Is classic rock the “aging” of the New York State Fair?

No matter how you slice it, rock bands aren’t the biggest draw at the big New York State Fair anymore. According to recent figures released by organizers, hip-hop and R&B acts drew the biggest crowds in 2022. Foreigner, however, drew a very respectable 38,000 fans to Chevy Park this year, which is considered the fourth greatest of all time.

Nelly’s concert on Wednesday, August 31 set a new State Fair record with 43,000 fans in attendance.

Rock and country bands have long been synonymous with the New York State Fair, and it would be hasty and unreasonable to think they won’t keep going. But will we see more reserved hip-hop acts in slots than rock bands might have gotten otherwise? We will see.

Below are the 20 largest crowds in State Fair history, according to the Great New York State Fair:

1. Nelly — 43,000 at Chevy Park in 2022

2. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie – 40,610 at Chevy Court in 2018

3. City Girls – 39,000 at Chevy Park in 2022

4. Foreign – 38,000 at Chevy Park in 2022

5. Steve Miller Band — 36,900 at Chevy Court in 2015

6. AJR — 36,397 people at Chevy Park in 2021

7. Bruno Mars — 35,000 at Chevy Court in 2011

8. ZZ Top – 33,875 at Chevy Court in 2018

9. Nelly – 33,713 at Chevy Park in 2021

10. Migos – 31,900 at Chevy Court in 2017

11 (tie). Ludacris – 31,500 at Chevy Court in 2018

11 (tie). Florida Georgia Line – 31,500 at Chevy Court in 2013

13. Chicago — 31,200 at Chevy Court in 2016

14. Nas — 30,750 at Chevy Court in 2015

15. REO Speedwagon – 30,511 at Chevy Park in 2021

16. Dropkick Murphys – 30,200 at Chevy Court in 2019

17 (tie). Sonny & Cher – 30,000 at Empire Court in 1972

17 (tie). Lady A – 30,000 at Chevy Court in 2010

17 (tie). TLC – 30,000 at Chevy Park in 2022

20. Earth, Wind & Fire – 29,900 at Chevy Court in 2017

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New York State Fair Butter Sculptures Through the Years

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