Canceled Kid Rock concert upsets 2022 State Fair goers

Submitted Photo Kid Rock was scheduled to perform at the 2022 ND State Fair.

The 2022 edition of the North Dakota State Fair was hotly anticipated if for no other reason than it was actually happening at all after being canceled the summer of 2020. The opening day of the fair was business as usual, with the typical throng milling about the midway, gobbling down their favorite fair foods and taking in the sights. Everything seemed to be going off without skipping a beat, but by the evening there had been such a hitch in the schedule that the whole world heard about it.

The headliner of the opening night Grandstand concert that Friday night was set to be superstar entertainer Kid Rock, who drew in 18,000 fans who waited patiently at first for the “All Summer Long” singer to take the stage. After two hours that patience had worn pretty thin. The delay was caused by Mother Nature, who had been whipping up a thunderstorm and severe winds that gave the performer and the State Fair’s organizers pause from going forward with the headliner’s performance.

As opening act Night Ranger performed, there were reports of a funnel cloud near Glenburn, wind speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour, and black clouds forming north of Minot. When the stage’s 60-feet by 80-feet video screen began swaying in the wind, all of the parties involved, from Kid Rock’s tour managers to State Fair management and the Ward County Sheriff, were at peace with the decision to pull the plug.

When the bad news was delivered by a Ward County sheriff’s deputy that the show was being canceled, many in the crowd were left more than a little disappointed and began throwing cans and bottles at the stage in protest. One viral video captured a man jumping the stage, who was quickly tackled, detained and removed from the fair. The crowd’s upset wasn’t helped by the sight of the rest of the fair carrying on, including the many carnival and fair rides next to the Grandstand.

There was a lot of confusion in the crowd to be sure, and their grumbling was heard around the world in short order. Videos from the upset fair-goers quickly went viral, catching the attention of websites and other outlets on a slow news day. Headlines blasted the Kid Rock fans as “rowdy,” saying they rioted and trashed other spaces outside the venue. There were reports of some tables being knocked over, but State Fair Manager Renae Korslien denied that such a “riot” described in papers like the New York Post and the Daily Mail had occurred.

Everyone involved quickly moved to explain the situation to the upset fair-goers, with the State Fair offering to reimburse those who bought tickets. Kid Rock was deeply apologetic to his fans but said in a Tweet, “I know it sucks but none of us can control mother nature. Please be safe leaving and take care of each other.”

There was some criticism of the State Fair over its handling of the kerfuffle. In the end, the fair stressed the safety of attendees was the driving impulse behind the decision, which ensured that they’d all be able to be graced by the musical stylings of Kid Rock sometime soon in the future.


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