Jamboree crowd may set record

With just a couple of days to go before the big event, Jamboree staff is busy with last-minute details as they prepare for what may be the largest crowd ever.

Tim McGraw takes the stage Friday night followed by LeAnn Rimes Saturday night and Montgomery Gentry Sunday during the annual three-day camping and music festival.

“(Tim McGraw) is the biggest show that’s ever come to this community except his first time, but he wasn’t as big then,” Event Manager Peter LaPonte said.

McGraw appeared at the 1996 Jamboree with his fiancé, Faith Hill. He delivered a new Corvette to her as a gift then.

The Jamboree is on track for its biggest attendance ever, LaPonte said. As of July 22, the festival has reserved more than 1,830 campsites and sold more than 12,000, counting VIP, three-day and single-day tickets. The grounds could handle some 14,000 concertgoers.

The Jamboree is already in the black financially, LaPonte said on July 22, nine days before the event. He has heard that some people have generally been waiting before committing to attending events and buying tickets this year.

“Next week, it could really bust open with tickets,” LaPonte said. “I think we’re going to have a huge crowd. Our sales are going to break all records this year, but so is our talent budget.”

How profitable the event is, whether it surpasses last year, depends on what happens this week, LaPonte said. With strong food and beverage sales, the Jamboree could do as well as last year or better.

“We’re in good shape,” he said. “The ship has sailed, which means that everything is pretty well lined up.”

Jamboree volunteers began preparing the site, the south high school fields, on Thursday, July 23, and they started building the site on Monday.

Right now, the biggest activity is the last-minute details and people who were waiting till the last minute to finish business, LaPonte said.

He is excited about the lineup, he said. Friday’s lineup centers around McGraw. Every act in the Saturday lineup is interesting, and it brings a diversity of styles with LeAnn Rimes appearing at the Jamboree for the first time.

Sunday’s Montgomery Gentry has been here before, LaPonte said, but the duo didn’t have the track record of hits it has now. He expects that show to do well for the Jamboree, especially since the past few years, Sunday has been a big day for walk-up traffic at the gate.

Concert Schedule


1:30 p.m. €“ Gates Open

3 p.m. €“ Coyote Creek

5 p.m. €“ Cloverdale

7 p.m. €“ Joey + Rory

9:15 p.m. €“ Tim McGraw


10:30 a.m. €“ Gates Open

12 p.m. €“ David Ball

2 p.m. €“ Heidi Newfield

4:15 p.m. €“ Phil Vassar

6:30 p.m. €“ Tracy


8:45 p.m. €“ LeAnn Rimes


10:30 a.m. €“ Gates Open

12 p.m. €“ Kristy Lee Cook

2 p.m. €“ Mel Tillis

4:15 p.m. €“ Jake Owen

6:30 p.m. €“ Montgomery