The first ever rock/country music festival — Lakes Jam — in the Brainerd area is finally here.
Country singer Gwen Sebastian will kick off the jam at 6 p.m. Friday, followed by Rocket Club, a country Minnesota band, at 8 p.m. and the headliner for the night is The Kentucky Headhunters, a country/southern rock band at 10 p.m.
Lakes Jam will be conducted Friday and Saturday at Brainerd International Raceway and Resort (BIR), located north of Baxter on Highway 371.
Saturday’s line-up will be Sena Ehrhardt, a blues singer from Rochester, who’ll perform at 2 p.m.; ThundHerStruck, a female AC/DC tribute band, to perform at 4 p.m.; Great White, a classic rock band, with hit songs like “Once Bitten, Twice Shy,” will perform at 6 p.m.; Night Ranger, classic rock band with hit songs like “Sister Christian,” to perform at 8 p.m.; and the headliner band for the Lakes Jam will be REO Speedwagon, a classic rock band with hit songs like “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” to perform at 10 p.m.
Organizers and volunteers with BIR and Huff Entertainment Solutions, the company hired to promote Lakes Jam, were busy Thursday getting the stage and the grounds ready for the two-day event. People are able to camp at BIR for the event, or may buy tickets just to see the bands.
Tickets for the event will be available at the gates, for the people who have not purchased advanced tickets. Tickets will be $80 for two days or $35 for Friday; $70 for Saturday; $180 for VIP. Camping is $25 per person and must have a two-day concert pass to camp.
Campers may start setting up their camp site at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Erik Huff of Huff Entertainment said everything is going smoothly on organizing the event and “the weather looks good for the Lakes Jam,” he said.
Huff said all the bands will be in Brainerd for the jam and there were no cancellations. Huff said Sena Ehrhardt, ThundHerStruck and Great White will be signing their merchandise after their shows for fans.
Huff said it was hard to say how many tickets they sold, but he estimated around 2,800. Huff said organizers are hoping to sell between 3,000 to 4,000 tickets for the Lakes Jam.
Huff said Friday is more of the country night and Saturday is the classic rock night, to give fans a nice lineup.
Jerry Braam, BIR public safety director, said BIR is excited to be hosting the first music festival in Brainerd. Braam said they did not mess around when planning the first music festival for Brainerd lakes area fans, as they are bringing “a professional level” of musicians to the stage.
“This will be a pretty remarkable event,” said Braam. “We have a lot of volunteers and friends of mine here to make this event a success. To put on an event like this you need a lot of people.”
Braam said the partnership BIR has with Huff Entertainment for marketing the Lakes Jam was crucial. Braam said Huff Entertainment believes in the same idea that BIR has: To create a fun, successful music festival in Brainerd and for it to become an annual event.
“Music brings people together,” said Braam. “The Lakes Jam is a great addition to BIR ... This is an event that BIR can offer to the people.”
Braam said restaurants from Brainerd will have vendor displays at Lakes Jam for people to get a bite to eat.