The shows were moved shows to downtown Indianapolis because of last year’s deadly stage collapse.
A financial report of this year’s fair showed that revenue from off-site events including concerts was just 40 percent of projections, totaling only about $1.1 million. The fair reported an overall profit of more than $505,000.
State Fair Commission Chairman Andre Lacy said the downtown concerts at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse that included shows by Barry Manilow, Journey and Pat Benatar “didn’t work” and won’t be repeated next year.
State fair director Cindy Hoye said the 2013 fair will still have some “B-level named entertainment” on the fairgrounds’ free stage. But she said the lesson drawn from low ticket sales at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse is that fair visitors want their concerts at the fairgrounds.
“Our customers want to be here. They didn’t understand the whole idea, it didn’t work and so we’re bringing back some headline entertainment for free on the free stage,” Howe said.
The fairground coliseum complex is currently undergoing a $63 million renovation and expansion to be completed in time to host paid concerts in 2014.