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Couple travels from England for Moondance Jam

by Dean Morrill
The Pilot-Independent

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Moondance Jam has attracted throngs of fans from across the United States, staking its claim as Minnesota's best classic rock festival while also gaining national attention.

Two fans, who have traveled around Europe and the United States many times to see bands perform, took in Jam Sweet 16.

Marty and Sue Moffatt came "across the pond" about 1,900 miles, from Swindon, England, a town 90 miles west of London, to see Cheap Trick, the pride and joy of Rockford, Ill., and the other classic rock bands.

"We're both big classic rock fans," said Marty the first day of the event.
So much so that last year Marty and Sue came over to see Journey and followed them around, taking in five of their shows in the United States. Sue was planning their trips for 2007 when see saw that Journey had played at Moondance Jam a few times.

They bought their tickets well before any of the bands were named.

"When I saw the lineup, there were nine bands I wanted to see," Sue stated, as she waited to hear Cheap Trick, her favorite band, perform.

Sue also got to meet Robin Zander, Cheap Trick's lead singer. She and Marty were in Billy's Backstage Bar and got the opportunity to see the band members. As they made their way to the stage Sue talked with Zander and told him she came from England to see them perform.

After she got an autograph and posed for a picture, a flushed Sue said, "I'm star-struck," as she patted her chest.

The English couple arrived in Walker one day before the Jam started, staying at the Northern Lights Hotel during the festival.

When comparing the Jam to other outdoor concerts they have attended, Marty said there are no comparisons.

"This is the most enjoyable festival we've been to. It's very well-organized, it's very relaxed and it's just so easy," said Marty, who has been going to rock festivals in the United Kingdom since 1980. "Some festivals we've been to are just so big. Unless you are pushy, you end up miles away from the stage. Here, everywhere is a good view."

Marty and Sue purchased the VIP tickets, which also gave them the opportunity to go on a poser deck to watch Cheap Trick.

During Cheap Trick's performance, Marty also got into the pit to take photos. The freelance photographer who also has his own website, sells the photos he takes at concerts to magazines and bands websites. He has taken quite a few photos for Jeff Scott Soto's site, the lead singer for Journey.

As to whether the England couple will be back for Moondance Jam 17, Sue already wants to buys tickets, while Marty, who is also eager to come back, said it'll depend on who's performing.

"We make a couple of trips to the U.S. every year to see friends, but we try to fit in some concerts enroute," Marty said. "It'll be something we can add to our annual itinerary."