ROYALTON - It's Halfway Jam this weekend. This year's lineup features Night Ranger, Autograph, HinderLIT, Saving Abel, Puddle of Mudd, and Skillet. Buckcherry was originally scheduled to play, but had to cancel. Halfway Jam Producer Tommy Vee says scheduling Skillet last minute was tough.

We got really lucky, let me just start by saying that. To replace an act like Buckcherry is really, really tough especially during the summer months when the tours are booked and everybody's out on the road, and it's a really, really tricky game, it's really scary. We just got really lucky that Skillet had decided to take a couple days off this summer, and it fell in this window, and it worked for them to come in.

Vee feels Skillet was a suitable replacement for Buckcherry.

If you're a die-hard Buckcherry fan I don't think there's any replacement that's going to be suitable, but they're bands that tour together a lot, they play the same kinds of events and venues so it is a very similar crowd. The response we're seeing is that people are really happy with that, and feel like it's a suitable replacement.

Skillet will take the stage Saturday night.

Getty Images
Getty Images

2015 Main Stage Lineup

Thursday, July 23rd
Night Ranger

Friday, July 24th
Saving Abel

Saturday, July 25th
Puddle of Mudd

New this year is a pre-party show tonight. Vee says this show is free to anyone who wants to attend.

We decided that it would be really fun do to kind of a kick off pre-party, and open up the gates, and open up some camping for people that have never been out before. For as long as Halfway Jam has been going there's a lot of people in the greater St. Cloud area that have never come out for whatever reason, and we thought maybe a pre-party to let people come out, and not have to spend any money would get people to come out and see what it's all about.

The band Rox Show will be taking the stage at 7:00 p.m. for the pre-party entertainment. Rox Show will be performing a tribute show to Bon Jovi, Foreigner, and Journey. The gates for the show open at 6:00 p.m. tonight.

Vee says while this year's music is newer, it doesn't mean the 80's music is out.

We're going to continue to bring 80s' acts in. Next year there will be a good portion of 80s' acts on there, and I can't give you a percentage on what it will be. If a lot of the acts we tried to get this year are available next year, it could go back to being more of an 80s' festival. We'll just see how it plays out.

Gates for the main Halfway Jam Festival open at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday.