Get ready to rock and roll: Lakes Jam begins today
Lakes Jam, the three-day music fest that unites country and rock and roll, is finally here. Brainerd lakes area residents should have already noticed heavier traffic along Highway 371, north of Baxter as campers, vendors and organizers head out t...
Lakes Jam, the three-day music fest that unites country and rock and roll, is finally here.
Brainerd lakes area residents should have already noticed heavier traffic along Highway 371, north of Baxter as campers, vendors and organizers head out to Brainerd International Raceway, the Lakes Jam venue.
On Wednesday, Lakes Jam organizers were running in all directions making sure everything was set up; vendors were getting their booths ready; and campers were waiting in line outside the BIR gates to get in. By noon there were three rows of recreational vehicles lined up, waiting for the event to open. Camping opens at 8 a.m. today, June 23.
This year marks the fourth anniversary of the event and organizers continue to bring in more bigger names to the stage. This year's headliners are country star Toby Keith and the classic American rock band Styx.
The Lakes Jam stage is the third largest state-of-the-art stage and it took two days to complete. Stage production manager Brad Bryan of Brad Bryan Productions, LLC, out of Silver Spring, MD, said the crew of 16 people worked nine hours Tuesday and were expected to work at least 10 hours Wednesday to complete the building of the stage.
Lakes Jam owner Jerry Braam said the stage has added features this year, as it includes poser decks on both sides of the stage. Braam said this will allow fans to get up off the ground and view the bands. Braam said they also are building a party deck outside the VIP tent.
"We're adding new features to the Lakes Jam experience every year," Braam said. "We'll have the snowmobiles on the pond Friday and Saturday and it's awesome. We have so many things to do here. It's more than just the music.
"We're bringing in the big acts, but I want people to experience something like no other festival."
Braam said the reserved campground was expanded this year. Lakes Jam has 300 acres of camping and general camping is unlimited. Braam said the nice thing about the set up of Lakes Jam is all the campers can walk to the main stage area in three minutes.
Braam said ticket sales have gone great. He said people who have gone to Lakes Jam in the past are coming back and are bringing their friends. He said the week leading up to Lakes Jam is where up to 40 percent of the ticket sales occur. For the first time this year, Braam said tickets for 2017 Lakes Jam will go on sale within 30 days after Lakes Jam 2016 is completed. Last year, tickets didn't go on sale until October. Braam said at this year's Lakes Jam they will announce a band or two who will be performing in 2017.
Braam said the sponsors also are coming back to be part of Lakes Jam, and more businesses want to be involved.
"We want people to have a good time here and to come back," Braam said. "We are continuing to grow."
Braam said the Brainerd lakes area needed a music festival and now with Lakes Jam, everyone-the hotels, resorts and businesses-are benefitting.
"It was our goal to make this a Brainerd lakes event," Braam said. "We're proud to have this in the Brainerd lakes area."
Braam said Friday night before Toby Keith goes on stage, there will be a military tribute to 10 new enlistees of the military, who will be sworn in on the Lakes Jam stage before they head off in the Air Force.
Braam said Lakes Jam also will be donating money to Camp Confidence.
"My wife and I have always said that we will stand for something, rather than just having one big party," Braam said. "We're doing great things for the military, great things for Camp Confidence and we try to support as many events in the Brainerd lakes area as we can."
JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 218-855-5851. Follow me at www.twitter.com/jennewsgirl on Twitter.
Line-up: Today, June 23: Main stage are High Valley at 6 p.m.; Locash, 8 p.m.; and Granger Smith, 10 p.m.
Friday: Whiskey Myers, 4 p.m.; Chris Hawkey, 6 p.m.; Chase Bryant, 8 p.m.; and Toby Keith, 10 p.m. Secondary stage includes Copperhead Creek, noon; Jason Paulson Band, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.; and Nasty Habit, 7 p.m., 9 p.m. and midnight.
Saturday: ThundHERstruck, 4 p.m.; Survivor, 6 p.m.; 38 Special, 8 p.m.; and Styx, 10 p.m. Secondary stage includes Last Call, noon; Strange Daze, 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.; and Nasty Habit, 7 p.m., 9:20 p.m. and 12:30 a.m.
Cost: Go to tickets300.com/lakes-jam-2016/ or www.lakesjam.com/#!ticket-price-information/c1a6j for details on tickets.
Weather from the National Weather Service in Duluth
Today, June 23: Mostly sunny, with a high near 74 and a low of 57 at night.
Friday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 82. At night there is a chance of showers and thunderstorms before 1 a.m., then a slight chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 66. Chance of precipitation is 30 percent.
Saturday: A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny, with a high near 84. Breezy.
Saturday night there is a chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 60.