Yada Yada Yada.” Lay is currently opening for Kenny Chesney on his 2018 tour.

On Thursday, August 16 Bishop Gunn will be on the Rising Star Stage. The group has been doing non-stop touring, festivals, and opening for other acts recently. The Mississippi natives named their first album Natchez, which also happens to be their hometown. Listeners can expect to hear a mix of rock and roll, soul, and blues from these guys. In May 2018, Rolling Stone Magazine listed them as one of the “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know”.

Performing on Saturday, August 18 is Ryan Griffin. Being named a SiriusXM Highway Find has confirmed this Florida native is on the right career path. Incorporating soul and R&B in to his music has led him to create his Sake of the Summer EP that includes hits, “Back Seats & Burnt CDs,” and “Woulda Left Me Too.”

Central Illinois natives, Broseph, will close out the fair on Sunday, August 19. Another way to say brothers or best friends, it’s obvious that the band name fits this group. They have a Top 40 single with “Right Where She Wants Me,” and a Top 60 single with “Fill ‘Em On Up.” Critics say each and every Broseph show is packed with energy and leaves fans wanting more.

Mark your calendars for the 2018 Illinois State Fair, August 9th – 19th, in Springfield, IL.

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