The lineup for the 2014 Douglas County Fair is a little bit country and a lot of rock and roll.
International rock acts Deep Purple and Seether anchor this year’s entertainment schedule, which Fairgrounds Director Harold Phillips announced today.
Blues player Johnny Lang and rising country singer-songwriter Thomas Rhett also will perform as headline entertainers.
None of the marquee acts this year is a repeat performer.
Lang, an American blues and rock musician, will perform on opening day, Wednesday, Aug. 6. The 33-year-old North Dakota native was noticed for his guitar virtuosity in his early teens.
Lang has since toured with The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, B.B. King and Sting. He’s recorded five albums, including his most recent, 2013’s “Fight for My Soul.”
With four hit country singles and a 2012 debut album that peaked at number two on the country charts, Thomas Rhett is riding an ascendant streak. The 23-year-old from Valdosta, Ga., performs the second night of the fair.
Rhett’s single, “It Goes Like This,” from his album of the same name, was a number one country hit last year.
Phillips hinted Rhett has been invited to take part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony planned for the Thursday of the fair.
A $1.3 million pavilion remodel will be celebrated. The project was funded through private donations and a matching grant from the Douglas County government.
“This year, we’re really trying to highlight the fair’s agricultural base,” Phillips said.
Playing the Friday of the fair will be South African alternative rock band Seether, which first achieved mainstream popularity in 2004 with its single “Broken.”
Phillips said this year’s lineup has at least as hard of an edge as last year’s lineup, which included rock bands 3 Doors Down and Whitesnake, as well as country singers Dwight Yoakam and Clay Walker.
“Alternative rock and post-grunge are styles we’ve had success with in the past,” said Phillips, who added that a diverse entertainment lineup can boost overall fair attendance.
When shock rocker Alice Cooper performed in the 1980s, it set a one-day attendance record.
This year’s closing act is pioneering English heavy metal band Deep Purple.
Today, the quintet is fronted by longtime singer Ian Gillan and includes widely-respected drummer Ian Paice and shred-dog guitarist Steve Morse. At various times it’s hosted venerated rock musicians Ritchie Blackmore, Joe Satriani and, interestingly, Whitesnake lead singer David Coverdale, who performed at the fair last year.
The first three nights’ shows start at 7:30 p.m. Deep Purple’s show starts at 8 p.m.
Phillips said he and Deep Purple’s management spent time shoehorning an “A band into a B or C venue.”
The typical Deep Purple road show includes special effects intended for a stadium or arena. This was part of why Deep Purple was the last band to agree to terms with the fairgrounds, Phillips said. But Phillips said the band also represents a big get for the county, and its show in Roseburg will still include most of the band’s usual effects, including two large video screens on either side of the band.
Also performing this year are trick-performing canines The Olate Dogs and X-Treme Air Dogs, who Phillips said are both back by popular demand.
The Mark and Dre Show will provide variety entertainment. (The name of the female half of “Mark and Dre” is pronounced “Drew.”)
The 4-H and FFA auction and the Fairs’ Got Talent talent show are again centerpiece events. Costumed actors with B.C. Characters will roam the fairgrounds, and a robotic chicken by Atlas Robotics will greet arriving fairgoers.
• You can reach reporter Garrett Andrews at 541-957-4218 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternative rock and post-grunge are styles we’ve had success with in the past.
Douglas County Fair director