‘Idol’ star to perform at IOW Fair

Published 9:44 am Friday, September 14, 2012

‘American Idol’ star Casey James will perform tonight at the Isle of Wight County Fair. -- Submitted Photo

WINDSOR—It was Casey James’ national exposure on the Fox television show “American Idol” that led the Isle of Wight County Fair Committee to book the up-and-coming country artist for this year’s fair.

“He had the national exposure, and with a new album coming out, it was a no-brainer,” said Stan Murrell, chairman for Main Stage entertainment.

It’s that same exposure that has Fair Coordinator Darlene Keyt excited about today’s, Sept. 14, concert featuring James at 9 p.m. on the Main Stage. The concert is included with the $5 admission ticket to the fair in Windsor.

“We’re hoping for 7,000,” she said. “That’s a good Friday night.”

Last year’s Friday night concert featuring country singer Sunny Sweeney drew nearly 5,200 people.

Keyt said she’s received about two dozen calls in the last couple days, primarily from girls 13 to 18 years old asking about information for the show. One caller plans to drive 153 miles from Orange and wanted to know what time to be there for good seats.

“She wanted to know how long it takes to get here,” Keyt said.

James released an album that debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Country Album Chart. His single “Crying on a Suitcase” was recently released to radio, following a top-20 debut single “Let’s Don’t Call it a Night.”

“He’s climbing the charts now,” Murrell said. “We knew he was an up-and-coming country artist.”

Murrell said the committee begins looking at artists in January and tries to find acts that will be popular in September.

“You’ve got to get them early,” he said. “It’s kind of a crap shoot.”

Tracy Lawrence will play at 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, and Gloriana at 4:30 Sunday, Sept. 16, the final day of the fair. Both concerts are included with the $5 admission ticket.