Jackson's biggest music and art street festival kicks into high gear Friday, June 13. This year marks the 21st time that Capitol Street downtown will transform into a rockin', dancin', jumpin' good time, with Jubilee!JAM 2008.
JAM almost went away permanently a few years ago, when lackluster promotion and ticket sales made the event unprofitable for its sponsors. Things got back on track for the annual festival in 2007, and this year, promoters expect more than 50,000 people to attend, rivaling musical extravaganzas in Memphis and New Orleans.
"Credit for the longevity and success of Jubilee! JAM goes to all of the sponsors, board members and community partners who have been the long-term supporters," said JAM Foundation President John Hawkins in a statement. "Mississippi deserves a world-class festival every year in the Capitol City, and we have remained committed to teaming up with partners and resources to build on that idea."
In addition to some of the finest local and nationwide musicians, you'll find plenty of food and beverage vendors (cash only, please; ATMs on site), and the Mississippi Arts Village. Last year, more than 35 artisans were on hand displaying and selling their wares. In the food and beverage department, look for favorites like chicken-on-a-stick, and the beer-kegs-on-legs (strapped to the strong backs of locals).
New this year, the Children's Defense Fund is sponsoring KidJAM on Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m. KidJAM will feature areas for artistic expression and performances of local musicians, storytellers and puppeteers.
Of course, the real reason to JAM is the music. Topping last year's highlighters, The Black Crowes and Ludacris, are the perennial bad boys of rock, ZZ Top, on the bill for Friday, and Oscar-winning rappers Three Six Mafia, featuring Juicy J and DJ Paul, on Saturday.
As in years past, the JAM Foundation has included a good sampling of local musicians with the national acts. Rounding out Friday's schedule are The Ohio Players, Blind Melon, Eric Church, Mel Waiters, Hurt, Blue Mountain, Egypt Central, Hill Country Review, Endeverafter, Backdoor Slam, Jonezetta and Speakeasy.
Confirmed for Saturday are Robert Randolph's Revival, Shinedown, Old Crow Medicine Show, Lucero, Pat Grenn, North Mississippi All Stars, Citizen Cope, Tantric, Mississippi Mass Choir, Kamikaze, Saving Abel, At Cliff's End and Absence of Concern.
Gates open at 6 p.m. on Friday, and 3 p.m. on Saturday at two locations: South State Street at Pearl Street, and North President Street at Amite Street. Advance ticket prices are $23 for one day, or $40 for the entire weekend, or $28 and $50 at the gates. $100 VIP tickets are also available in advance, which get you access to an indoor lounge with AC, private view platforms at the front of the stages, a private bar and separate restrooms (making it worth price alone, not to stand in line for—or use— the porta-potties). Children under 10 get in free with a ticketed adult.
Here are a few other things worth noting. Don't bring your dog, your cooler or your video camera. There's no food or drink allowed in, and you can only bring in your disposable, non-professional cameras. Everything is subject to search. Load up your car and bring a friend or two; parking in the area can be a challenge.
For information, or to buy tickets online, go to Jubilee Jam's web site. You can also get tickets at Ticketmaster locations, at the coliseum box office, or charge by phone at 800-277-1700.
Tantric is not on Jam!'s website but Tantric has confirmed with us that they are playing on Saturday. At this time GeorgeClinton.com has P-Funk playing at Jam but Jam has not confirmed and they are not on their website. Still to be confirmed.
now that the Pinnacle building is going up, where will the mainstage be?