Margo Price, Hayes Carll + More to Perform at Kentucky’s Inaugural Burl County Fair
The Burl — Lexington, Ky.’s premier music club and retro game arcade — is set to combine small-town county fair vibes with some of the nation’s most sought-after country, Americana, bluegrass and rock acts when the inaugural Burl County Fair comes to its sprawling campus from Sept. 8-10.
Margo Price, Hayes Carll, Madison Cunningham, Rayland Baxter, Del McCoury and S.G. Goodman are among the artists scheduled to perform during the three-day outdoor event alongside common fair fixtures like a dunk tank, tarot card reader, blow-up slide, strongman games and more. The lineup will also showcase several up-and-coming Kentucky artists, such as Abby Hamilton, Nicholas Jamerson, Grayson Jenkins and Brother Smith.
Although music will be the event’s primary focus, Burl co-owner Cannon Armstrong says that its roots date back to his childhood in Albany, Ky., and attending the county fair, with all-star acts stepping in to replace the cover bands that were often commonplace there.
“We got to thinking of what kind of events speak to this type of music and have long had the idea of doing something similar to a county fair in the back of our minds,” Armstrong tells The Boot. “I have so many memories of attending the county fair growing up, even though the music at them was often lacking, so we strived to build an event with those same roots that also stands up to the caliber of music people have come to expect from us at The Burl.”
Joining the musical lineup and fair games will be a special menu of funnel cakes and other festive treats from Kismet, The Burl’s on-site food partner, along with pinball, skeeball and other games at the venue’s retro arcade, additional food trucks, a special beer by the soon-to-open Burl Brewery, and more. With all these attractions, Armstrong expects the Burl County Fair to become a staple event for both The Burl and the City of Lexington for years to come. “We’ve done some mini-festivals and anniversary shows in the past, but moving forward, we expect the county fair to become our big marquee event here at The Burl,” says Armstrong. “We’re really striving to create a fun and unique environment that still holds true to The Burl and what we stand for.”
First opened in July 2016, The Burl has quickly become not just one of the most desirable small clubs to play and see a concert in Kentucky but in all of the southeastern United States. Its 350-capacity indoor space has hosted the likes of Billy Strings and Tyler Childers on multiple occasions, acting as a proving ground and place for local artists to flourish. In recent years it’s expanded its campus to include larger outdoor shows in its parking lot, a retro gaming arcade, a food kitchen, and soon, a brewery, providing a comprehensive music and entertainment experience that remains unmatched.