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BVJ unveils generational headliners for 2018

By Josh Aldrich, Camrose Canadian

Big Valley Jamboree announced Thomas Rhett as their headliner on Friday and Florida Georgia Line for Sunday. Supplied

Big Valley Jamboree announced Thomas Rhett as their headliner on Friday and Florida Georgia Line for Sunday. Supplied

Big Valley Jamboree will be singing the Song of the South for 2018. 


Organizers released the first nine artists for next year’s show, including all three headliners: Alabama, Florida Georgia Line and Thomas Rhett. 

The goal for the festival — Aug. 2-5 — is to make sure there is something for everyone. 

“What we’re trying to do is build a lineup that reflects our fans, which is basically three generations of fans now,” said Trixstar festival and marketing manager Chris Melnychuk. “We’re truly trying to build a lineup that is country for everyone.” 

Kicking off the weekend-long party on the Thursday at 11 p.m. in the Coors Banquet Saloon will be the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. On Friday, Rhett will headline on the mainstage while Billy Ray Cyrus will play at 5 p.m. Alabama headlines Saturday, while Jess Moskaluke returns after weather rained her out this year and Aaron Goodvin makes his debut at BVJ at 2 p.m. Saturday is headlined by Florida Georgia Line while Brett Eldredge plays BVJ for the first time in the 7:30 p.m. slot and festival mainstay Danny Hooper plays at 2 p.m. 

The Nitty Gritty Dirtband  is one of the most influential country bands over the last 50 years, so much so that their album Will the Circle be Unbroken has been inducted into the U.S. Library of Congress and the Grammy Hall of Fame. 

Rhett is the son of Rhett Akins, and has produced eight No. 1 singles off of his first three albums, including “It Goes Like This,” “Make Me Wanna,” and “Craving You.” 

Alabama has done it all as one of the biggest country acts of the 80s and 90s, including 75 million album sales and 30 records that have hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts, as they combined southern rock with pop and gospel. Their many hits include “Song of the South,” “I’m in a Hurry,” “If you’re Going to Play in Texas (You Gotta Hava a Fiddle in the Band),” Dixie Land Delight,” and “Cheap Seats,” among many others. 

Florida Georgia Line established themselves as one of the biggest acts in the industry with their album Dig Your Roots. They have managed to blend country with pop and introduce a whole new demographic of fan to the genre. 

This is the first of what will be a few announcements for lineups, as they have 18 total slots to fill on the mainstage, plus five in the Coors Banquet Saloon, as well as other stages and venues throughout the Camrose Regional Exhibition site. 

“Our wish list consists of the artists our fans want to see,” said Melnychuk. “We really try to do our research, see what our fans want to see and also bring in someone who is going to put on an amazing show for them.” 

Augmenting the concert experience in 2018 will be the introduction of a new stage with a 100-foot thrust up the middle of the concert bowl, which is also getting a long overdue renovation with more consistent seating arrangements. 

“It’s going to be a completely different experience,” said Melnychuk.

“Some of those younger artists are going to more than likely use those thrusts to fully engage with the crowd, while at the same time, don’t ever count out some of these more established, well-known artists and what they plan and how they’re going to engage with the fans.” 

General public tickets go on sale on Nov. 6 at 10 a.m. through www.bigvalleyjamboree.com and there will be a wide range of packages, seating and camping sites available for purchase. 




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