May 22, 2022

Willie Nelson will headline Ag Day at Illinois State Fair

Fair announces ‘Grow with Us’ theme

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Willie Nelson & Family will headline Agriculture Day at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield Aug. 16.

Nelson’s career as a musician has spanned seven decades. The 10-time Grammy Award winner also is an actor, author and activist.

In 1985, Nelson co-founded Farm Aid to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and help raise money to keep family farms on the land.

“Willie Nelson is a true champion for farmers,” said State Fair Manager Rebecca Clark. “I can think of no one better to help us celebrate our state’s No. 1 industry during the fair. On top of his love for agriculture, he will be performing hits that fairgoers from every generation can sing along to.”

Opening for Nelson will be four-time Grammy nominee Elle King. She is hailed as a rising star across multiple genres, collecting hits on both the country and rock charts.

King is best known for her hits “Ex’s & Oh’s,” “Different for Girls” with Dierks Bentley and most recently “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” with Miranda Lambert.

Four other supporting acts have been added to the 2022 Illinois Lottery Grandstand lineup:

• Sean Stemaly and Shelby Darrall will open for Sam Hunt Aug. 12.

• Southern Illinois native and singer songwriter Kendell Marvel will open for Brooks & Dunn Aug. 14.

• Hard rock vocalist Ann Wilson of Heart will open for Sammy Hagar & The Circle Aug. 21.

The Illinois State Fair also announced its 2022 theme, “Grow with Us.” The theme celebrates the tradition of the Illinois State Fair, while embracing the growth that is occurring around the fairgrounds, in Illinois communities and around the state.

Tickets for Willie Nelson & Family are available at

Fairgoers are reminded that Ticketmaster is the only authorized ticket broker for the Illinois State Fair. All other websites and offers may be fraudulent and buyers should beware.

State Fair dates are Aug. 11-21.