The Big E returns with more than 80 live bands and endless food options

Doors officially open at the Big E
Published: Sep. 11, 2023 at 7:41 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2023 at 9:13 AM EDT
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WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA (WFSB) - From major headliners with chart-topping hits to up-and-coming artists scheduled to perform original tracks, the Big E returned on Friday.

The Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA runs until Oct. 1.

Connecticut Day is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 20.

Tickets are available at

The Big E promised to bring more than 80 live bands to three stages.

All shows were scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Here’s the lineup for the Big E Arena:

  • Sept. 15 John Fogerty with special guest Hearty Har
  • Sept. 16 Jimmy Eat World with special guest Palehound
  • Sept. 17 Parker McCollum
  • Sept. 22 Bachman-Turner Overdrive
  • Sept. 23 Quinn XCII with Special Guest Alexander 23
  • Sept. 24 Chris Young
  • Sept. 29 Zedd
  • Sept. 30 Third Eye Blind
  • Oct. 1 I Love the 90s

Here’s the lineup for the Court of Honor Stage:

All concerts are free with Fair admission.

  • Sept.15-20: Street Drum Corps, Noon & 5pm
  • Sept. 15-17: Celtic Angels, 2pm
  • Sept. 15: Molly Hatchet, 8pm
  • Sept. 16: Gaelic Storm, 8pm
  • Sept. 17: Vertical Horizon, 8pm
  • Sept. 18-19: Humble Pie Legacy, 2pm
  • Sept. 18-19: O-Town, 8pm
  • Sept. 20-21: Robert Davi sings Sinatra, 2pm
  • Sept. 20: Dokken, 8pm
  • Sept. 21-25: Banachek’s Mind Games Live, Noon & 5pm
  • Sept. 21: Megan Moroney, 8pm
  • Sept. 22-24: The Little Mermen: NYC’s Premier Disney Cover Band, 2pm
  • Sept. 22: The Verve Pipe, 8pm
  • Sept. 23: Chubby Checker, 8pm
  • Sept. 24: Mike DelGuidice, 8pm
  • Sept. 25-26: Springfield Symphony Orchestra and the Springfield Chamber Players present: The Joy of Music, 2pm
  • Sept. 25-26: Barry Goodreau’s Engine Room (formerly of Boston), 8pm
  • Sept. 26-Oct. 1: The Edge Effect, Noon & 5pm
  • Sept. 27-28: José Feliciano, 2pm
  • Sept. 27: Ginuwine, 8pm
  • Sept. 28: Dire Straits Legacy, 8pm
  • Sept. 29-Oct. 1: Motown & More, 2pm
  • Sept. 29: TBD, 8pm
  • Sept. 30: Nicky Youre, 8pm
  • Oct. 1: Lonestar, 8pm

Big E food

Fans of the Big E will tell people that it’s all about food. There are treats like The Big E Cream Puff, the Big Éclair, and the Craz-E Burger!

There are hundreds of options to choose from across the grounds, including more than 65 new foods that debuted this year.

The following are some of 2023′s debut vendors:

  • Bacon Bomb
  • Waffleicious
  • La3Plata
  • Top The Crust
  • Luann’s Bakery
  • Ferrindino Maple

Other menu items that were anticipated were the cannoli donut, Thanksgiving nachos, Hong Kong waffle, Mexican street corn pizza and apple bacon fritters.

Big E opening day

Connecticut Building

When you come, you must stop by the Connecticut state building modeled after the Old State House in Hartford.

Eyewitness News checked out some of the amazing vendors and products inside all from Connecticut.

“Forty-four percent of our attendance comes from the state of Connecticut,” said Gene Cassidy, President and CEO of the Big E.

“It feels great, this is a once in a year chance we get to do for two weeks solid,” said Peter Varhol of New Britain.

You can find so much from Connecticut in the state building. Everything from local Connecticut beer, to handmade oyster shell ornaments.

“We have like 45 breweries this year that we’re bringing in, rotating through as many different kegs and styles of beer as possible,” said Eddie Maselli with Connecticut Craft Beer Works.

“All the shells are from Hammonnasset. I go and collect them and then I decoupage them or I pour acrylic and resin over so you can use them as ring dishes and there’s ornaments. Anything else I can think of,” said Barbie Gambino with Kissed by a Mermaid.

You might even recognize Lyman Orchards. It’s their first time at the Big E, and they partnering with Fascia’s Chocolate.

“We sell and dip Lyman Orchard apples in our caramel and chocolate. Along with that some of our other confections. So we decided to come to the Connecticut building today together, selling Lyman Orchard pies, the apples and a very new product called a stroopwaffle,” said Carmen Romeo, President of Fascia’s Chocolate.

Things to remember, according to Big E organizers

Customers were urged to buy advance discount tickets to save money.

Advance discount tickets were sold online, at The Big E Box Office, or through an official presale ticket partner Rocky’s Ace Hardware through Sept. 13. Advance tickets were $16 for adults and $10 for children ages 6-12. Visit or Rocky’s Ace Hardware to purchase. Visit for a listing of participating Rocky’s locations.

Opening Day was Friday, Sept. 15, and The Big E offered more ways to save on that date only:

  • Be a Kid for a Day – All ages $12 (also sold online)
  • Military Appreciation Day – ID Required for free admission for: Active duty and retired military personnel, dependents of active duty military personnel, and veterans (no dependents).

Regular Gate Admission

Tickets purchased at the gate are $20 for adults, $12 for children (6-12), and FREE for 5 & under.

Gate Discounts

Eleven-After-Five - $11 after 5 p.m. Sunday-Thursday

Senior Days – $16 (60 & over) Sunday-Thursday

Value Passes

17-Day Value Passes are $70 for adults and $35 for children (6-12), and are available for purchase at in the Big E Box Office or at the gates.

Big E Hours

Gates open at 8 a.m.

Buildings, exhibits and crafts run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Storrowton Village, the Yankee Candle Shop, Avenue of States and New England Center are open until 9 p.m.

The Village Craft Area is open until 10 p.m.

The North American Midway is open Sun. – Thurs., 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.