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State Fair grandstand stagehands must be vaxed - Sammy Hagar announced for August 12

Friday, May 14, 2021

* I’m told that several performers are demanding that anyone who works backstage at the Illinois State Fair Grandstand must be vaccinated or they won’t play. The state uses an outside company to provide backstage workers and they must be unionized. From Stagehands Local 138…

For those that plan to work the 2021 Illinois State Fair I have some information and requirements to pass along.

The Department of Agriculture has notified us that we will need to ensure all our employees performing services on the Fairgrounds are fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination. This is an amendment to our current State Fair contract. Here is the definition of fully vaccinated per the Dept of Ag.

    “Fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved COVID-19 vaccination” is defined as the person having all doses of a vaccine approved by for public use by the Federal Drug Administration, and being at least two weeks past the final shot. This means either: two (2) doses of the Moderna vaccine within the allowable time apart, two (2) doses of the Pfizer vaccine within the allowable time apart, or one (1) dose of Johnson & Johnson. If additional vaccinations become FDA-approved treatment, these can be included without violating this agreement. Exemptions to this exist for any individual with a religious or medical exemption as defined by the EEOC.

We are also required to notify the Dept of Ag at least one week prior to arrival on the Fairgrounds with a list of all employees and their vaccination status. It can take awhile to get fully vaccinated so we (local 138) are putting a deadline to reporting your verification status.

The deadline will be Saturday July 17th, 2021 by 8pm. Anyone that does not report their vaccination status by this date and time will not be able to work the State Fair.

Note: If we fail to comply with any of these requests it could be considered a breach of our contract, cause for termination or removal from the Fairgrounds. So please help this process go as smoothly as possible. If you have any questions please contact one of your officers of the local.

* On to the fun stuff, if you like Sammy Hagar…

The Illinois State Fair will welcome Sammy Hagar & The Circle, one of rock music’s most dynamic supergroups, featuring Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees Sammy Hagar and bassist Michael Anthony, drummer Jason Bonham and guitarist Vic Johnson to the Illinois Lottery Grandstand Stage Thursday, August 12.

Tickets for Sammy Hagar & The Circle will go on sale Saturday, May 22 at 10am on

For the last four decades, Sammy Hagar has been one of rock music’s most dynamic and prolific artists. From breaking into the industry with the seminal hard rock band Montrose, to his multiplatinum solo career, to his ride as the front man of Van Halen, Chickenfoot and his latest supergroup The Circle, Hagar has set the tone for some of the greatest rock anthems ever written with songs like “I Can’t Drive 55,” “Right Now,” and “Why Can’t This Be Love.”

Sammy Hagar & The Circle have quickly established themselves as one of the most emphatic and exciting live acts on tour today. The band seamlessly rips through career-spanning hits from Sammy Hagar’s solo career, Van Halen, Montrose and new music from The Circle’s debut album, Space Between, which debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200 chart and #1 four Billboard charts including Top Rock Albums and Hard Rock Albums charts. The Circle kicked off 2021 with the release of Lockdown 2020, an album collection of their massively popular Lockdown Sessions featuring raw and raucous compact covers recorded remotely by each bandmember during the Covid-19 pandemic, the digital music videos which include hits like The Who’s “Won‘t Get Fooled Again,” Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds, “AC/DC, “Whole Lotta Rosie” and David Bowie’s “Heroes” had already reached an online audience of more than 30 million before the album’s release.

In addition to Sammy Hagar & The Circle joining the Illinois Lottery Grandstand lineup, Dorothy and Dead Poet Society have been announced as opening acts for Badflower on August 19. Dorothy’s first album ROCKISDEAD hit number one on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart, with two songs from the album in the Top 40 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Chart. Dead Poet Society’s musical landscape runs the gamut from heavy riff driven songs to stunningly beautiful ballads. Their signature sound is created by fretless guitars and the extraordinary vocals of lead singer Jack Underkofle.

The Illinois State Fair also announced Kelsea Ballerini has canceled her stop at the Illinois State Fair. Ballerini was scheduled to perform with Kylie Morgan and Chapel Heart on Friday August 20. Customers who purchased Kelsea Ballerini tickets directly through or through the Ticketmaster mobile app, will receive an automatic refund back to the card used to purchase the tickets.

Tickets for Sammy Hagar & The Circle will go on sale Saturday, May 22 at 10am on Please note, fairgoers who purchase grandstand tickets will receive a full refund if COVID-19 prevents the Illinois State Fair from being held.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - west wing - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 2:15 pm:

    Mas Tequila comes to Springfield!

  2. - Chicago Cynic - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 2:24 pm:

    Does that mean that the performers themselves will all be vaccinated?

  3. - Mr K - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 2:28 pm:

    Saw Sammy and the Circle at Naperville Ribfest several years back (when the fest was still in Naperville).

    Great concert — Hagar songs, Van Hagar songs, and Zepp songs. It was fantastic.

  4. - 47th Ward - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 2:34 pm:

    I saw Sammy Hagar at Chicago Fest in the 80s, when they moved it from Navy Pier to Soldier Field. The Red Rocker put on a great show, and it was easily the loudest concert I’ve ever heard, and I’ve been to several Who shows. My ears rang for three days after it, and this was an outdoor concert.

    I didn’t much care for his Van Hagar stuff or much else, but back in the day he put on a heck of a show.

  5. - Joe Bidenopolous - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 2:43 pm:

    I got to see the first Van Hagar appearance at the original Farm Aid. But that’s not why I was there…Willie, Waylon, Cash, Carole King, CDB, Dylan, Neil, Tom Petty, Merle Haggard, George Jones, BB King. They were the reasons we went. But then Huey Lewis went on…

  6. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, May 14, 21 @ 4:10 pm:

    The Red Rocker is 73 yrs. young and going strong. And his voice still sounds phenomenal. Freak of nature. His shows are well worth the price of admission.

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