Iowa State Fair Free Entertainment

Nothing Compares to the THRILL of Free Entertainment at the Iowa State Fair! From jazz artists, to rock legends and country up-and-comers, there is something for everyone on the free stages.  We are in the process of finding just the right acts for 2017, so stay tuned!


Become a part of the Fair fun! The Iowa State Fair is thrilled to provide an opportunity for Iowa talent to perform in front of audiences of all sizes. To apply, please complete and return the Free Stage Entertainment Application and a promotional packet to the Iowa State Fair by April 1, 2017.  


The Blue Band has been one of the longest free stage acts, celebrating over 30 years.

The Nadas first came in 2000 and Hairball started performing in 2003.

45 dance studios performed throughout the 11 days of the 2016 Fair.

These entertainers first appeared at the Fair on a free stage before performing in the Grandstand:

  • John Michael Montgomery (free stage in 1993, Grandstand in 1995 and 1997)
  • Bryan White (free stage in 1995, Grandstand in 1997 and 1998)
  • Trick Pony (free stage 2001, Grandstand in 2002 and 2003)
  • Gary Allen (free stage 1999, Grandstand in 2004, 2007 and 2009)
  • Cross Canadian Ragweed (free stage 2004, Grandstand 2005)
  • Dierks Bentley (free stage 2004, Grandstand 2007 and 2016)
  • Shooter Jennings (free stage 2006, Grandstand 2008)
  • Chuck Wicks (free stage 2008, Grandstand 2009)
  • Candy Coburn (free stage 2008, Grandstand 2009, 2010)
  • The Band Perry (free stage 2011, Grandstand 2012)
  • Tenth Avenue North (free stage 2011, Grandstand 2012)
  • Lady Antebellum (free stage 2008, Grandstand 2014 and 2016)

For more information on free stage entertainment, please email