Thursday, July 27 was the hottest day of the California Mid-State Fair with temperatures hitting 105 degrees, but the scorching temperatures didn’t stop hordes of fans for turning out for two sold-out performances by the king of country music, Garth Brooks.
“They said it’s supposed to drop 30 or 33 degrees between the two shows,” Brooks said in a press conference a few hours before he hit the stage. “It doesn’t matter though, when you’re out of shape like me you’re going to sweat like a pig anyway.”
Fan Cody Morris said that it would have to be at least 25 degrees warmer for him to consider not going to the concert.
“Maybe like 130,” he said. “I’m pasty, but as long as there’s cold beer I’m good. (I’ll be) excited the entire time. This is my first time seeing him. I’ve been wanting to see him for years and when he went to Vegas I thought I’d have to go to Vegas to see him, so I’m just excited.”
The concert broke several records including the record for the highest number of concert tickets sold in a single fair season. Food sales were also up 140 percent from the same day last year and the event set a record for beer sales with 411 kegs of beer being consumed on the day of the concert.
While the majority of the tickets were sold in San Luis Obispo County, and in Paso Robles in particular, tickets to the concert were sold in 40 different states, as far away as Florida and Toronto.
At the press conference, Brooks’ wife Trisha Yearwood said that she was feeling nervous about performing during the two sold-out shows despite her years of experience.
“I always get a little bit nervous and I think a little bit nervous is good,” she said. “I think the tour we’ve been on for three years now has been pretty consistent and this is a bit of a wild card, in a good way. So there’s an excitement and there’s a little bit of nervousness because we haven’t done this in a long time.”
Fair board president Chris Darway and CEO Mike Bradley presented Yearwood and Brooks with gifts — a bracelet and a belt buckle, respectively — that commemorated the two sold out shows.
“2017, Sold-out shows, congratulations Mr. Yearwood,” Brooks said, pretending to read aloud from the belt buckle. “That’s very sweet.”
Brooks said that he was looking forward to making up for the “unhappiness and frustration” that people felt when trying to buy tickets to the shows, both of which sold out in less than 30 seconds.
“We just want the people to forget all about that and just have fun,” he said, adding that the fair atmosphere is the perfect precursor to his show. “There’s a party happening before you ever walk out on stage and you become a member of that party. When you get to play a gig like this, you’re lucky. It’s going to be fun and it’s not going to be a concert, it’s going to be a party.”
Yearwood agreed, saying “There’s an energy that’s already out there before you get a chance to bring your energy and that’s exciting to me.”
Garth fan Maison Sills, standing in line for the concert, said the hassle of getting tickets was worth it.
“We were on our computers at 10 a.m. fighting for a ticket, we finally got one and it was like we won the lottery and now we’re so excited to be here, we don’t care if we have to wait in line for an hour and a half, we’re going to make it and we’re going to make it the best night ever.”