Big Spring Jam
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|Big Spring Jam|
Big Spring Jam logo
|Location(s)||Huntsville, Alabama, United States|
Big Spring Jam was an annual music festival taking place in Huntsville, Alabama. The Jam, which began in 1993, typically took place the fourth weekend in September. From 1993 to 2009, this was a three-day beginning Friday and ending Sunday. The 2011 revival was a two-day event on Friday and Saturday only. It featured acts from all genres of music including local bands, emerging talent, old favorites, and the top artists of the day. Along with the music, the Big Spring Jam also held an annual 5k race.
The title of the festival is a matter of confusion for many, especially those outside Huntsville, as the Big Spring Jam was held early each autumn. The title, however, came from the location, Big Spring International Park in downtown Huntsville.
Big Spring Jam usually featured four or more temporary stages set up throughout the park. Each stage typically featured the same genres of music throughout the weekend. One stage featured country music exclusively, another featured Christian contemporary, and the remainder of the stages were rock-based. To alleviate the impact of inclement weather, in 2011 the country music stage was moved indoors to the Propst Arena in the Von Braun Center.
Unlike most other large-scale music festivals, Big Spring Jam was a not-for-profit event, organized each year by the Huntsville Heritage Foundation in conjunction with the Von Braun Center. Proceeds from the event benefited local charities, health and human services agencies, and arts and entertainment organizations throughout North Alabama.
In recent years, the Big Spring Jam suffered a tarnished reputation due to weather events. In both 2005, and 2006, some of the main acts were canceled due to inclement weather. Despite existing as a non-profit event, Big Spring Jam officials refused to refund ticket prices after canceling events. For example, tickets were sold after the event was rained out in 2006 - and officials refused to refund the ticket prices. Tickets were sold up until the point the event was canceled. However, the 2007 and 2008 events, where the weather was favorable, were deemed highly successful. The 2010 event was cancelled due to financial and logistical issues but the event returned, as promised, in 2011.
The 2011 Big Spring Jam was a smaller, two-day event with some acts moved into the Propst Arena at the Von Braun Center. The 2011 event drew only 30,000 attendees, down sharply from the 240,000 who attended in 2003, with blame placed on the smaller scope of the event, competition from high school and college football, the economic downturn, and weather on the Jam's first day. Organizers announced in November 2011 that they would "shelve" the event for the immediate future with plans to "retool" or "recreate" it at some point when the economy improves and local interest increases.
- Blandin, Venton (April 16, 2010). "Big Spring Jam XVIII Cancelled; Promoters Blame Downtown Construction". Huntsville, AL: WHNT-TV. Archived from the original on 18 April 2010. Retrieved April 20, 2010.
- Welch, Chris (April 15, 2010). "Big Spring Jam canceled this year due to downtown construction, should return in 2011". The Huntsville Times. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved April 20, 2010.
- Banaszak, Nick (July 21, 2011). "Big Spring Jam Organizers Announce Venue, Date Changes; Propst Arena to host some acts in slimmed-down Friday-Saturday event". WHNT News 19. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2011.
- Cure, Sarah (November 3, 2011). "Big Spring Jam officials evaluating new ideas after disappointing turnout in 2011". The Huntsville Times. Retrieved December 5, 2011.