New Owners Bringing Bigger Names, Better Lineup to Halfway Jam
ROYALTON -- Central Minnesota's annual summer rock festival, Halfway Jam, has new owners who intent on bringing in bigger and better acts for 2016.
Jared Gipinski and Chris Flore became majority owners this year in a partnership with the Henry Family, and they say they've expanded their budget and steered away a bit from the '80s rock bands.
"It's hard because it's typically been an '80s hair band-type event," Gipinski says. "[But] it's more difficult now because a lot of those bands aren't touring or they're not the same band they used to be."
"Our goal is to keep the '80s in the event, as well the '90s, but we also want to mix in the current as well so there's something for everyone to get out of this event."
Last Friday, Halfway Jam announced nine national acts have been confirmed, including: Buck Cherry, Theory of a Dead Man, Everclear, Soul Asylum, Sugar Ray, Lit, Sponge, Better Than Ezra, and Candlebox.
Gapinski and Flore say they're expecting more bands to confirm in the coming months, with an estimated lineup of 18 national acts to go along with local bands. Last year, Halfway Jam had eight total national acts.
"At the end of the day, people are going to see our band budget tripled," Gapinski says. "From years past and even last year -- it's going to be over triple [the amount]."
Gapinski and Flore say this is a new venture for them, but are confident they'll put together a good product and they say they hope it will become more of a yearly destination for people in central Minnesota, the Twin Cities, and surrounding areas.
"We went and checked it out last year and we saw a lot of areas where we thought we could make improvements, and here we are," Flore says.
"We're really going for the experience for everybody -- we want to make sure everybody's having a good time, or else we wouldn't have done it."
"We want to set an example that we're going to have good bands, Gapinski says. "Not just this year, we're aiming to have quality bands from here on out."
Halfway Jam rocks its 13th year from July 28th-30th outside of Royalton.