The California State Fair values media coverage and encourages media to attend the California State Fair to gather story content. To accommodate the needs of the media, the Cal Expo Media Center opens 30 days prior to the start of the annual California State Fair.

For public safety reasons, Media Credentials are only issued to working media as defined by this policy, and at the sole discretion of the California State Fair.  Media Credentials will not be granted to applicants that do not meet the established criteria.

A history of being granted Media Credentials to the California State Fair DOES NOT GUARANTEE approval of a Media Credential for this year’s State Fair and does not waive the credential application and approval requirements. California State Fair reserves the right to deny or revoke Media Credentials for any reason.

To qualify for Media Credentials to the California State Fair, applicants must be a working journalist at a news-gathering outlet including publicly read newspapers, news services, websites, and radio and television stations. Applicants must cover State Fair-related issues (i.e. agriculture, cuisine, business/economics, entertainment, tech, community interests, etc.) on a regular basis or be working on special assignment.

A working journalist is defined as someone deriving income from journalistic activities either independently or as part of an independent media outlet. Independent media outlets are those independent of special interest groups, trade associations, consumer organizations. In applying for and accepting a Media Credential, you agree to:

  • Coordinate coverage with the California State Fair Media Center prior to arriving on the State Fairgrounds.
  • Check-in at the Media Center (located in the Administration Building) upon arrival
  • Be escorted around the State Fairgrounds by Media Center staff
  • Broadcast/Publish at least 5 Instagram/Facebook stories and 2 articles/posts about the California State Fair

The California State Fair grants Media Credentials to bloggers and social media influencers who cover State Fair-related topics and have at least 12,000 followers.

Credential holders are required to use the hashtags #CSF and #CAStateFair when posting.

When applying for Media Credentials, bloggers and social media are required to show proof of coverage and audience.

Bloggers and social media influencers are required to publish at least 10 stories and 2 feed posts about the California State Fair.

The California State Fair grants Media Credentials to freelance writers/journalists/photographers who verify that they have been retained by an actual news organization for the express purpose of covering the California State Fair.

When applying for Media Credentials freelance applicants will be required to provide proof of their assignment and/or links to websites to where you are published.

Freelance Writers, Journalists, and Photographers are required to publish at least 2 articles/posts about the California State Fair.

All applicants for Media Credentials are subject to a Megan’s Law check, so a valid, government issued photo ID must be submitted with your application. If the proper form of ID is not submitted, the application will be rejected. Applicants will not be notified that their application is subject to rejection.

Megan's Law Form – Single Megan's Law Form – Multiple

Applicants must complete and submit the Media Credential Application form (available one month prior to the opening of Fair). While Media Credentials are transferable within a station/publication, each individual planning to use the Media Credential must also provide the proper form of ID.

Applications can be completed and submitted by clicking the link below. Upon approval of your application, you will receive an email with information on when you may pick up your Media Credential(s) at Cal Expo.

Please do not arrive to pick up your Media Credential(s) before receiving the approval email.  When picking up Media Credentials you must provide a valid ID. To check on the status of your application please call the Media Center at 916-263-3108.

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Those denied a Media Credential must purchase an admission ticket to gain access to the State Fairgrounds.

A Media Credential grants the bearer general admission to the public areas of the California State Fair, access to park their news vehicles in Parking Lot C, and access to the Media Center through Gate 3 (Please be ready to show your Media Credential). Live trucks can only access the State Fairgrounds through Gate 12 (off of Ethan Way) with prior approval. For the safety of the public, Media vehicles cannot be in the “patron portions” Fairgrounds during open hours.

Media Credentials DO NOT grant access to the concert VIP Deck or backstage, nor to non-public areas of the State Fairgrounds.

Grounds Map

To ensure a fun experience for Fair guests, any media that wants to record video or audio at the State Fair agrees to be escorted by California State Fair Media Center Staff.

Media wishing to capture concert performances on the Golden 1 Stage must make a special request through the Media Center to receive a unique code to gain access to the front row. Media wishing to capture video/audio of live performances must adhere to the recording rules established for each artist (i.e. record only the first three songs). Facebook Live requests must be submitted at least 5 days in advance.

The California State Fair reserves the right to ask media with a camera to leave at any time.

The California State Fair Media Center is located in the Administration Building at Cal Expo. Services and resources available include copier, restroom, workspace, and refreshments.

Click here for media approved Fair photos.

Click here for our social media policy.

To cover a story at Cal Expo please send an email to

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