28th Annual Moondance Jam Brings Out Thousands Of Rock N’ Roll Fans
This year’s big headliners include Train, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rick Springfield and the Goo Goo Dolls, but the seasoned Moondancers will tell you that it’s about a lot more than just who’s up on stage.
“Good experience, well-run festival. It’s well run,” says Lynn Grochow, a 20-year Moondance veteran.
“We enjoy it a lot,” adds her husband Lyle Grochow, who has also been coming to Moondance for 20 years.
Rock n’ roll, good brews and big crowds: it’s hard to imagine that Moondance Jam was once a modest get-together amongst friends.
“It started out as kind of like a family barbecue back in 1992 thinking, ‘not a big deal,’ and then 28 years later it’s kind of a big deal and we don’t have a big barbecue anymore,” says Kathy Bieloh, the owner of Moondance Jam.
Every year, the Moondance party gets bigger and bigger. While you’ll find your folks who have been here for 20 or more years, there’s always new faces being added to the Moondance family as well.
Bieloh says, “We’ve got a lot of people who came to Moondance not knowing of Walker and then we had other coming to Walker who never knew of Moondance, so it’s gone both ways. And we do get all over the United States and we get as far as, we’ve had people from Japan and New England and China and Canada. A big huge group from Canada comes every year!”
The Moondance grounds are ripe with traditions. Many will head over to Billy B’s Bar on the grounds and have a lemon drop shot with the late Moondance founder, Bill Bieloh, and of course, there’s the tradition of camping.
“What makes Moondance special is all of our friends that come and visit us every year. We have many people that come camp with us and we love that they are willing to come back year after year to camp with us and we have several friends who come visit us from neighboring camps,” says Eric “Howler” Heap, a 20-year Moondance veteran.
“We come from North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota and we all meet up here together every summer, you know? It’s just our family event, you know?” says Terry Williams, a seven-year Moondancer.
The music is what brings the initial crowd, but many will say there’s another reason why they keep coming back.
“The best part of Moondance I think is the camping, being with friends and family, meeting new people and having a good time, you know? I mean, the music’s a bonus,” says Williams.
Heap adds, “Music is awesome, but that’s honestly not why we come here. We come here for the experience. We come for our friends and for our family.”
If you want to be apart of the Moondance experience, concert tickets and camping passes are still available at the site.