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Lakes Jam music festival coming to lakes area

It’s about time.

That’s what organizers of the first-ever Lakes Jam, a two-day outdoor music concert June 28-29 at Brainerd International Raceway (BIR) north of Brainerd, say has been a common reaction when people hear about the event.

“People think it’s cool that local people are doing this with local sponsors, and the event supports the Brainerd lakes area,” said Jerry Braam of Breezy Point, who owns Lakes Consulting with his wife, Anna.

Braam works as a consultant for BIR and has had the idea for a concert in his mind for the past couple of years. Meanwhile, Erik and Carolyn Huff of Huff Entertainment Solutions in Brainerd said the Brainerd area was starving for entertainment, so they joined the Brainerd Lakes Chamber to make connections. Chamber executive director Lisa Paxton put the Huffs and Braam in touch with each other.

“It was really a match made in heaven. We have the same philosophies of what the event should look like and how it should be community driven,” Carolyn said.

Braam’s company will provide the venue logistics and security for the concert weekend, and Huff Entertainment took charge of marketing, sponsorships and booking artists that will appeal to multiple age groups.

Performers include Gwen Sebastian of “The Voice” and backup singer for Blake Shelton, Rocket Club and the Kentucky Headhunters on June 28, and Sena Ehrhardt, ThundHerStruck, Great White, Night Ranger and REO Speedwagon on June 29. Local band King’s Ransom will play both days on a secondary stage.

Lakes Jam is a mixture of country and classic rock artists, and organizers call the event safe, family-friendly and affordable. The goal was to make the event smaller and more attainable for families, including both local residents and tourists.

Hopes are the two-day event will appeal to people who can’t afford a four- or five-day concert event, as well as to vacationers who are staying the week in the lakes area.

The concert weekend will definitely be different from a racing weekend, organizers said. The concert bowl will be right next to the campground. Only golf carts will be allowed. ATVs, side by sides, mini bikes and party wagons will not be allowed.

Keeping with the Brainerd lakes theme, all event sponsors are local, and five lakes area restaurants were invited to the event to offer the flavor of the lakes area. They are Zorbaz, Ernie’s on Gull, Prairie Bay, Maucieri’s and Billy’s at Breezy.

Also, a portion of the price of each ticket sold at Pequot Lakes High School through May 17 or through the Brainerd Amateur Hockey Association through May 31 will go back to those entities.

Organizers say this isn’t a one-year concert event. They’ve dubbed it the premier music and camping festival in the Brainerd lakes area, and Lakes Jam has a multi-year lease agreement with BIR for the last weekend in June. They plan to build on this first-year event and grow it each year.

To ensure the event is a success, organizers say it will be a first-class sound and light production with a huge stage and quality equipment.

“If Walker and Detroit Lakes can do this, Brainerd can do it as well as anyone else,” Braam said.

For more information about Lakes Jam, visit and “like” Lakes Jam on Facebook. Concert-goers are urged to buy their tickets now because sales will be capped.