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Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

Win tickets to: REO Speedwagon at the Big Fresno Fair

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Classic rock fans keep on loving REO Speedwagon.

The band — which plays 7 p.m. Saturday at the Big Fresno Fair — is one of the most successful to come out of the ’70s arena rock scene and continues to be a staple on classic rock radio (and at karaoke joints, no doubt).

We have tickets to Saturday’s show we’ll be giving to away to a Beehive reader. To enter to win, leave a comment in this post. What is your favorite radio rock hit (the songs you sing along to every time it comes on)? This contest is another quick one. You have until noon tomorrow. Winners will be chosen at random, notified by email and must be able to pick up tickets at The Fresno Bee office (1626 E. Street) during normal business hours.

Check out a video from REO Speedwagon (and complete contest rules) on the jump.

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Big Fresno Fair finalizes entertainment schedule

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The Big Fresno Fair has finalized this year’s entertainment lineup and it includes some hip-hop, classic rock, country, comedy and now … crooning.

Tony Bennett will perform on the fair’s closing night, Oct. 13. Tickets are $45-$50 and on sale 9 a.m. Aug. 29. The 88-year old singer has been topping the charts since the ’50s with songs like “Because of You” and “Rags to Riches,” and continues to stay relevant. His duets album with Lady Gaga is set for release in September.

The fair also announced the addition of alternative rock newcomers the Kongos (Oct. 10), comedian Jim Gaffigan (Oct. 1) and the La Buena Corrido Fest, featuring Larry Hernandez, Proyecto X and Jorge Valenzuela (Oct. 5). Tickets for Gaffigan are $30-$35 and on sale now. Tickets for Kongos are $8-$12. The La Buena Corrido Fest is $10-$30. Both will be on sale to the general public starting 9 a.m. Aug. 29.

The additions come with a change of dates for comedian Gabriel Iglesias, who is now performing Oct. 4. You can see the full fair schedule on the jump.

Also on the horizon is the Madera District Fair, which run Sept. 4-7 and features performances from War (Sept. 4), Dwight Yoakam (Sept. 5), Foreigner (Sept. 6) Los Tucanes (Sept. 7). Showtimes and ticket information can be found at www.maderafair.com or by calling (866) 973-9610 or (559) 674-8511.

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You review: Darius Rucker

CEK DARIUS RUCKER 03I suppose it’s time to stop referencing Darius Rucker by the time he spent in Hootie and the Blowfish. It’s the easy call, because I grew up in the 1990s and those songs were played ALL THE TIME. But this is 2013 and Rucker has grown into a star in his own right and with his own name and brand, as was evident at last night’s performance at the Paul Paul Theater. If the show wasn’t sold out, it was very close and there were large crowds gathered at various spots outside the Paul Paul, watching the show on the theater’s big screen.

FYI: You can actually get a decent concert experience out there. If you can find a good vantage point, the sound is really good.

So, what did you think? Does Rucker have the voice and charisma to a mega-huge country star? Will his next stop through town be at the Save Mart Center? Moreover, was this a good finale for the fair’s concert series? Share you thoughts in the comments and make sure to check out The Bee’s photo galleries for pictures from the night.

Fair ticket giveaway: LL Cool J

LLCOOLJ_Approved PhotoUPDATE: Congratulations to Yolanda Garza Estrada.

Next in our Big Fresno Fair ticket giveaway series: Two tickets to LL Cool J, 7 p.m. Saturday at the Paul, Paul Theater.

One winner will receive two passes to the fair and two tickets to the concert. You’ll need to come down to The Bee’s office at 1626 E Street to pick up your tickets. (Business hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m.)

To win tickets to see LL, leave a comment telling us why you’d like to see the show. One comment per person, please. I’ll pick the winner at random. The deadline for entry is 5 p.m. tonight. Winners will be contacted by email after, so please check yours. Rules are on the jump.

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Fair ticket giveaway: Soul Jam

Update: Congratulations of Ilene Llamas.

Next in our Big Fresno Fair ticket giveaway series: Two tickets to Soul Jam, featuring The Stylistics, Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes & Main Ingredient with Cuba Gooding, Sr. The show is 7 p.m. Thursday at the Paul, Paul Theater.

One winner will receive two passes to the fair and two tickets to the concert. You’ll need to come down to The Bee’s office at 1626 E Street to pick up your tickets. (Business hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m.)

To win tickets to Soul Jam, leave a comment telling us why you’d like to see the show. One comment per person, please. I’ll pick the winner at random. The deadline for entry is noon, Wednesday. Winners will be contacted by email Wednesday evening, so please check yours. Rules are on the jump.

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Fair ticket giveaway: Skillet

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UPDATE: Congrats to winner Daniel lamas.

ORIGINAL POST: Next up in our Big Fresno Fair ticket giveaway series: two tickets to Skillet, which performs 7 p.m. Tuesday.

One winner will receive two passes to the fair and two tickets to the concert. You’ll need to come down to The Bee’s office at 1626 E Street to pick up your tickets. (Business hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m.)

To win tickets to Skillet, leave a comment telling us why you’d like to see the group. One comment per person, please. I’ll pick the winner at random. The deadline for entry is 2 p.m. Monday. One entry per person. I’ll be informing winners by email Monday afternoon, so please check yours. Rules are on the jump.

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Fair ticket giveaway: Neil Sedaka

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UPDATE: Congratulations to winner Andy Oliver.

ORIGINAL POST: If my Mom lived in Fresno, she’d be putting on the serious maternal pressure to scoop up these tickets. Our ticket giveaway spree continues, this time for the 7 p.m. Monday Neil Sedaka concert at the Big Fresno Fair. We’re giving away two tickets plus two fair passes.

If you win, you’ll need to come down to The Bee’s office at 1626 E Street to pick up your tickets. (Business hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m.)

To enter, leave a comment on this post. (Tell us your favorite Neil Sedaka song, if you’d like.) One comment per person, please. I’ll pick the winners at random.

The deadline for entry is 10 a.m. Friday. One entry per person. I’ll be informing winners by email Friday morning, so please check yours. Rules are on the jump.

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Come see me at the fair

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First off, an apology if you’re allergic to the words “Big Fresno Fair” (it’s a rare condition, but some people are known to expel profuse amounts of vomit if they hear the words too much), because the Beehive has put you in bed under the covers today. (Three posts, and all fair-related.)

But for those who aren’t Fair Averse, this is a glorious time of year. And I’ll be celebrating Thursday as part of The Fresno Bee Booth Day. I’ll be handing out flyers and talking about my Bee e-book about Good Company Players, which I’ve decided would make a wonderful Christmas present, and you can also come by and talk about whatever you want. I’ll be there from noon-2 p.m. Our booth is located near the horse racing grandstand on the south side. I’m told it’s where the Spider-Man is climbing the wall. I’ll ask him if he’s afraid to perform in his Broadway musical.

Fair ticket giveaway: Austin Mahone and Sean Kingston

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UPDATE: Congratulations to our winners: Nancy Lomelin for Sean Kingston, and Anita Vang for Austin Mahone.

ORIGINAL POST: Our ticket giveaway spree continues, this time for two separate concerts Saturday at the Big Fresno Fair. We’re giving away two tickets plus two fair passes to the 1 p.m. Austin Mahone show. And we’re giving two tickets and two fair passes to the 7 p.m. Sean Kingston show.

You’ll need to come down to The Bee’s office at 1626 E Street to pick up your tickets. (Business hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m.)

To enter, leave a comment on this post telling us which concert you’d like to see — or if either one is fine, indicate that. One comment per person, please. I’ll pick the winners at random.

The deadline for entry is 10 a.m. Thursday. One entry per person. I’ll be informing winners by email Thursday morning, so please check yours. Rules are on the jump.

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Win tickets to: The Madera Fair

As summer starts winding down, we here in the Central Valley find ourselves in the midst of what I’ll call fair season. While the Fresno fair is the big one for us (no pun intended), the Kern and Tulare County and the Madera District fair are all scheduled within the next two weeks.

Up first is the Madera District Fair, which kicks off on Thursday and runs through Sunday at the Madera District fairgrounds on Cleveland Avenue. Entertainment includes live music from Los Lonely Boys, Scotty McCreery, Lifehouse and Larry Hernandez.

We have a family four-pack of tickets (good for any day of the fair) to give out to one lucky Beehive reader. Just leave a comment and tell us what is your favorite part about the fair (doesn’t have to the Madera fair, but that would be nice). One winner will be chosen at random and notified via email. These are physical tickets, so you’ll need to get down to the Fresno Bee office (1626 E. St.) to claim them. The contest runs until noon tomorrow, so get to it.

Full contest rules on the jump.

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2012: The Beehive Year in Review

Yes, we’re halfway into the first month of 2013 — but I realized I forgot to do one of these Beehive Year in Review posts. I swear it’s the last looking-back-at-2012 post I’ll write. If I didn’t do this post, though, how would you know which contests you entered the most and which commenters are still in our “top 10?” See. You’re welcome.

So without further ado — unless you want me to drag this out another 14 days — here are the most read and most commented Beehive posts of 2012, along with our most prolific commenters.

Whether you’re on the list or not, thanks to everyone who participates in the site, either by reading and responding, sharing links with your friends or even grumbling to yourself about what we write. You’re all appreciated.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than going to The Big Fresno Fair one last time this year.

1. SHOW YOUR LOVE FOR COFFEE AND MUSIC
Saturday’s “For the Love of Coffee” event at Fulton 55 is the best $5 you can spend on local music this weekend. Look at that band lineup! It’s a celebration of Cafe Corazon’s coffee goodness too. And we hear there’s going to be a special coffee beer collabo with Corazon and Tioga-Sequoia? Win. [More]

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Win Big Fresno Fair concert tickets

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UPDATE: Here’s our final batch of winners: Lisa (Toby Mac), Norma (Kendrick Lamar) and Erica (Grande/Beatty). Enjoy the fair everyone. Thanks for playing!

ORIGINAL POST: It’s just about fair time, which means here on The Beehive it’s also ticket time. The Big Fresno Fair starts Wednesday and runs through Oct. 14. There’s a concert each night, and we’ve got a pair of tickets for pretty much all of ‘em. The good news: We’re giving them to YOU.

Here’s how this is going to work: Leave a comment below, telling us the three shows you’d like to see (in order). If you don’t include a wish list, your entry won’t be valid. We’ll pick four random winners each day at 1 p.m., starting Monday, until all the tickets are gone. So get in quick for the most chances to win.

The first winners will have first choice of tickets. If you win and the tickets you want are already gone, I’ll e-mail you and see what’s next on your want list. So be sure to include a valid e-mail address. All the official rules are on the jump, as is the list of concerts. Good luck!

If you need some fair reading, please check out The Bee’s fair preview story in this Sunday’s newspaper.

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Announcing: Ultimate Fair Food Feast-Off at The Big Fresno Fair

Hey, competitive-eating wannabes, this is for you! The Beehive and FresnoFamous.com are proud to announce the Ultimate Fair Food Feast-Off happening Oct. 10 at The Big Fresno Fair.

We’ve assembled a list of fair foods — some staples like corndogs and cinnamon rolls, some oddballs, nine things total — that five finalists will try to chow their way through. The fastest will win a pair of front-row tickets to see Weezer and a special trophy recognizing their gastrolific accomplishment.

Watch this:

Are you interested? If so, make a video showing us why you should be in the Ultimate Fair Food Feast-Off and post it here. You have until Sept. 30 to post your video. Starting Oct. 1, people will vote for their favorites and the top five vote-getters will earn a spot at the event.

Now go watch “Man vs. Food” and get inspired.

Concert News: Tyga’s coming to Fresno after all

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Rapper Tyga — the dude behind “Rack City” and “Faded” — will indeed perform Oct. 13 at the Big Fresno Fair this year. It’s sort of a weird story, but here it goes: Tyga was announced as part of the fair lineup back in May. Then he pulled out of the show to go on tour with labelmate Nicki Minaj. Now comes word that Minaj’s Euro dates got shuffled around, freeing up Tyga to come to Fresno.

Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. Friday, costing $15 and $20. You can also — as the graphic above says — get 50% off a fair ticket when you buy a concert ticket on Friday. The Tyga announcement also closes the book on this year’s fair concert lineup, except for the Latin concerts, which are usually announced later in the year. You can view the entire fair lineup and buy tickets here.

Concert News: Fair adds Gary Allan

Gary Allan_2.jpgBig Fresno Fair concert tickets go on sale today for members of the Big Fair Fan (BFF) Club, the Fair’s free email newsletter. You can join the list here. If you don’t want to join the club, tickets will go on sale to the general public at 9 a.m. Monday.

There’s a new show in the mix: Gary Allan. He will play Friday, Oct. 5. Tickets cost $30/$24. The show is the same night as the Justin Bieber concert at the Save Mart Center.

The fair has a good mix of shows this year. Among the shows that should be hot sellers: Lynyrd Skynyrd (Oct. 4), Weezer (Oct. 10), Foreigner (Oct. 11) and Chevelle (Oct. 12).

Hey, local bands, the Big Fresno Fair wants you

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Attention local musicians: The Big Fresno Fair is doing its Local Performer Contest again and the deadline to enter is Friday, July 13. Six winners will ultimately play on the fair’s pavilion stage on Oct. 4.

If you’re interested, the first thing to do is go here and upload a video. They can be music videos, live performances or audio with still images. Videos must be less than 500mb and shorter than 10 minutes. Accepted video formats are MOV, AVI, MPEG or WMV.

After Friday’s submission deadline, online voting will decide who advances in the contest. The first round of voting is July 17-Aug. 6. The top 25 will move to the second round, Aug. 10-Sept. 4. The top six acts will then perform at the fair.

A few of the local acts already signed up include Patrick Contreras, Palm Kids, White Glove Service and PieceMakers.

Concert News: Big Fresno Fair 2012

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Two up-and-coming headliners and two comedy vets are the latest additions to The Big Fresno Fair’s concert lineup. And there are two ticket price changes you should know about too.

The fair added teen pop singer Ariana Grande (from the Nickelodeon’s “Victorious”) as the afternoon act on Oct. 13. She’ll play at 1 p.m. and be joined by local pop singer Ryan Beatty, a rising star in his own right. Tickets cost $12.

Rapper Kendrick Lamar, current protege of Dr. Dre., has been added for Oct. 6. Tickets cost $10-$15. We last saw him opening for Drake at Save Mart Center.

Comics Cheech & Chong will now join funk band War on Oct. 3, the fair’s opening night. Tickets have been bumped up to $20-$25. In another ticket price change: the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert on Oct. 4 has dropped to $40-$45 from $42-$49.

All these are in addition to Weezer, which was announced a couple weeks ago.

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Concert News: Fair adds Weezer

Weezer_1.jpgThe Big Fresno Fair added another concert to its 2012 schedule: alternative rock band Weezer.

The band will perform at the Paul Paul Theater on Wednesday, Oct. 10. Ticket prices will be announced soon and go on-sale Aug. 6. An exclusive pre-sale for members of the Big Fair Fan Club starts July 30. You can join the e-mail list for free here.

Weezer is known for its popular songs “Buddy Holly,” “Say It Ain’t So” and “Beverly Hills.” They’re the latest in a series of concerts announced for this year’s fair. For a complete list, read this story and blog post from Mike Oz.

Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than welcoming Audra home.

1. ALL ABOARD THE INCU-BUS
Eclectic alt-rockers Incubus hit Save Mart Center tonight, fresh off hiatus and with a new album under its belt. Incubus is joined by — just announced yesterday — opening act Rey Fresco. [Tickets]

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To-Do Tonight: Billy Idol and a non-idle evening around Fresno

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It’s a busy Thursday night, so hold on tight while we whip around town and explore some places you could go:

THE BIG FRESNO FAIR: It’s the biggest night of live music at the fair — according to me at least. Billy Idol is the main attraction, playing the Paul Paul Theatre at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $40 and $45 and are available here.

On the local side of things: Tonight is also the fair’s Local Performer Showcase, which is basically a local music festival. Six acts won spots to play on the Pavilion Stage through online voting. They are: JayTee, Johnny and Vinnie (5 p.m.), Travis Miller (6 p.m.), Nowhere Near (7 p.m.), HR7 (8 p.m.), Motel Drive (9 p.m.) and Say Swear (10 p.m.)

These shows are free with fair admission.

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Five Things You Should Do This Weekend

Other than watching that Boise State game.

1. FIND HOPE WITH MATT & KIM
Indie pop duo Matt & Kim — one of my favorite groups — headlines a big day of music Sunday at the Festival of Hope in Tulare. It’s a two-day event, aimed at suicide prevention, it’s totally free and the entertainment lineup is quite stellar. Sunday is the strong day for music. In addition to Matt & Kim’s closing performance (at 8 p.m.), top-notch local bands Strange Vine (3 p.m.), Rademacher (4:30 p.m.) and Fierce Creatures (6 p.m.) play as well. [More info]

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Win Big Fresno Fair concert tickets

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UPDATE: Our final batch of winners: Andy (Family Stone), Sandy (Roshon Fegan), Jadeline24 (Uncle Kracker), Abel (Godsmack) and Pakou (Sick Puppies).

Thanks to everyone who participated. Have fun at the fair! The contest is now closed.

ORIGINAL POST: Can you believe it? It’s already October and it’s already time for The Big Fresno Fair. The fair opens its gates on Wednesday, so it’s probably time we start giving away some concert tickets, don’tcha think?

Here’s how this is going to work: We have a pair of tickets to every concert this year and some of them could be yours. To enter, just comment below and tell us the three shows you’d like to see (in order). If you don’t include a wish list, your entry won’t be valid. We’ll pick four random winners each day, starting today at 3:30 p.m., until all the tickets are gone. So get in quick for the most chances.

The first winners will have first choice of tickets. If you win and the tickets you want are already gone, I’ll e-mail you and see what’s next on your want list. So be sure to include a valid e-mail address. All the official rules are on the jump, as is the list of concerts. Good luck!

If you need some fair reading, check out this preview story from Sunday’s Bee, which also lists the five hottest concert tickets.

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