By: DJ Hargrave, Event & Branding Manager for the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds & Annex
The Winston-Salem Fairgrounds is a venue that hosts over 100 events a year and is well known for the Dixie Classic Fair, but a show in June landed as a bright spot for the City of Winston-Salem. On June 21, the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex Theatre welcomed a sold-out crowd of 2,200 guests for a captivating performance by Crowder, a contemporary Christian artist who provides an inspiring and engaging experience to his listeners. The Grammy-nominated, Billboard chart-climbing star was on tour following the release of his latest album, I Know A Ghost, which is now available everywhere. Following that Saturday night was a performance by Grammy Award-winning country group, Lonestar, with local phenoms, Jukebox Rehab (or JBR as the crowd chanted repetitively that night). One thousand five hundred fans rolled in the Annex for the second show of the Fairgrounds’ Classic Country Concert Series partnered with WBRF Radio. How often do you go to a concert where the audience is on their feet for the opener and headliner the entire show? Crowder was one of those nights. The show began with a high-energy performance by the Rhett Walker Band, followed by Crowder shortly after. The show was made possible thanks to the Fairgrounds’ relationship with Winston-Salem based contemporary Music Station WBFJ. This was the first time since 2017 that the Fairgrounds have sold out the Annex Theatre since Travis Tritt rolled into town. It takes a certain type of artist to put thousands of people in the same room and create a spiritually uplifting experience for them. It also takes a special venue to create an environment that is welcoming, intimate and provides everyone in attendance with the best seat in the house. The Annex Theatre is one of the few venues where attendees in the “nosebleeds” are standing, singing and dancing during the full length of the concert as if their seats were front row.
“The Annex Theatre can hold up to 2,200 fans; we feel like we have a good place in the market for live music and will continue to grow our events and treat the citizens of Winston-Salem and surrounding areas. It’s a great pleasure when our staff hears statements such as, ‘Wow, I wasn’t expecting this,’ or ‘Where’s the ice?’ The positive commentary of the event is regular treatment for our awesome working staff to take in,” said Robert Mulhearn, Winston-Salem Fairgrounds booking and venue manager. The intimate environment of the Annex Theater makes it a candidate for an array of concert genres. This summer, they are welcoming Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan and Gatlin Brothers as a part of their Classic Country Concert Series, along with The War & Treaty on July 30, in partnership with the National Black Theatre Festival. To stay updated on upcoming concerts at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds, visit wsfairgrounds.com