Jam 13 under way Wednesday
by George Fairbanks, Staff writer
Last Updated: Thursday, July 15th, 2004 02:30:58 PM
Thanks to good weather and a staff of highly experienced workers, preparation
for Moondance Jam 13 was almost flawless.
The Jam gets under way Wednesday afternoon and features an evening lineup
of Big John Dickerson, The Randall Zwarte' Band, Chris Robinson and New
Earth Mud, and ZZ Top. Robinson was the lead singer of the successful
The budget for this year's music performers is nearly $1 million.
"That's just for the bands," Bill Bieloh, who owns and promotes
the Jam with his wife Kathy, said Tuesday.
So far, it seems Thursday is likely to be the Jam's biggest single day
as far as attendance is concerned.
"Thursday's outselling all four days, three to one," Bieloh
The lineup Thursday includes Ronnie Baker Brooks, Little Feat, Lynyrd
Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band.
Bieloh made an effort to bolster the Wednesday and Thursday because
weekends have always been busy.
"We know we'll have people on Friday and Saturday," he said.
Bieloh also explained while the Jam has shown continual growth from
year to year, the 2000 Jam was something of a breaking point.
"That 2000 Jam was as many people as we wanted to get," he
said. From that point Bieloh and his staff have intentionally scaled
things back slightly.
"We don't want to be bigger," Bieloh said, "we want to
Lucky Jam 13 will feature 350 employees who have been working anywhere
from two weeks to three months.
Security will — like in past Jams — be in full force. Fifteen
to 30 Cass County Sheriff's deputies will be on hand as well as private
security in the fairgrounds, parking areas and the campground. Bieloh
noted many of the private security guards are off-duty police officers
from across the region as well as the Twin Cities.
Bieloh added the benefit of off-duty law enforcement, as opposed to
a private security, is approach. Law enforcement officers are skilled
in calming situations or people through a conversation, some private
firms have a history of quick physical action.
As of early Tuesday morning, Bieloh and his staff had nearly everything
"We're a week ahead of schedule," Bieloh said. "Everyone's
just so good at this, we have a great staff."
The main stage, which normally isn't completed until Tuesday or Wednesday,
was set up Sunday.
Currently all the bands scheduled to appear are expected to attend and
perform. One performer is already in the area, staying at a local resort.
Weather is also looking good. Tuesday morning's extended forecast showed
only a slight chance for thundershowers later in the week. Typically
rain during the day hasn't done much, if anything, to dampen that night's
Jam 13 will also include a 15-team softball tournament made up of Class
C and D teams, including one from the Walker area. The Jam grounds feature
highly groomed, professional quality softball fields that are also used
by the Walker-Hackensack-Akeley softball program.
"The fields are in beautiful shape," Bieloh noted.
He explained some have expressed nervousness that health inspection
at the Jam site is no longer operated by Cass County. Instead the Minnesota
Department of Health will have five health inspectors checking the camping
and food areas.
For those not camping at the Jam site, parking is available for free
at Northern Lights Casino. A shuttle bus will then take Jammers to the
concert grounds. Also, a 600 spot pay parking lot is also available at
the Jam site. The cost is $10 per vehicle.
Friday night's lineup includes Edgar Winter, Santana's Gregg Rolie,
Pat Benatar and John Fogerty. Saturday will include The Fixx, John Waite,
Rick Springfield, and Huey Lewis and the News.
Additionally, a wide array of regional acts will appear in the Jam's