American Idol alum Anoop Desai rounds out Dorton Arena concert line-up

anoop_desai_Since we announced the Dorton Arena line-up a couple weeks ago with one missing performer, our Facebook, blog and Twitter sites have been buzzing with suggestions on who should fill that spot. We heard a lot of good suggestions, but there was one particular artist campaign that stood out to us–mainly because the plea came from the artist himself.

Our concerts this year have a decidedly local appeal, as N.C. natives Kellie Pickler, Eric Church and Jason Michael Carroll are all performing just a few hours (and in some cases, minutes) from where they grew up, and we’re happy to add American Idol alum and Cary native/UNC-Chapel Hill student Anoop Desai to that list. He’ll bring his unique blend of hip-hop, R&B and pop to the stage on Food Lion Hunger Relief Day, Thursday, Oct. 22. You’ll remember that Firecracker even blogged that Anoop was not a possibility because he was performing on the American Idol tour. However, we were able to work it out and we’re excited to be Anoop’s first solo act.

Tickets for the show will be $5, and go on sale with all of the advance online ticket sales Monday, Aug. 3, at 10 a.m. on the the N.C. State Fair Web site.

About Cotton Candy

Karlie Justus - blogged for the 2008 / 2009 N.C. State Fairs. This is her bio from 2009: When I'm not blogging for the N.C. State Fair, I go by Karlie Justus--but Cotton Candy suits me just fine. My earliest memories of the Fair are of the times my parents would bring my brother and I up from Asheville, N.C. for a double dose of the Fair and a N.C. State football game. Fast-forward two decades later, and I'm a public information officer for the deep fried celebration whose must-see Fair attractions include the giant pumpkins, decorated cakes and deep fried Oreos.


  1. i wish i could go! i love anoop!

  2. OMG, this is awsome!!! Greats to u boy!!!

  3. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for booking Anoop!!!!!

  4. Hooray! All of our campaigning worked! I think it is lovely that you guys were able to pull this off. I’ll be in Charlotte tonight for the concert and I am so excited! [:
    I cannot wait to see him at the fabulous NC State Fair and at a great price as well!

    Thank you guys for all that you do and listening to our Carolina folks.

  5. You know, I never watched the season he was on, but I’m definitely thinking of coming to see him a: because it’s a great price, b: because it’s a wonderful cause at the fair that day (I’ll bring my cans!), and c: I like a local who can campaign for himself 🙂

  6. I think it’s a shame that you would waste an entertainment space! Don’t get me wrong Anoop is talented, a North Carolina native, & I even liked him on American Idol, but how is he going to perform a whole concert? He doesn’t have an album… wait he doesn’t have a record deal for that matter! I think it would have been better to have Anoop perform at the fair… just not as a concert headliner. He could have done a fundraiser or benefit show earlier in the day. I mean seriously…. the only thing I can say is at least he’s not a country act. Maybe next year there will be more variation in the concert lineup! Just because North Carolina is in the South doesn’t mean we only listen to country music!

  7. I HATE that Anoop is performing for the concert series…. kind of a waste. I can’t believe people actually campaigned for this! Would be totally different if he had a record deal… I mean he can sing, but I don’t want to see him for an hour straight! It’s going to be all cover songs…. BORING! To think I had my hopes up for October 22nd being filled with a great act… when YOU told us Anoop was unable to perform was a joke! I was actually thinking someone I liked would be booked.

  8. For those of you who are NOT happy with this booking, I can guarantee there are thousands who are happy about this. There are lots of fans of Anoop who are flying from all over the US to just go see HIM. Think of the publicity, the international fans who follow him. for NOW he does not have a set record deal, but all of that will change.

    Anyhoo, I’m super estatic about this!! Anoop, a fellow Houstonian will make her way over there =) 2 of them to be exact!

  9. We just saw Anoop perform in Charlotte and Greensboro on the AI tour. He was great. Love his voice. My family will be making the trip from Virginia Beach to see him perform at the fair. We can’t wait.

  10. Thank you, NC State Fair for recognizing that (1)not every Fair-goer is a country fan, that (2)even if Fair-goers are country fans, lots of them also appreciate other kinds of music, (3)when first considering booking Anoop, his availability was uncertain due to prior contracts, (4) when a concert date opened up, it became clear that not only could it be arranged, but Anoop himself wanted to bring his first solo concert home, (5) although not yet inked, Anoop’s talent, determination, loyal fans will soon make it a done deal, and finally (6) the number of requests for Anoop indicates that his following is bigger than everyone thinks. Because he’s booked for this show, more people are discussing NC State Fair and making plans to attend, and buy meals, and book hotels. This is ALL GOOD. Even though I’m sure Anoop’s concert crowd would be happy to listen to him sing for the entire show, I expect he’ll bring some surprises for us….. we may even have some surprises for him!

  11. So Brooke and Meredith can stay home on Oct 22. Why does he have to have a record deal to play at the fair?

    I AM EXCITED!! Anoop is a fantastic singer!! I am driving 7 hours from PA for this show! My birthday is the next week and I am so happy to get an Anoop concert for my birthday!


  12. Melissa Joy Q

    For those who are upset about Anoop performing you need to RELAX! Thousands of people from around the world would love to see him perform but they can’t attend! I know several people who are flying into Raleigh JUST for him!!! I am flying from Texas to see him perform 🙂

    Anyways, I am so excited for the fair!!

  13. I am genuinley ecstatic about possibly seeing Anoop in NC this Oct. If all goes well, I’m hoping to make the trip from Portland OR. I thoroughly enjoy him as a vocalist and entertainer and I’m trying to make the trip to see him!

  14. My family hasn’t been to the state fair in years, but we have already made our plans to drive in from Pitt County this year, just to see Anoop. He is a wonderful singer and is sure to put on a compelling and artful show. His beautiful vocal interpretations will make certain that it doesn’t sound like a bunch of tired cover songs. Just look at what he did with Always On My Mind on Idol!! And IMO, his version of My Prerogative is actually better than the original. For all we know, he could have a record deal signed by Oct. 22 (PLEASE!!), and have some new material for us. His three song set during the Idol tour (saw him in both Charlotte and Greensboro!) left me wanting MORE. An hour or so with Anoop will be incredibly satisfying, at least for me. Heehee

  15. I think it’s fabulous that you booked your hometown boy, Anoop Desai, for the NC State Fair. Not only is he amazingly talented, he seems incredibly genuine and likable. A winning combination in my books.

    I will be traveling from Toronto, Canada to see Anoop perform his first solo show – and a great one I’m sure it will be! As someone who had never even heard of the NC State Fair until Anoop was scheduled to perform at it, I can assuredly say that bringing Anoop on board will definitely garner much publicity and attention for the Fair. Have you seen the buzz on Twitter? Great choice, NC State Fair, great choice.

  16. I can’t wait until i get another chance to see Anoop sing. Saw him in Greensboro and that was amazing. Will be coming from Wrightsville Beach.
    My family plan to make a day of it. First time to the State fair. Thank you to all that made it possible for Anoop to preform.

  17. Thank you NC State Fair, no one could have filled the place better! Anoop will bring both talent and grace to the stage! The man is truely one of the most gifted individuals I have ever seen. He stays true to himself while using extreme emotion to covey the message of his song. I LOVE ANOOP DESAI! I would travel ANYWHERE to see him perform! He is brilliant! There is no doubt in my mind by the time of the fair and with the end of the tour, Anoop will be well on his way to a record deal! I coming from Knoxville, TN to support my man!!

  18. Thank you, NC Fair organizer, to pull this off. I’m quite excited for this. It is absolutely wonderful that the fair can be a place for a budding artist to kick start his/her career, especially when the artist is one of NC’s own.

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