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North Dakota Concerts

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North Dakota is small and sparsely populated, but it has drawn a range of music acts over the years, some of them multiple times, with memorable shows. Some of those concerts have had attendance larger than some of North Dakota’s major cities.

In 1993, the year after the Fargodome opened, country singer Garth Brooks played two sold-out shows, the largest indoor events in North Dakota history at the time. His first show drew over 25,000 people; and the second topped 26,000. The extra seats became available after the road crew reconfigured the stage. Brooks even signed and gave his guitar to a fan who had given him a special drawing. Brooks played concerts in Fargo again in 1998 and 2016.

In 1998, country singer Shania Twain also played the Fargodome. More than 25,000 people attended. Twain called it her “lucky show” since the attendance made it more than 1 million people who had seen her perform live on that year’s tour. She brought some concertgoers onstage, including Trollwood Performing Arts School actress Becky Gulsvig, who sang a song with her. The West Fargo High School choir and marching band percussion section also performed. Twain accepted gifts, drawings and flowers from the audience, many of them children. She performed again at the Fargodome in 2004 and 2015.

The band Kiss has performed all around North Dakota for years since 1974, including concerts in Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks, Jamestown and Minot. Dozens of fans painted their faces for the Kiss farewell tour at the Fargodome in 2000, but as it turned out, it would not be their last appearance in the state.

Two days after that concert, on this date, the Dixie Chicks played the Fargodome. Fiddler Martie Seidel told concertgoers the crowd was the largest of the tour to that point.

Days after the Alerus Center opened in 2001 in Grand Forks, the Backstreet Boys played the venue. The concert sold more than 17,400 tickets – thought to be the biggest show in Grand Forks’ history at the time. Concertgoers gave a boost to restaurants and retailers selling everything from clothing to CDs to disposable cameras – even roses to throw onstage. Hotel bookings reached as far as Fargo. The concertgoers spent at least $500,000 in Grand Forks.

In 2002, pop singer Cher set an Alerus Center record with more than 19,500 tickets sold. That record stood until 2013, when country singers George Strait and Martina McBride sold more than 20,000 tickets for their Alerus Center concert as part of Strait’s farewell tour.

Dakota Datebook by Jack Dura


The Bismarck Tribune. 1974, November 11. Page 19

The Bismarck Tribune. 1986, February 22. Page 15

The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. 1993, October 24. Pages 1, 16

The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. 1993, October 25. Pages 1, 10

The Bismarck Tribune. 1993, October 27. Page 3E

The Bismarck Tribune. 1993, October 29. Page 9

The Bismarck Tribune. 1997, April 28. Page 1

The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. 1998, December 6. Pages 1, 17

The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. 2000, July 15. Page 1

The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. 2000, July 17. Page 1

The Bismarck Tribune. 2001, February 5. Page 12

Grand Forks Herald. 2001, February 19. Pages 1, 10

The Bismarck Tribune. 2001, February 20. Page 3

The Bismarck Tribune. 2001, August 31. Page 31





Dakota Datebook is made in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, and funded by Humanities North Dakota, a nonprofit, independent state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the program do not necessarily reflect those of Humanities North Dakota or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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