Lakes Jam campers ready for a weekend of music and more – Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY — A warm breeze blew as friends and family gathered together for good music and even better memories.

Lakes Jam is here and campers from all over came to partake in festivities this weekend, June 23-25.

Lakes Jam is an annual music festival that began in 2012 and takes place on the BIR grounds on Birchdale Road. The festival spans three days and showcases various rock and country bands. Some of the headliners for this year’s lineup include Jon Pardi, Gabby Barrett, Jordan Davis and Cole Swindell.

A crew member warms up on guitar at a sound check on Thursday, June 23, 2022.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

“Everything is going great,” said Tommy Vee, the production manager of Lakes Jam, during a sound check Thursday morning.

Attendees of the festival with a three-day pass also have the option to camp on location. People gather together to share the experience with each other, and there are a variety of campsite options. Everything is welcome from RVs and campers to tents.

“This is my second year coming,” said CJ Harden, who traveled from the St. Cloud area. “We liked last year so much, we bought tickets before we left.”

Harden was joined by friends who have attended for the past four or five years. The group previously saw Toby Keith, The Brothers Osborne and many other memorable artists during their previous Lakes Jam experiences. When asked about who they are most excited to see this year, they all agreed on Jon Pardi.

Jon Pardi’s album California Sunrise debuted at No. 1 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart, earning him the Country Music Awards’ New Artist of the Year and Academy of Country Music New Male Vocalist Of The Year. Pardi topped the country music charts with consecutive No. 1 hits including songs “Dirt On My Boots,” “Head Over Boots” and “Heartache On The Dance Floor.”

Photos from Thursday afternoon at the Lakes Jam

CJ Harden, Talia Ostrowski, Cassie Beierman and Kayla Harden gather outside their camps at Brainerd International Raceway on Thursday, June 23, 2022.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

This is the first year back for the festival with little to no restrictions from COVID-19. The event is back in full swing with a variety of different food and drink options.

“They canceled one year and that was a bummer,” said Cassie Beierman, another friend of Harden’s camping at Lakes Jam. “It does feel good to be back.”

Photos from Thursday afternoon at the Lakes Jam

Campers from all over gather for Lake Jam at Brainerd International Raceway on Thursday, June 23, 2022. The music event will continue through Saturday night.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

In addition to the musical performances, there are a variety of other events to attend, including bean bag tournaments and drifting events for all attendees. Campers can check out lawn mower and watercross races.

The weekend is packed with fun activities and events, but the weather is looking like rain. According to the National Weather Service in Duluth, there is an 80% chance of rain and thunderstorms Friday night and throughout the day on Saturday.

Photos from Thursday afternoon at the Lakes Jam

Chairs are lined up outside of the main stage of Lake Jam at Brainerd International Raceway on Thursday, June 23, 2022. The music event will continue through Saturday night.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

Lakes Jam musical events will go through Saturday night with other activities scattered throughout the weekend. For more information about Lakes Jam, including tickets, activities and events, band lineup and concert dates, visit lakesjam.com .

SARA GUYMON, Brainerd Dispatch staff writer, may be reached at 218-855-5851 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at

twitter.com/Sara_Guymon

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