The annual Juniper Jam is on deck for Saturday, Aug. 31. Billed as “The Sweetest Little Music Festival in Eastern Oregon, this year’s extravaganza features two stages of live original music and a dozen music acts as well as buskers roaming the grounds.
The multi-faceted festival will also showcase artisans as well as a variety of food booths. The festival is the principal fundraiser for the Wallowa Valley Music Alliance.
Festival and alliance director, Janis Carper, said this year’s offering should please just about any music palette.
“”One thing I’m really excited about is the cross-pollination of bands this year,” Carper said. “This year we have some pretty exciting incidences of that.” For example she noted local musician, Bart Budwig’s band, which has members who also play in other bands.
Buskers, a relatively new feature, will play acoustic music sets throughout the grounds when the gate opens and before the acts start.
“It’s a nice way to fill the void while people are wandering in slowly and checking things out,” Carper said. “You need to have music going, because you can’t have recorded music playing.”
In addition to the music, the festival offers other amenities. about a half-dozen artisan booths will populate the grounds as well as about the same number of food vendors, mostly local. The alliance is selling beverages, including beer and wine, etc.
“I like to boost the art end of it,” Carper said. “It adds so much when it’s local people showing off their stuff.”
Several of the musicians have played the festival before while others have played at other county venues.
“We try to mix it up,” Carper said. “We don’t usually do two years in a row with the same act, but we do have bands back that have developed a following out here.”
With bands ranging in areas from Montana, Colorado, Oregon and New Mexico, Carper said the festival offers something for everybody.
“We have a good mix of styles,” Carper said. “It will be fun.”
To insure a good time, do not bring coolers, pets or alcohol beverages. It is suggested to bring sunscreen, layered clothing, blankets, lawn chairs and a good attitude.
Pre-concert tickets are $20 and $25 at the gate while kids 12 and under are free. Tickets are available at Joseph Hardware, the Dollar Stretcher in Enterprise and the Bookloft in Enterprise. Online, tickets are available at: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4291021. The gates open at 11 a.m. with the buskers starting at the same time. The festival ends at approximately 10 p.m.