Bill and Kathy Bieloh and Moondance Ranch and Wildlife Park welcome you to Moondance Jam IV.
This fourth year promises to be the biggest and best jam yet.
Moondance Jam was conceived by Bill Bieloh of Walker as a way to promote the riding stable he and his wife, Kathy, owned.
The event got off to a noble, but modest, start in 1992 featuring a roster of regional bands and an up and coming accapella group, The Blenders.
The second year featured national artists such as the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Bad Finger, Head East and more, along with an impressive lineup of regional bands.
Moondance Jam III had a decidedly country slant to it. Pirates of the Mississippi, Johnny PayCheck, Evangeline, Mel McDaniel and Gary Puckett performed last year, along with regional and local bands.
After three years of struggling with Mother Nature and a clear musical direction, TEA Productions out of Minnetonka, Minn., approached the Bielohs about working with Moondance Jam IV.
Jack Thibault and Jack Jordan of TEA Productions specialize in buying entertainment and assisting local promoters with music festivals in the Midwest region. Work for Moondance Jam IV got underway in February. The Moondance Jam IV focus was set early to feature groups which were not only top recording artists of the 1960s through the 1980s but which remain strong groups both on the concert scene and on classic rock radio, one of the fastest growing, most popular musical formats today.
Since Moondance Jam I in 1992, the Bielohs believed that the strongest draw to the festival were the regional and local bands. That commitment is evident in the fourth year with five area bands performing. The Dead Stiks, a Hackensack-based band, will be the only band to have performed all four jams. They will kickoff Moondance Jam IV on Friday night as this year’s honorary "host" band. Along with the Dead Stiks, the Park Rapids-based Ripchord, a group of six young musicians which has been making o strong presence on the northern Minnesota music scene, will open for national artists, The Grass Roots and The Guess Who.
Saturday’s lineup will feature three regional bands, all of which have strong followings in the Brainerd-Bemidji area.
Bob Schmid and Julie Shafer, a duo who perform each weekend at Pauline’s in Brainerd, will take the stage on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. They will be followed by Hands Down, out of Bemidji, and High Tolerance, formerly of Bemidji. Both bands have strong followings in the area and perform regularly at Benson’s Emporium in Walker.
Saturday’s lineup will feature national acts Survivor, Starship, featuring Mickey Thomas, and Kansas.
One of the obvious changes in this year’s jam will be the absence of the flatbed trailer stage with a striped tent. The quality of entertainment featured in this year’s jam required a whole different approach to sound and light production. Creative Sound and Lights out of Madison, Wisconsin, will bring in a S250,000 stage, complete with a Class "A" sound and light system.
In addition to good quality production and a great lineup for Moondance Jam IV, on-site concessions have been doubled this year.
All this for the same ticket prices as last year – $25 in advance for a two-day pass. VIP tickets are available for S100 for both days. This is $25 less than last year. The special passes include a meal each day, beverages and your choice of stage-front seating or under a 9,000 square-foot tent on the festival grounds.
Rustic camping is available for the weekend for those who wish to stay on the festival grounds all three days. The campground is located east of the parking area. The fee for camping is $10 per vehicle.
Moondance Jam IV will be an event to remember and one not to miss!