Jamboree named Music Festival of the Year by industry peers

Sean C. Morgan

The Oregon Jamboree won the 2019 Music Festival of the Year award from the Oregon Festivals and Events Association.

Jamboree staff members received the trophy at the annual Ovation! Awards and conference presented the weekend of Feb. 29 in Bend.

“It takes a village to make a music festival like the Oregon Jamboree run smoothly and a huge part of that is all of you,” the Jamboree said in a general email.

“Thank you to the over 1,000 dedicated volunteers, nearly 40 sponsors and countless businesses who make the Oregon Jamboree possible.”

The Jamboree is a three-day country music and camping festival held annually at the beginning of August.

The entire office staff, Festival Director Robert Shamek, Head of Box Office and Administration Carlene Erickson and Volunteer Coordinator Peggy Curtis, were on hand to accept the award.

They were joined over the weekend by many friends in the festival industry, including the Oregon Jamboree’s contract sponsorship team Green Cactus, contract marketing and communications Western Insights Media, All Star Tents, Columbia Distributing and many others.

“A $2.1 million dollar budget, two stages and 25 shows, over 24,000 attendees in three days, some 8,500 campers, over 1,000 volunteers and thousands of dollars contributed to various community groups and organizations in three counties,” said emcee Scott Ingalls, listing what makes up the Jamboree.

“An event like no other, the Oregon Jamboree offers the best country music to be had in the Northwest and is produced by the Sweet Home Economic Development Group, whose goal is to support the community in four areas: business development, workforce development, physical infrastructure and quality of life.

“The Jamboree is unique in that it is a not-for-profit and is produced solely for community development.

Some of the names that have been on that stage over the years include Hank Williams Jr., Chris Young, The Brothers Osborne, Neal McCoy, Terri Clark, The Oak Ridge Boys, Home Free, Toby Keith, Carrie Underwood and the list goes on and on. They now hold a kick-off party on the Thursday before the gates open for the community and volunteers.”

“We put in to win it last year as well,” Shamek said. “We didn’t. Katie Schrock (marketing director) revamped the way we used all of our information and made sure it showed how the community benefits from the Jamboree.”

The Jamboree provides opportunities for numerous school groups and community groups to raise funds. Through the Thursday kick-off party, it contributes directly to the arts in Sweet Home schools and the community. The Jamboree has contributed cash directly to the Sweet Home Community Foundation, to school projects and a commercial exterior improvement program.

The award was a surprise, Shamek said.

“None of us knew we were going to win it till we got there. It was the first year all of us were at the conference, the staff and contract workers. We got a huge applause, which was cool. They made all of us feel very welcome.”

Shamek thanked the staff, management and volunteers for all of the hard work they have put into the annual event. He also wanted to thank the community, which is supportive and is “always talking up the Jamboree.”