Pat Benatar cancels tonight's Bloomsburg Fair concert; Starship to replace her

Last updated: September 29, 2021 - 12:05pm

Pat Benatar, the 1980s hitmaker who was to headline Bloomsburg Fair grandstand tonight, has canceled, citing “an upper respiratory illness unrelated to COVID,” according to a statement from Benatar’s management.

Replacing Benatar will be Starship, the 1980s Jefferson Airplane offshoot band with singer Mickey Thomas, best known for the No. 1 gold hits “We Built This City” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us.”

The show starts at 8 p.m. There is no opening act.

Tickets for Starship are $22-$40, available at

Benatar’s website makes no mention of the cancelation, and she  has concerts scheduled Sept. 30 in Troy, Ohio, and Saturday in Charles Town, West Virginia.

Fair Grandstand Supervisor Brian Warowski said Benatar's show had sold 2,717 tickets. 

He said the fair was made aware of the cancelation at 4:10 p.m. Tuesday. Warowski said he recalled another grandstand show several years ago that canceled on late notice, but wasn't sure who it was.

All tickets previously purchased for Benatar, who was to perform with guitarist/husband Neil Giraldo, will be accepted at the Starship show, the fair said.

Tickets were at $25 and $45 for Benatar. The difference in ticket prices will be refunded and automatically charged back to credit cards within 15 days, the fair said. All cash or check purchases will be refunded with a check within 15 days.

Those choosing not to attend Starship will get full refunds in the same way, but are asked to contact the point of purchase before tonight’s concert, the fair said.

For questions, call the fair grandstand ticket office at 570-387-4145.

Benatar is the second performer to cancel at the fair this year.

In June, Brad Paisley, one of the best-selling and most celebrated country music stars of this century, canceled, wihh the fair citing  “unforeseen circumstances.” 

Paisley was replaced by Brett Young, best known for his platinum hits “In Case You Didn’t Know” and “Mercy." Young played Sunday.

Benatar originally was scheduled to play the fair in 2020, but the entire fair was canceled by the coronavirus pandemic. When in November Benatar's show was rescheduled for this year, she posted a statement on her website regarding an incident in which the fair was criticized for having a dunk tank at a fireman's carnival at the fairgrounds that featured a man impersonating then-Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine, who is transgender.

"After lengthy discussions with the powers that be, we have decided to reschedule our performance at the Bloomsburg Fair," Benatar's message said. "The Fair has deeply apologized and taken action with the LGBTQ+ community to remedy the situation from last year when a horrible act of discrimination occurred during another event held at the Fair's venue. They have assured us that our performance is an inclusive event and that everyone is welcome."

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