John Kay & Steppenwolf to Perform at The Great New York State Fair’s Experience Stage

Fair Concerts Complement "Central NY Rising" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy


Get your motor running -- the band that coined the phrase "heavy metal" will bring decades of classic rock to the 2018 Great New York State Fair when John Kay & Steppenwolf perform on the Experience Stage at 8 pm Monday, August 27, Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner announced today. Free concerts at the Fair complement Central New York Rising, the region’s comprehensive strategy to grow the economy.

 "We're pleased to bring back John Kay & Steppenwolf because they put on a first-class show.  With the beauty of our festival ground and pond as a backdrop, this will be a great experience for the band's many fans," said Waffner.

The performance occurs on the first of two Senior Days, featuring free admission for those age 60 and over, on Law Enforcement Day, featuring free admission for police and corrections officers, and Midway Monday, featuring 10 rides on the Wade Shows Midway for $10.

This is the second appearance at the Fair for John Kay & Steppenwolf, which joins the following national touring shows on the Experience Stage:

  • Eddie Money, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 22
  • All Time Low, at 8 p.m. Thursday, August 23


These touring acts will perform on the Experience Stage on the west end of the Fairgrounds, along with a mix of major bands from across Upstate New York and national touring tribute bands.  The stage will also host bands for the new Latino Village Weekend and the returning Syracuse JAMS FunkFest.


About John Kay & Steppenwolf

John Kay and Steppenwolf have emerged as one of rock's most enduring and respected bands, delivering hard-hitting, personally-charged music for more than three decades. In the late 1960s, Steppenwolf embodied that era's social, political and philosophical restlessness, building an impressive body of edgy, uncompromising rock 'n' roll that retains its emotional resonance more than three decades after the band's formation. Such Steppenwolf standards as "Born to Be Wild," "Magic Carpet Ride," "Rock Me" and "Monster" stand among Rock's most indelible anthems.

At last count, the band's worldwide record sales exceed 25 million units. Its songs remain fixtures on classic-rock radio, and have been licensed for use in approximately 50 motion pictures and an even greater number of television programs. And, in addition to being the first band to use the term "heavy metal" in a song (in "Born to Be Wild"), Steppenwolf's punchy style helped to establish the fundamentals of the hard-rock sound that would flourish in the 1970s.


Accelerating Central NY Rising

Today's announcement complements “Central NY Rising,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $4.7 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Syracuse, Oswego and Auburn as a destination to grow and invest in.

Now, the region is accelerating Central NY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. More information is available here.


The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 22 to September 3, 2018. The Fair's mission, reflected in its theme, "FIND YOUR GREAT," is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.

The home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website. Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, on Snapchat at nysfair and enjoy photos from the Fair at Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at