From Destiny’s Child to Diana Ross and the Supremes: A look back at Big E concerts over the years

The 2021 Big E features musical acts ranging from Machine Gun Kelly and Billy Idol to Flo Rida with Ying Yang Twins.

Over the years, the fair has featured artists both on their rise to stardom and after establishing their names among the music industry.

In preparation for this year’s fair to kick off on Friday, take look back to some past Big E performers.


Ashanti took the Comcast Stage stage at the Big E on Sept. 28, 2003. This R&B singer is known for classic songs like, “Foolish,” “Rock Wit U” and “Happy.”

Beach Boys

The Beach Boys performed at the Big E on in 2019 with some of their greatest hits.

“Our music appeals to multiple generations, both original fans and new ones, and it’s pretty fantastic to see every age group at a fair from kids to grandparents coming to see a Beach Boys show,” Mike Love said at the time.

Brad Paisley

Country star Brad Paisley got the Big E crowd to capacity with his performances on the Comcast Stage on Sept. 17, 2006. This show was the first ticket concert at the Big E in many years.

Carly Rae Jepsen

Carly Rae Jepsen, the Canadian pop singer/songwriter, performed at The Big-E Arena with songs from her albums “Dedicated” and “E-MO-TION.”

The Grammy-Award nominated “Call Me Maybe” singer was sponsored by MGM Springfield.

Clay Aiken

Clay Aiken gained fame after winning second place on the second season of “American Idol” in 2003. He took the Big E stage in 2004.

Destiny’s Child

Destiny’s Child played to 10,000 cheering fans at the Big E in 2000, starting off their 45-minute set with the song, “So Good.” The group was on tour with with Christina Aguilera before performing at the fair.

Diana Ross and the Supremes

A Big E newsletter from June 1967 announced that Diana Ross and the Supremes would perform at the fair in September. Members Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard were set to perform at the Coliseum but by the time the Big E show took place, Ballard had left the group and was replaced by Cindy Birdsong.

An Eastern States Exposition newsletter from June 1967 announcing that The Supremes would perform at The Big E in West Springfield that September. The newsletter announced members Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard would perform at the Coliseum. Ballard left the group and was replaced by Cindy Birdsong by the time the four Big E shows took place.


The same weekend the Beach Boys played, rock band Foreigner took the stage at the Big E. This season had an all-time record breaking attendance of 1,629,527 visitors during the 17-day fair.

Little Big Town

Little Big Town performed at the Big E on Sept. 27, 2014. The country group is made up of members Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook that have created hits like “Girl Crush,” ” Wine, Beer, Whiskey” and “Little White Church.”

Miranda Lambert

Miranda Lambert’s 2010 show at the Big E sold out in advance and although the fair was hit by rain the night before, the crowds still came to watch this country star.

Before she closed her set with, “Smoke a Little Smoke,” Lambert said: “Wherever we are right now, we are about to turn it up three of four notches.”

Miranda Lambert at the Big E on Oct. 02, 2010

Paris Hilton

While Paris Hilton is known for much more than her music, she took the stage as a DJ to play high-energy dance music at the Big E on Oct. 4, 2015.

There was smoke, lights, cameras and cellphones in the air for this show, as Hilton played songs like “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers and “Wonderwall” by Oasis.

Reba McEntire

Reba McEntire closed out the Big E on Oct. 2, 2011 to a packed crowd.

“We are going to take you on a little journey,” McEntire, said that night as she promised to play new songs and old favorites. “It has been many, many years since we have been to the Big E and we are tickled to be back.”

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