After a week of food, drink, and plenty of music, the 2022 Mississippi Valley Fair is over.  So, what's next for 2023?

This year Kid Rock opened the week and rocked the Mississippi Valley Fair.  The crowd was enormous.  Was it the biggest crowd in MVF history?  That is still TBD, but it sure seemed like it.  We would of course love it if rock got more than one night.  Two would be great.  Or three.  Or four.  Or five.  Or six!  Really, two would be cool but if all we get is one, who could be that one that takes the big stage next year?

You can be the next local band to open on the main stage.

Before we talk about who the main rock act could be, let's talk about how you can open up for them.

Once again in 2022, a Quad Cities band was able to take the main stage and open up for an artist.  How did they get this opportunity?  They rocked.  There was a battle of the bands that took place at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in March to determine who would open up one night of the grandstand.  The competition was intense with 10 awesome bands playing for the ability to play the MVF.  And at the end of it, a panel of judges chose "Eugene Levy".  The fellas from Eugene took the stage Saturday night and rocked the stage.

If you think your band can be on the big stage, then mark your calendars.  Cause there will be another battle of the bands' on March 25 at the Mississippi Valley Fair.


What bands won't play the 2023 Mississippi Valley Fair?

Before we get into who could be rocking the main stage, let's just take these names off the list.  There are some bands that are just too big or just not the right fit for the MVF.

For starters, Metallica will not happen.  They are playing in 70,000-seat football stadiums.  Really any band that you see playing football stadiums, is not going to come to a place that holds 30,000.  Just not what they do.

There are also some bands that are not going to play because quite frankly, they would not fit the crowd.  Bands like Rage Against the Machine, Green Day, Muse, Pearl Jam, and probably Red Hot Chili Peppers.  Huge bands that could put 30k into that place, but due to perception, simply will not.

Are they big enough to bring in 20,000 people?

A lot of our bands are awesome, but can't draw the crowd needed for the MVF.  If they are playing venues that hold 2,000-5,000 people, they aren't big-time enough for the MVF.  Now maybe, and I stress maybe, if you were to get 2, 3, 4 of those bands together for a longer set type thing it could work.  But that is not the Mississippi Valley Fairs style.  It's typically one big band.

Are they too heavy for the Mississippi Valley Fair crowd?

Let's talk about Slipknot here.  Really nobody else that heavy is going to bring in a big enough crowd.  But Slipknot would fill the place.  And it would be intense and amazing.

But, it probably won't happen.  That's an m-f'n show that would rock the west end from side to side and we'd love it.  But, if your 80-year-old mee-maw accidentally showed up at that one, well, that might be a world the fair is not ready for.

These are the bands that could rock the 2023 MVF.

So once we take out the bands that are too big, too small, and too heavy, who do we have left that is just right?  Well, the list is small, but these are the answers for you.  (Note - Korn was going to make this list but since they were just in town I took them out.)


Disturbed press photo (Warner Records)
Photo by Travis Shinn

This one could happen.  They fit the sound of heavy but not over the top.  They can fill a basketball arena so they could fill the fair.  And they have played fairs before.  However, that could actually be a problem since they are playing the Iowa State Fair on August 19.  Will they play two fairs in Iowa one summer and the next?  Maybe not.  But still, a good option.


Musician Sully Erna performs onstage with Godsmack at Canada's Heavy Montreal in 2019.
Mark Horton, Getty Images

Godsmack might need an opener with them (and the battle of the bands' winner) but they would be a perfect fit for the Mississippi Valley Fair.  Again from a sound, style, and following standpoint, they have all the right pieces to come back to the Quad Cities and hang out with 20,000 of their closest rock friends.

Rob Zombie

Getty Images
Getty Images

This is a bit of a wild card.  Almost everything fits for Rob Zombie playing the fair.  The size, the style, the bridging of the gap between young and old.  He would work...if he can go on at 9:00 p.m.  The main stage always starts at 8:00 p.m.  Rob Zombie isn't going to play a show while there is still any type of daylight.  Rob and his visual show just need it dark.  Get past that, and this would be a great fit.

Five Finger Death Punch

Ivan Moody, Five Finger Death Punch

This is the one right here.  The one that would pack the place.  Five Finger Death Punch has and will play fairs like the MVF.  They have a huge following.  Yeah, they have a lot of haters too.  But their following is much, much, much larger and they could easily put 20,000 people into the fairgrounds.

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One band that I was on the fence about putting on the list was the Offspring.  Could they put 20,000 in there?  Maybe?  If it had a support name it could work.

So what will it be?  At this point, the dust is still settling from 2022 so I'm sure they have not thought about 2023 yet.  But when they do, hopefully, they look at how hard the Quad Cities rocks and get us one of these...or two of these...rock bands.

What do you think about these or other choices?  Let us know and we'll tell the MVF to get it rocking in 2023.

Kid Rock at the Mississippi Valley Fair

Day one of the 2022 Mississippi Valley Fair was packed from side to side from front to back.

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