Jamboree revives in full force

Cory Frye

It’s felt like a long time comin’.

Next weekend, after a one-year absence, Sweet Home will throw – as is tradition – one of the state’s most cathartic summer blowouts with the welcome return of the Oregon Jamboree.

The global COVID-19 pandemic canceled the 2020 celebration (as it did most everything else), but those ticket sales were rolled over and added to this year’s soiree, which runs Friday, July 30, through Sunday, Aug. 1.

“We have to roll with the punches, full steam ahead,” Jamboree director Robert Shamek said. “All of our fans are ready to have a good time, so we want to make a party for them.”

Some tickets remain for this good time, although, as Shamek admitted, “they’re going fast.” As of Sunday morning, multi-day general-admission, multi-day reserved and child passes were still available for $200 and $65, respectively. Other goodies include three-day premium parking ($80) and $145 daily “sweet spot” areas in front of the stage.

For further information, visit oregonjamboree.com/tickets.

The Jamboree expects about 12,000 fans per day, Shamek said, effectively doubling the 5,000-patron limit imposed by Linn County’s “high-risk” COVID-19 level.

(The festival, which can accommodate more than twice the city’s 10,000-plus population, set its single-day record of 18,000 spectators for headliner Tim McGraw on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014.) However, that restriction was relaxed somewhat for outdoor events, resulting in such mark-shattering crowds as the 34,330 total attendees at the recent Linn County Fair in Albany.

So it’s all back on. As the website announces, “2 stages. 25 shows. 1 sweet weekend.” Twenty-plus acres in the Cascade Mountain foothills, with a Kid Zone area at Sankey Park, will host three days of performances on a main and secondary stage featuring some of country music’s brightest stars, in addition to a number of younger and regional up-and-comers.

Billy Currington (“People Are Crazy,” “That’s How Country Boys Roll,” “Let Me Down Easy”) headlines the opening night’s festivities Friday, taking the main stage at 9:30 p.m. He ends an evening that also features the formidable talents of Blanco Brown (7 p.m.), Lonestar (5 p.m.), and Tangent’s own Adam Larson & Co. (3 p.m.).

The Deschutes Stage lineup that day includes Sweet Home native Jobe Woosley & Co. (2 p.m.), McKayla Marie (4 p.m.), Fogline (6 p.m.) and Jamboree mainstay Cloverdayle (8:30 p.m.).

The raucous atmosphere continues Saturday, July 31, with headliner Dustin Lynch, he of “Good Girl” and “Ridin’ Roads” fame, at 9:30 p.m. He fronts a main-stage pack that includes event favorite Jessie Leigh (1 p.m.), Jessie G (3 p.m.), Parmalee (5 p.m.) and Cam (7 p.m.).

Leigh also bolsters a Deschutes Stage roster featuring Trent Beaver (noon), Trevor Tagle (2 p.m.), Britnee Kellogg (4 p.m.), and the Brewer’s Grade Band (8:30 p.m.).

Ashley McBride (the Grammy-nominated “Girl Going Nowhere”) wraps 2021 with a 7 p.m. main-stage performance on Sunday, Aug. 1. She’s preceded by Walker County (12:30 p.m.), Cloverdayle (2:30 p.m.), and Laine Hardy (4:45 p.m.).

Walker County also headlines the Deschutes Stage that night at 6 p.m., joining a bill with Austin Lindstrom (1:30 p.m.) and the Olson Bros. Band (3:30 p.m.).

“It’s a great year to power through and move on to 2022,” Shamek said. “Everyone wants something to do right now. It’s nice to see people out and about.”