County of Marin - News Releases - County Fair Music

For Immediate Release
March 02, 2020

Headliner Concerts Announced for Marin County Fair – The Soaring 2020s

Admission to concerts is free with regular fair ticket from July 1-5

NOTE: Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Marin County Fair was canceled on April 15. The next fair will be July 1-5, 2021.

San Rafael, CA – Renowned for presenting world-class music each year, the Marin County Fair has announced a stellar lineup of bands every night from July 1-5, all free with the price of admission. Headliners at the Marin County Fairgrounds in San Rafael will be Chaka Khan, Chris Isaak, Blue Oyster Cult, Sons of Champlin, Sheila E., and Matt Jaffe. Here is the concert schedule:

Wednesday, July 1, 7:30 p.m.: Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan is one of the world’s most gifted and celebrated music icons. A singer, songwriter, actor, author, philanthropist, entrepreneur and activist, Chaka has influenced generations of music creators during her four decades as an artist. A 10-time GRAMMY® Award winner, she has the rare ability to sing in a number of musical genres, including R&B, pop, rock, gospel, country, world music and classical. She is revered by millions of fans as well as her peers for her timeless, unmatched vocal style and image. The late, great Miles Davis noted that Chaka “sings like my horn.” And none other than the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, has said that Chaka “is a one-of-a-kind, premier vocalist.” During her legendary career, Chaka has released 22 albums and racked up 10 No. 1 songs on the Billboard charts, seven RIAA-certified gold singles and 10 RIA-certified gold and platinum albums. Chaka’s recordings have resulted in more than 2,000 catalog song placements.

Thursday, July 2, 7:30 p.m.: Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak has been a Grammy-nominated recording artist, songwriter and actor for more than 34 years. It’s been 30 years since the release of his breakthrough classic “Wicked Game,” and the song remains one of the most covered songs in music. Isaak’s film soundtrack credits include Wild at Heart, Blue Velvet, True Romance, and Eyes Wide Shut, and the California native has also done extensive work in front of the camera, including The Silence of the Lambs, That Thing You Do! and three seasons as the lead in The Chris Isaak Show on Showtime. Isaak has also hosted a music talk show The Chris Isaak Hour on BIO and served as a judge on The X Factor Australia. Called “rockabilly’s greatest modern ambassador” by Rolling Stone, Isaak’s 12th studio album, First Comes The Night, was released in 2015 to much critical acclaim. He is currently recording a new studio album in Nashville. His legendary shows with his longtime band Silvertone have entertained audiences for over three decades.

Friday, July 3, 7:30 p.m.: Blue Öyster Cult

For over four decades, Blue Öyster Cult has been thrilling fans of intelligent hard rock worldwide with powerful albums loaded with classic songs. Indeed, the Long Island, NY-based band is revered within the hard rock and heavy metal scene for its pioneering work. Blue Öyster Cult occupies a unique place in rock history because it's one of very few hard rock/heavy metal bands to earn both genuine mainstream critical acclaim as well as commercial success. The band is often cited as a major influence by other acts such as Metallica, and BÖC was listed in VH1’s countdown of the greatest hard rock bands of all time. Upon the release of BÖC’s self-titled debut album in 1972, the band was praised for its catchy-yet-heavy music and lyrics that could be provocative, terrifying, funny or ambiguous, often all in the same song. BÖC’s canon includes three stone-cold classic songs that will waft through the cosmos long after the sun has burned out: The truly haunting “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” from 1976’s Agents of Fortune, the pummeling “Godzilla” from 1977’s Spectres, and the hypnotically melodic “Burnin’ for You” from 1981’s Fire of Unknown Origin.

Saturday, July 4, 7:30 p.m.: Sons of Champlin

The Sons of Champlin started in 1965 in Marin County after Bill Champlin graduated from Tamalpais High School. They brought a unique soulful sound built around a horn section, sophisticated arrangements, philosophical themes, and Champlin’s songwriting to the 1960s music scene in the Bay Area. The Sons’ first record release, on Trident Records, was a single called “Sing Me A Rainbow.” They performed at the iconic 1967 Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival on Mt. Tamalpais to great acclaim and earned a reputation as a group of R&B and jazz musicians far above the caliber of the electrified folk-rockers who formed the core of the Bay Area music scene. They are the quintessential Marin County band.

Saturday, July 4, 3 p.m.: Matt Jaffe

Matt Jaffe is a singer/songwriter from Mill Valley. Cutting his teeth on countless open mics around the Bay Area, Matt started pursuing music more seriously when Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads offered to produce his first record. Since then, Matt has churned out more songs than he can remember the words to, oversaturated the market with gigs (opening for folks like Mavis Staples and Wilco), and co-written with the likes of Chuck Prophet and Tom Higgenson of the Plain White T’s. With his band, Matt has played stages across the country, including The Fillmore, The Troubadour, and Irving Plaza. He just released his third album of original material, The Spirit Catches You, another installment in his campaign to bring the Guitar Gospel back to the masses.

Sunday, July 5, 7:30 p.m.: Sheila E.

Sheila Escovedo picked up the drumsticks and started making music at the precocious age of 3. Sheila delivered her first solo performance to a live audience two years later and has since established herself as one of the most talented percussionist/drummers and performers in the world. Best known to music fans as Sheila E., she became a top session and touring musician before the age of 20, performing and/or recording with George Duke, Herbie Hancock, Billy Cobham, Con Funk Shun, Marvin Gaye (on his final world tour), Diana Ross, Lionel Richie, Gloria Estefan, Patti LaBelle, and Steve Nicks among others.

Sheila E.’s producing, arranging, and performance talents have been showcased throughout the music and film industry with appearances on, The Academy Awards, The Latin Grammy Awards, BET Awards, The American Music Awards, The Kennedy Center Honors, The Summer Olympics, WOW Awards, ALMA’s, and The Image Awards just to name a few. In 2014, Sheila released her literary biography titled, The Beat of My Own Drum, and her solo album, ICON. Following Prince’s death, she released the single “Girl Meets Boy” in memory of the late, great, Prince. In 2018, Sheila E. released, ICONIC: Message for America, an album that displays her efforts in awareness to social issues and humanitarianism.

Sheila E. continues to produce and perform music throughout the world. Her current single, “No Line,” with the legendary Snoop Dogg, is Sheila's continued contribution to the music industry. The Queen of Percussion plans to release new music in 2020. Sheila E. is CEO of the entertainment company StilettoFlats Inc. located in Los Angeles.

Sunday, July 5, 3 p.m.: Las Cafeteras

Las Cafeteras are immigrant children remixing roots music, telling modern-day stories with what LA Times has called a “uniquely Angeleno mishmash of punk, hip-hop, beat music, cumbia and rock … Live, they’re magnetic.” The band is taking the music scene by storm with infectious live performances that cross musical borders. They’ve played with bands such as folk/indie favorites Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Mexican icons Cafe Tacuba, Colombian superstar Juanes, L.A. legends Ozomatli, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and most recently with Talib Kweli.


Fair tickets go on sale March 16. Reserved concert seating in a special section is $60 per person (plus $5 fee) and includes fair admission.

Buy your fair tickets early for the best prices. The first 5,000 tickets have extra discounted pricing, but those are available only on

Online tickets before June 1 (general admission concerts included):

  • Adults 19-64: $12
  • Teens 13-18: $12
  • Children 4-12: $10
  • Seniors 65+: $10
  • Veterans: $10
  • Active military with ID: FREE
  • Children under 4: FREE

After the first 5,000 tickets are sold, regular pricing returns with discounts for online purchases.

Online admission tickets after June 1 (general admission concerts included):

  • Adults 19-64: $18 online
  • Teens 13-18: $18 online
  • Children 4-12: $14 online
  • Seniors 65+:$14 online
  • Veterans: $14
  • Active military with ID: FREE
  • Children under 4: FREE

At the Gate tickets:

  • Adults 19-64: $20
  • Teens 13-18: $20
  • Children 4-12: $15
  • Seniors 65+: $15
  • Veterans: $15
  • Active military with ID: FREE
  • Children under 4: FREE

Special Admission Days:

Wednesday, July 1 — Kids Day

Kids 12 and under are admitted FREE

NEW! Thursday, July 2 — Senior Day

Seniors 65+ are admitted FREE (general admission concert seating only, does not include reserved concert seating)


Libby Garrison
Marketing and Communications Director
Department of Cultural Services

Marin Center
10 Avenue of the Flags
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6014
Email: Libby Garrison
Cultural Services Website