Final count for Jamboree profits won’t be in till fall

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

The 13th annual Oregon Jamboree looked like the biggest ever, but it will be late September before officials can estimate how much of a profit the event brought to Sweet Home.

“I assume we’ll have a pretty complete settlement within 60 days,” Event Manager Peter LaPonte said. “I think the board’ll have a general idea earlier than that.”

The Jamboree can start figuring out its profits after it gets its August bank statements, sometime in the early part of September, LaPonte said. Right now, the event is still getting invoices, but he will have a good idea where the show landed by the end of September.

He did not think the Sweet Home Economic Development Group Board of Directors would be ready to release the figure at that time though.

The same will apply to School District 55’s proceeds for groups for ice, soda and parking concessions.

The Jamboree is operated by SHEDG to raise funds for local economic development projects. Performers at tis year’s three-day camping and country music festival included Travis Tritt, Sawyer Brown, Neal McCoy, Lonestar, SHeDAISY and Merle Haggard.

The Jamboree drew approximately 9,000 people on July 29, 9,500 on July 30 and 8,500 on July 31.

Based on a partial review of patron surveys, LaPonte said, Travis Tritt and Neal McCoy were the big hits among concertgoers.

“It was a great year but not an easy one,” LaPonte said.

Hot hot hot

“There were a lot of issues surrounding the heat,” LaPonte said. “It was definitely one of the hottest shows I remember.”

In 2004, the mercury got into the mid-80s. This year it pushing the high 90s through Jamboree weekend.

It impacted staff and volunteers, LaPonte said. It also shortened patron stays at the concert.

“We had more behavior issues than in the past, and I think that was due to the heat,” LaPonte said.

Heat was a big issue for patrons, according to a partial review of surveys, he said. Patrons asked for more shade and misting tents.

“Patron surveys reflect again that the heat was not just a challenge for operations,” LaPonte said. “Everybody was trying to find shade, and there just wasn’t enough to go around.”

When people are hot, their fuses are shorter and behavior changes, he noted.


More than 500 volunteers are invited to attend the Jamboree’s Volunteer Appreciation Party at 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 12.

During the pizza party, the Jamboree will give out a variety of Jamboree and music-related door prizes.

The Jamboree had more than 500 registered volunteers this year, LaPonte said. “That’s the most we’ve ever signed up.”

The Jamboree added more than 200 new campsites and pretty much sold out, he said. The Jamboree needed more support in the campgrounds, and it needed more on several teams inside the event.

“I think the volunteers did great,” LaPonte said. “They always do great. I think the nature of the festival is built around volunteers.”

Next year

The Jamboree announced Gretchen Wilson for its 2006 event during the Jamboree, and orders for next year are coming in fast.

“When it’s all said and done, there may be 100 (VIP, reserved seat) tickets left by the end of August,” LaPonte said. All of the 2005 ticket holders have until Aug. 15 to reorder, then their seats will return to the Jamboree’s inventory list for 2006.

The Jamboree did well pre-selling tickets in 2004 for 2005, and that trend is continuing so far this year, but LaPonte will not know how well the Jamboree is doing in 2005 until after Aug 15 because many patrons wait until the last minute to reorder.