by Terry Rogers
June Jam, the popular outdoor concert held at G&R Campground, for the first time since 1978 could not be held during the month of June due to COVID-19. On March 24, organizers posted on the June Jam Facebook about the event.
“We have brought you 41 fabulous June Jams,” the post read. “We will bring you #42. With other events canceling in the area, we are monitoring the situation daily. WE WILL NOT CANCEL OUR EVENT, but will postpone it if the health emergency our state is experiencing has not changed.”
Initially, the organization hoped to hold the annual fundraising event on August 15, but, on July 30, announced they were moving it to October 10.
“We couldn’t get our mandatory insurance and state approval looked bleak,” organizers posted on their Facebook page. “Plus, it’s too darn hot. Tickets are non-refundable but can be rolled over to the October 10th. This includes camping reservations. We appreciate the folks who are rolling with us.” This year’s lineup that included Damn the Torpedo, Jason Morton and the Chesapeake Sons, Petting Hendrix, Johnny Neal, lower case blues, Joey Fulkerson and Nothing But Trouble, Hotwire Reunion and Tenfold Trouble.
“We don’t mind putting in the additional planning because we, as well as our attendees, are very excited to hold our event,” Lynn Fowler, one of the coordinators of June Jam, said. “We had to get special permission to hold the Jam this year and we are limiting the number of tickets available. We will enforce social distancing with many hand sanitizing stations. Masks are encouraged when people are walking around the festival grounds and not with their own group. We are working with medical professionals to add any additional protections we will need when the time comes.”
Currently, although June Jam is scheduled for August 15, Fowler explained that unless Governor John Carney moves the state into Phase 3 of his Reopen Delaware Plan, the event cannot be held. Should the state still be in Phase 2 on August 15, the new tentative date is set for October 10.
Damn the Torpedoes is a nationally acclaimed Tom Petty tribute band, selling out venues throughout Delaware. Petting Hendrix is an outstanding cover band with animated guitarist, hard-hitting percussionist and an outstanding lead vocalist. They put their own spin on music people hear each day and provide the perfect background for dancing.
Johnny Neal is a two-time Grammy winner and a former member of the Allman Brothers. He just appeared on the “Legends of Rock Tour” with Lynryd Skynryd as well as Marshall Tucker and the Outlaws. Originating in Newark, lower case blues has established themselves as one of the best bands in the area, taking blues to a whole new level. The trio focuses on playing original music along with covers to pay tribute to their inspiration.
Joey Fulkerson and Nothin But Trouble offers what can only be described as American original blues and have graced the June Jam stage for many years. Hotwire Reunion is a brings back to the stage the original members of the band Hot Wire, Jimmy Brown, Bill Precourt, Dale Hamilton and Chris Foltz. Tenfold Trouble, a band formed in a Camden basement in 2019, brings a heavy mix of rock, from Creedence to Metallica.
June Jam developed out of tragedy after three men were electrocuted while working in Magnolia. An aluminum ladder was accidentally leaned against a high-voltage line. One of the men died and the other two were burned severely. Seven friends, including Bob Hartley and John Tazelaar held a fundraiser for the three men at Camden-Wyoming Firehall soon after the tragedy and that fundraiser grew to become the first June Jam in 1979.
As crowds grew, the festival moved outdoors, eventually moving to G&R Campground in Houston. As the festival grew, the charitable organizations they assisted also grew. They have donated funds to the Home of the Brave, Peachtree Acres, a brain injury facility operated by Beebe Hospital, veterans organizations, cancer victims and the homeless have all benefited from June Jam. This year’s recipients are Toys for Tots and Friends of Delaware Veterans. The group also provides funding to fight cancer, a top priority for the organization.
Tickets can be purchased at the June Jam website. There is also a mail-in form or tickets may be purchased at B&B Music locations.