Ramble Jam 2012
Chances are good you'll see quite a few cowboy hats around Farmington in mid-September. That comes with the territory when it comes to country music festivals.
And Farmington's country music festival is back for a second year. It's not the size and scope of a CountryJam or WeFest - at least not yet - but the Farmington Rotary's Ramble Jam keeps getting bigger.
In its second year, Ramble Jam will bring six national acts and several other local performers the Dakota County fairgrounds on Sept. 14 and 15 2012.
Last year's single-day event drew nearly 2,000 people to the fairgrounds.
"We wanted to feature some of the newest, hottest national acts along with some local favorites," Rotary president Linda Landwehr said. "I think it was really in response to what we were hearing in the community, and in providing local residents with an opportunity to attend a country music festival. Instead of going to WeFest or CountryJam, they could spend a weekend here."
Creating a music festival doesn't just happen overnight. Rotary members have been working on this year's event for the better part of a year. Rotarian Chad Collignon, one of the event's primary organizers, said the group spent several weeks just analyzing options.
Lessons learned during last year's event, which featured national acts Frankie Ballard and Bomshel, have helped make things run smoother this time around.
"You have to determine capacity, then determine the band budget to fit that capacity. We shopped several artists. We were just trying to get the biggest bang for our buck," he said.
With 10 bands in two days on the festival's main stage, plus more on a second stage, Ramble Jam's bang should be plenty big.
Music will start at 3:30 p.m. Friday with Stillwater native Sara Lynn Wallin, followed by national acts the Dirt Drifters, Dustin Lynch and Randy Houser. Saturday kicks off at 12:30 p.m. with local acts Greene & Hurst, Lost Highway and Rocket Club, then national performers Sunny Sweeney, Josh Thompson and Lee Brice.
Camping, both in tents and RVs, is available at the fairgrounds.
According to Landwehr, several food and beverage vendors are lined up for the event. The Rotary is still looking for product vendors and service vendors.
Proceeds from Ramble Jam are, for the most part, kept local, Landwehr said.
"All of the money is used to support projects that benefit children, families or the elderly, who have basic needs for things like health care, literacy, food, shelter or general welfare and support. In addition, we are very involved with supporting the local school district and the senior citizen's center. We provide scholarships for kids. We support homecoming and programs like the Tiger Leadership Club. Most of our proceeds will stay right here in Farmington," she said.