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There will be no big concert at the 2021 Arizona State Fair due to budget shortfalls

Arizona State Fair 2021
Posted at 12:18 PM, Aug 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 18:05:48-04

PHOENIX — In less than 50 days, the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix will be filled with its traditional carnival rides, games, and vendors selling deep-fried Oreos, cookie dough, and other fried treats.

However, one tradition that will not be part of this year's fair will be the evening concerts at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Citing apparent budget shortfalls after the 2019 fair and the fact that the 2020 fair was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jen Yee, a spokesperson for the Arizona State Fair and fairgrounds, told ABC15 recently that there was not enough money to book concerts this year.

As a self-funded state entity, she said proceeds from the previous year's state fair and event rentals of the fairgrounds help to fund those activities for the following year's fair.

Advanced tickets to the 2021 Arizona State Fair, which will be held Wednesday - Sunday, Oct. 1-30, 2021, at the fairgrounds, near 19th Avenue and McDowell Road, went on sale on Thursday.

General admission tickets are $10-$12 per person. VIP parking is $25, which includes access to the main parking lot at the fairgrounds. Pricing for general parking was not listed online.

Details on what rides, games, and vendors will be at this year's state fair have not yet been announced. Typically, the fair has a range of partnerships and promotions that offer discounts on admission and rides. Those partnerships have not been announced yet either.

Earlier this year, the Governor's Office announced that the State Fair would temporarily be moved to Gila River's Wild Horse Pass development in Chandler. However, earlier this month, as ABC15 first reported, officials reversed course and said the fair would indeed be held at the fairgrounds, where it's been held for decades.

In a statement, officials blamed disruptions in the supply chain due to the pandemic and the "inability to secure infrastructure" in time to hold the fair.

However, officials left open the possibility that the 2022 fair could still be moved to the Gila River Indian Community, which was not publicly known to be an option previously.

"We remain committed to working with the Gila River Indian Community to see if we can move the Fair to the Gila River Indian Reservation in 2022 in a manner that is mutually beneficial to both sides," said Jonathan Lines, chairman of the Arizona Exposition and State Fair Board," in a previous statement.