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Big Spring Jam Music Festival

Big Spring Jam Music Festival

For All The Music Lovers Across The Globe

Big Spring Jam is one of the largest music festivals in the Southeastern United States. This iconic outdoor festival celebrates the music every year at the Big Spring International Park in downtown Huntsville, Alabama. Since its inception in 1993, the Jam has been organizing the annual large-scale musical event, only on weekends in autumn months, featuring a wide array of acts from all genres of music including local bands, emerging talent, favorites oldies, as well as performances of all the top artists of the day.

People around the country know about Huntsville’s Big Spring Jam, and the premier music festival event is deemed as the most entertaining and a great place to bring family. Besides being expert at entertaining people with musical performances, the Big Spring Jam does charity work as well and holds long-distance running events like 5k race. Since its debut, the Jam has donated many millions of dollars to local charities, health and human service providing agencies, and arts and entertainment organizations.

Big Spring Jam: History and Background

The Big Spring Jam debuted in 1993 and is held in the last weekend of September of every year. If this annual music festival is always held in autumn then why it is names Big Spring Jam, you must be wondering. Well, let us clarify it that the title of this festival is not related to the seasonal time-frame of the festival, instead it originates from the location where it’s been held every year, and that is Big Spring International Park in downtown Huntsville. The first 3-day fan-favorite music festival event held in September 1993 and included emerging acts like Sammy Kershaw and Brother Cane. From 1993 to 2009, the Big Spring Jam was a three-day festival beginning Friday and ending Sunday.

After its revival in 2011, the Jam was downsized to a two-day concert series, held on Friday and Saturday only in downtown Huntsville. Unlike most other big music festivals, the Big Spring Jam is a not-for-profit event. The festival is organized every year by the Huntsville Heritage Foundation in association with the Von Braun Center, and proceeds from the event go to aid the work of the charity as well as benefit the health and human services agencies, and arts and entertainment groups throughout the Alabama state in the southeastern region of the United States. As stated earlier, the Jam has always been held on the last weekend of September, since its inception but this year’s event will be held in the latter part of December, and it will be its 25th annual occurrence.

Big Spring Jam Both Popular and Entertaining!

An annual now two-day celebration of the music, Big Spring Jam is regarded as Huntsville’s largest music festival. It has been titled by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of the largest music concerts in the Southeastern United States and one of their Top 20 must-see concerts in the region. Typically, crowds of 200,000 or more show up for the three-day music festival. A record of 240,000 people attended the Jam in 2003. This is no small event and donates hundreds of thousands of dollars of its earning only to local charities. In 2009, the Big Spring Jam awarded two $1000 scholarships to the city students through an application process open to the public, in addition to donating hundred thousands of dollars to the local charities. The Jam usually features four or more stages set up temporarily throughout the Big Spring International Park, each typically featuring the similar genres of music throughout the weekend. For instance, one stage features country music exclusively, while another features Christian contemporary, and the remainder two are for rock-band performances.

In 2011, the Jam took place indoors in the Propst Arena in the Von Braun Center due to the bad weather. The festival is immensely popular among populations of children, youngsters and adults alike as it always features musical acts for virtually everyone’s taste. From Huey Lewis & The News, The Black Crowes, and The Fray to a miscellaneous medley of country, hip hop, rock, R & B, and old but still well known musical groups like Village People, all legendary musicians and popular bands have so far entertained the concert goers at the Jam. Since its debut, the Jam has brought in such star performers as Trace Adkins, Nickelback, the Doobie Brothers, the Black Crowes, Willie Nelson and many popular bands among others others on multiple stages. Adkins, the famous American singer and songwriter performed at Big Spring Jam in 2009, longside Jessie James, Joey Westwood of Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and Leigh Kakaty of Pop Evil among others.

The Big Spring Jam Through Ups and Downs

The Jam concerts have been mostly successful during its 24-year run, but it witnessed some ups and downs in the last couple of years. In 2010, the whole Big Spring Jam was called off, for the first time in 18 years. The festival was originally scheduled for September 24-26, but was cancelled by the organizers because of the difficult financial circumstances and logistical issues and due to downtown construction at the Von Braun Center (VBC) and Huntsville Museum of Art. “The mayor very much wanted to see us continue the Jam. The problem is the construction downtown and at the VBC, a venue that supports the festival with things like food, staging, safety, police, etc.,” said Steve Maples, executive director of the VBC, at the time. “My board (VBC board) directed me to try and make it happen, and we tried.

But when we looked at all the options, we decided to cancel the Jam for 2010.” Before this, in 2005 and 2006, some of the main acts were cancelled, and bad weather was blamed for this canceling of events. Despite being a non-profit event, the Jam officials were unable to refund the ticket prices after the event was rained out in 2006. The years 2007 and 2008, however, were highly successful and proved very fruitful for the Big Spring Jam, which was then largely attributed to the favorable weather conditions. But as promised by the officials, organizers and promoters that they will bring back the festival soon, the Big Spring Jam returned in 2011. But it was not as successful as expected.

The event was trimmed from three days to two days - a Friday-Saturday event only, with some acts moved indoors to the newly renovated Propst Arena in order to minimize the impact of potential inclement weather. The event was attended by only 30,000 concert goers, and the organizers of north Alabama's biggest music event held responsible the economic downturn, low demand of the traditional Sunday finale from past years, competition from high school and college football, and unfavorable weather on the first day of the festival for this extremely small gathering at the event. After many highs and lows, the new and improved Big Spring Jam is all set for mega music celebration this year again at the Big Spring International Park in downtown Huntsville. With the support of the thousands of volunteers, workers and patrons, Big Spring Jam now has become a mega music festival that people living in Alabama looking forward to attend. The organizers are going to host Big Spring Jam 2017 in December. Please visit the Jam’s official website http://www.bigspringjam.org for more information.

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