WALKER – Moondance Jam VI near Walker July 10-12 is expected to easily break the attendance record of 10,000-plus set last year.
It’s a good bet.
With an extra day, more bands, a celebrity comedian emcee and additional campground service, Moondance Ranch seven miles east of Walker off Highway 200 ought to attract close to 30,000 rock and roll fans forecast by organizers.
That would put the musical sideshow at a level rivaling the other major northern Minnesota outdoor music venue – WeFest, a country event that draws almost 100,000 each August to Soo Pass Ranch near Detroit Lakes.
The rock and roll festival at the expanded Moondance Ranch has grown to 10 national acts.
The Jam is now a three-day party, with Thursday added to the original Friday and Saturday venue.
New this year is a 160-acre campground north of the original ranch for 810 per night. Headline acts are REO Speedwagon, America, Loverboy, Grand Funk Railroad, Marshall Tucker Band, The Turtles, Nazareth, Corey Stevens and Texas Flood; Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals and The Classic Rock All-Stars.
Emcee is comedian Ron Feingold from Colorado, a one-man a cappella jamster who does comedy songs backed up his recorded voice. He does parodies of some of the classic tunes performed by bands at Moondance Jam.
"Sometimes I have up to six voices on one song," he said. "I also do some vocal percussion on a few songs" (a la Bobby McFerren).
Regional bands start each day’s concert slate in the afternoon before the headliners arrive. These "local" bands include The Retractions, Ripchord, Damndest Thing, NPZ, Anomaly, Power Play and Rock-a-Billy Revue.
Five shuttle vans will continuously transport festival-goers to and from Northern Lights Casino, where parking is encouraged.
Free parking at the concert site is limited on 100 acres.
Daily passes are $30. Three-day tickets are $40 if purchased before July 1, $50 after that.
Area ticket outlets:
Orton’s Convenience Stores in Brainerd (Brainerd Amoco), Wadena (Eastside Amoco, Uptown Amoco, Wadena 76), Motley (Amoco), Staples (Staples 76) and Walker (Amoco); Reed’s Market, Crosslake; The Gallery, Brainerd; Willard’s Bar, Backus; and Benson’s, Bieloh’s IGA, Cafe Zona Rosa, Y Bottle Shop, Y-Market and Moondance Ranch in Walker.
The new camping area north of the festival site offers 60 open acres and 100 wooded. Private shower trucks will be available, as well as recycling bins.
July 10 – Power Play, 3:30 p.m.; Power Play, 3:30 p.m.; Anomaly, 5 p.m.; Classic Rock All-Stars (national host band), 7 p.m.; Loverboy, 9 p.m.; Grand Funk Railroad, 11 p.m.
July 11 – The Retractions, 3:30 p.m.; NPZ, 4:45 p.m.; Classic Rock AII-Stars, 6 p.m.; Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals, 7:30 p.m.; The Turtles, featuring Flo & Eddie, 9:15 p.m.; America, 11 p.m.
July 12 – Rock-A-Billy Revue, 1 p.m.; Ripchord, 2:15 p.m.; Nazareth, 3:30 p.m.; Classic Rock AII-Stars, 4:00 p.m.; Corey Stevens 8 Texas Flood, 6:15 p.m.; Marshall Tucker Band, 8 p.m.; REO Speedwagon, 10:15 p.m.