Behind the scenes with…Mike Pleasant, concert manager (Part 2)

Three weeks ago, we introduced you to Mike Pleasant, who books and manages all of the Dorton Arena concert entertainers before and during the Fair. Mike told us about some of his favorite performers over the years (Clay Aiken, Brad Paisley, MercyMe, Chris Daughtry and ’09 returning artist Kellie Pickler all made the cut) right before we announced this year’s lineup here on the Deep Fried Blog. (Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday, August 3.)

This week, we’re back with part two of Mike’s interview, and this one is juicy. Mike took me on a tour of the backstage areas of Dorton where some huge names have performed over the years (listen in to find out which two pop/rock megastars have walked the very same halls), as well as professional hockey, basketball and roller derby teams and professional wrestlers.

CONTEST: Check out the video for your very own behind-the-scenes look at the VIP sections of Dorton Arena. Leave a comment on this blog post with the unusual item, hanging from the ceiling of Dorton’s basement, that was used by professional wrestlers before their shows. We’ll pick one commenter at random and announce it Monday, July 27, at noon, and send him or her a sweet State Fair poster. Be sure to check back, and good luck!

Note: If video doesn’t appear, try refreshing your browser.

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. a chin-up bar! (now everyone will see my answer and not watch the video! luckies 🙂 )

  2. A chin-up bar. Very strange indeed.

  3. A chin up bar! — I did watch the video, too! LOL

  4. it’s not just a chin up bar it’s looks like they might hang up there long enough for someone to stretch their pants on sort of like how women lay down to button tight pants well wrestlers hang up high to get their pants on and their assistant who does this is called their hang in there partner,thats how we got that term, sorta catchy phrase, hang in there partner,help is on its way….

  5. Just a wild guess here but I believe it’s a “chin-up bar.” How’d I do?

    Keep those video’s coming. For all the years I’ve been to the fair…never knew about the “underground” area. Thanks.

    Be Blessed!!!
    Big Steve

  6. The chin-up bar! 🙂

  7. A chin-up bar!

    And I am just itching for one of those posters!!

  8. chin up bar

  9. A chin-up, aka pull-up, bar. Spinal Tap could have used those directions on the floor for their Cleveland show. LOL.

  10. A chin up bar. Hmmmm interesting …

  11. I agree, it was a chin up bar!

  12. Jennifer Lassiter

    chin up bar

  13. Congrats to Maggie! We randomly picked you as our winner. E-mail your address to and we’ll send you your poster.

    Thanks to everyone who commented, we’ll have many more of these contests leading up to the Fair.

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