Sellout? Jamboree ticket sales on record pace

Sean C. Morgan

Oregon Jamboree ticket sales are strong and could set records for the event.

“Ticket sales are up over last year close to 15 percent now,” said Robert Shamek, festival director. The Jamboree has booked all of its main stage talent for 2019 and actually has made offers to artists already for the 2020 festival.

The sales figure works out to some 1,000 more tickets sold right now, said SHEDG President Ron Moore during the Sweet Home Economic Development Group’s regular meeting on Jan. 16. That could put the Jamboree into the 14,000 to 15,000 range for attendance, a point at which the organization would have to discuss stopping the sale of tickets.

“We could be looking at one of our most successful years in quite a few years,” Moore said.

The annual Jamboree country music and camping festival is held the first weekend of August. The concerts are held on the south lawn at Sweet Home High School, with camping in spaces all over the Sweet Home area. SHEDG created the event in 1992 to raise funds for its economic development projects.

“If ticket sales continue, if the trend continues, there could be a possibility of some record numbers at the Jamboree,” Shamek said.

Jamboree staff are seeing die-hard music festival fans who have not attended the Jamboree in the past buying tickets for 2019, Shamek said.

A similar for-profit country music festival that had been held in the Brownsville area for a decade had its mass gathering permit revoked by the Linn County commissioners in November.

Hank Williams Jr. has been the biggest draw to this year’s Jamboree, Shamek said. “There are a lot of non-country fans that Hank is on their bucket list.”

The Brothers Osborne have been drawing a lot of the younger patrons this year, Shamek said, and Chris Young has a ton of No. 1 hits and current songs on the radio.

The Jamboree just started accepting volunteer applications for 2019, Shamek said. “I think we’ve already had over 150 volunteer applications come through.”

The Jamboree operates on the strength of some 900 volunteers.

The next step for the festival is to fill its lineup for the second stage at Sankey Park. It also will announce a schedule soon, around Valentine’s Day.

That’s when Sweet Spot tickets will go on sale this year, Shamek said. Sweet Spot buyers need to know when their favorite artists will be on stage.

“This will be the earliest that I remember that we put our Sweet Spots on sale,” Shamek said.

Shamek said he also is working on the annual Mystery Concert, held in Corvallis, and other items.

The SHEDG Board of Directors set its annual membership meeting for 6:30 p.m. on March 14 at Sunshine Industries. The meeting will include presentations by SHEDG and Jamboree leadership. Members and those interested in SHEDG are invited to attend.

The board has three positions opening. They are held by incumbents Jared Cornell, Michael Hall and Ginny Wood.

Board members whose terms continue are Moore, Heather Search, Wendi Melcher, Bryan Kimball, Crystal Kimball and Rob Mullins.

During the meeting, members of SHEDG vote to fill open board positions.

To get involved or to join SHEDG, call the Jamboree office at (541) 367-8800. Membership costs $10 annually. For those 60 and older, it is $5. It increases by $5 following the the annual meeting.