Riders launch on the Slingshot ride at the Western Idaho Fair. (Warning: profanity)
If you’re planning to attend one of the grandstand concerts at this week’s Western Idaho Fair, prepare 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 says.
If you’re smart, you can minimize the waiting game. Follow these tips for an efficient, stress-free experience at 3 Doors Down (Tuesday), Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (Wednesday), Dustin Lynch (Thursday) and REO Speedwagon (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. 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 ahead of time — “if you want a good seat,” Batista says. 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 says. “But if you’re a diehard fan, you gotta be early.”
Insider tip: REO Speedwagon is expected to be the most popular show this year, followed closely by 3 Doors Down and Dustin Lynch.
3. Consider parking and entering on the Glenwood Street side. The parking lot and carnival gate on the north side can be a wise choice for smaller crowds and shorter entry lines. Why? It’s farther from the Dish Grandstand concerts.
4. Don’t leave immediately after the show. Unless, of course, you love fighting crowds and traffic. Zillions of people try to exit the fair when the concerts end. 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?