|Big Valley Jamboree|
|Location(s)||Camrose, Alberta, Canada|
|Website||Big Valley Jamboree|
The Big Valley Jamboree (Commonly "BVJ") is a large country music festival located in Camrose, Alberta, Canada, a city located south east of Edmonton. Created in 1992, the Jamboree is held each year during the August long weekend, and features country singers from all over North America. It is one of the largest music festivals on the continent. Among the performers at BJV have been Tim McGraw, Gary Allan, Kevin Costner and Josh Turner in 2009 and Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum, and Reba McEntire in 2015. The event draws thousands of campers and party goers annually, with daily averages of 25,000 people attending the four-day event.
The Big Valley Jamboree adds up to C$10 million to the Camrose economy, and organizers have spent millions of dollars upgrading and maintaining the Camrose Exhibition Grounds for the annual festival. the Canadian Country Music Association has voted the Big Valley Jamboree as the country music event of the year on four occasions: 2001, 2004, 2006 and 2010.
Big Valley Jamboree originally started in 1992 by the owner/operators of the Big Valley Jamboree held in Craven, Saskatchewan (now known as Country Thunder Saskatchewan), who wanted to host a second festival in Alberta; Big Valley, Alberta was chosen as the venue, with the name and geography factoring into the decision. In September of 1992, a rock concert headlined by Bryan Adams that was held; however, the festival was hampered by an early snowfall and a lack of services and amenities, so the following spring promoters searched for a new venue. At the same time, the Camrose Regional Exhibition (CRE) were looking to revive the annual summer fair, and were approached by promoters about taking over the annual fair weekend. Ultimately the CRE Board of Directors voted to cancel the fair in favour of hosting Big Valley Jamboree, re-branded as a country music festival, and was held during the 1993 August long weekend.
On August 1, 2009, a large storm with winds from 60 to 100 kilometres per hour (37 to 62 mph) caused the collapsed the main stage, killing one person and injuring at least 15 others according to police, four critically. Producers of the Jamboree estimated that 75 people had been treated for injuries. The storm hit while Billy Currington was on stage. Currington and his bass guitarist were injured. Organizers had just postponed the concert and were in the process of clearing spectators from the concert area when a storm front hit that caused the collapse.Environment Canada had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Camrose area earlier; however, the organizers were not advised until just before the storm hit thus did not alert concert goers of the coming storm. The final day of the festival was cancelled.
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