By Jessica Jones
For the Advance
Positive changes are coming to the way guests experience the largest country music festival, the Big Valley Jamboree, in Camrose this summer.
In its 27th year, the Big Valley Jamboree (BVJ), showcases the biggest stars in country music on multiple stages and features numerous attractions and events all weekend long from Aug. 1st-4th.
There will be three changes to this year’s event, all made to, “Enhance the guest experience,” said Chris Melnychuk, director of festival operations and marketing at the Big Valley Jamboree.
The main change, he said, is something guests have been requesting for years — to enjoy a cold beverage while they watch their favourite artists on the main stage.
Melnychuk said the BVJ made this change by looking at a better layout for seating, and getting the approvals of stakeholders, the City of Camrose, and the Alberta Gaming Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) agency.
The BVJ has also worked closely with its security companies to have plans in place for safety.
“It will be no different from any major concert where people can enjoy beverages from their seats,” Melnychuk explained.
“We are always trying to enhance the guest experience and this is something that people are expecting to do these days,” he added.
The second change is for general admission ticket holders who will now be able to have a designated dance floor next to the main stage behind the reserved seats.
BVJ removed 1,600 white chairs to make room for the dance floor.
“These ticket holders wanted to get close and have an area to dance, so this allows them to dance and have fun,” Melnychuk said.
“We heard some comments in the past from people saying that BVJ doesn’t allow dancing, this is not true, you always could get up and dance.
“But now we have a place to do that, to get up, dance, and sing with the artist.”
The other change that guests will experience is fewer bag checks with the expansion of a secure area at the main site.
Bag check stations will be moved outwards, meaning that once a guest has entered the secured site, they will not have to have their bag checked every time they decide to access the concessions.
“It is a country music festival for everyone,” he said. “And we want to create the best experience as much as possible.”
A full 2019 lineup of high-energy performers has been posted to BVJ’s web site at www.bigvalleyjamboree.com.