Words & Deeds

Avoid the lines! (Mostly!) Secrets to a rockin’ good time at Western Idaho Fair concerts

Remember when Bret Michaels hosted “Rock My RV” on television? Aw, yeah, that show ruled.
Remember when Bret Michaels hosted “Rock My RV” on television? Aw, yeah, that show ruled. Travel Channel

If you’re planning to attend one of the free grandstand concerts at this week’s Western Idaho Fair, it’s time to accept your fate.

You are going to wait in line for a minute or two.

“When everything’s free, there’s going to be a line no matter what,” Fair Director Bob Batista said.

If you’re smart, you can minimize the waiting game. Follow these tips for an efficient, stress-free experience at Bret Michaels (Tuesday), Styx (Wednesday), Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias (Thursday) and Randy Houser (Friday).

1. Buy tickets beforehand. Grandstand concerts are free with paid fair admission. Go to idahofair.com. Heck, do it in the parking lot using your mobile phone. Bingo! You just skipped a line. Tickets are $9 adult, $7 senior 62 and older, $6 child 6 to 11. Kids 5 and under get in free.

2. Get in line early. Or don’t. Concerts start at 7:30 p.m. and last about 90 minutes. (Fluffy’s comedy show will go a little longer, because there’s an opening act.) Gates open between 6 and 6:30 p.m. All seats and standing areas are first-come, first-serve. Lines for popular shows often start forming by early afternoon. So arrive early — “if you want a good seat,” Batista said. Remember, fans come and go all evening. “Seriously, if you’re just wanting to come in and walk and hear a couple of songs, then you don’t have to be here bright and early,” Batista said. “But if you’re a diehard fan, you gotta be early.” (Insider tip: Fluffy will probably be the most popular show this year.)

3. Consider parking and entering on the Glenwood Street side. The carnival gate and parking lot on the Glenwood side can be a wise choice for shorter lines since it is farther from the Dish Grandstand concerts, according to the Fair.

4. Don’t leave immediately. Unless, of course, you love fighting crowds and traffic. Zillions of people try to leave right after the concerts. Take your time. Grab another bite or hop a quick carnival ride after the show. Oh, wait, hold on — is that a line at the Pronto Pup stand?

Western Idaho Fair officials and Ada County commissioners officially welcome Sky Ride, a permanent 1,300-foot tram that spans the fairgrounds.

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