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Downtown Country Jam

-Messenger file photo The Downtown Country Jam will be held at the intersection of Central Avenue and Ninth Street in Fort Dodge.

Shellabration Inc. will host Downtown Country Jam 2019 on Sept. 21 at Central Plaza in historic downtown Fort Dodge.

Headlining this year is Chris Janson.

“Chris Janson is going to rock Fort Dodge,” said Shellabration board member Melissa Hansen.

Hansen was part of the Shellabration Inc. scouting team that previewed his show at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake on Jan., 13, 2018.

“He blew the audience away with his energy, showmanship and harmonica playing,”added Hansen. ”Anyone that attends his show in Fort Dodge will go home exhausted just watching him work the stage.”

Shellabration Vice President Ted Bodensteiner echoed Hansen’s assessment.

“He’s an entertainer in every sense of the word,”said Bodensteiner. ”Having worked with scores of country artists including Janson the past several years, he’s definitely one of my personal favorites.”

Janson’s meteoric rise to fame was somewhat unconventional. His first blockbuster hit “Buy Me A Boat” was actually self-released in early 2015. The song debuted at No. 33 on Hot Country Hits after it received airplay on the Bobby Bones Show. It was picked up and officially released as a single by Warner Music Nashville in May 2015 peaking at No. 5 by August that same year.

His debut album, also titled “Buy Me A Boat,” was released in October 2015, rising to No. 3 on the Country Airplay charts and producing additional hits in “Power of Positive Drinkin'” and “Holdin’ Her.”

His second Warner Music Nashville album, “Everybody,”was released in September 2017, producing the singles “Fix A Drink” and his current charted hit “Drunk Girl.”

In addition to his own hits, Janson has penned songs for other country artists including co-writing the hit “I Love This Life” for LOCASH and co-writing the hit “Truck Yeah” for Tim McGraw.

Opening this year’s show will be Brad Morgan, a country music artist and songwriter who was born and raised on a farm near Manning. While currently residing in Nashville, Tennessee, he continues to build on the success he has had in Iowa and the Midwest.

His Midwest country roots are found in crowd favorites like, “Unlocked,” “Catchin’ Nothin’ But a Buzz,” “Plan B is for Beer,” and “Perfect for Me.” His Influences include Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, and Johnny Cash.

Since 2011, Morgan has released a full length album and two EP’s. The most popular of those projects to date was his 2015 self-titled EP, “Brad Morgan.” In 2013, he won The Guthrie’s River Ruckus “Ruckus Rumble.” He was recently named the 2018 Iowa Country Artist of the Year, and is working on new music to release in 2019 along with many concert dates.

The second act of the evening is Casey Muessigmann. The Spencer native started singing in church choirs at a young age. Since his appearance on “The Voice” Season 3 as a member of Blake Shelton’s team, Muessigmann has focused on writing and co-producing his newest album, “Between the Rows,” and spending time on stage. A seasoned stage veteran at 27, Muessigmann has shared the stage with the likes of Granger Smith, Joe Diffie, Merle Haggard, Scotty McCreery, Craig Campbell, Randy Houser, Eli Young Band, Thomas Rhett, Blake Shelton, Lee Brice, Jake Owen, Canaan Smith, Chris Cagle, and Florida Georgia Line.

The Downtown Country Jam began in 2017, as a replacement for the popular Oktoberfest celebration. Because of the pond reconstruction at Oleson Park late that summer, organizers needed to find another location for their celebration.

“I’d long had a vision of doing a downtown event,” said Shellabration President Jim Reed. “It had been rattling around in my head for probably the last decade.”

While it was disappointing that the Oktoberfest celebration was displaced that year, rather than viewing the issue as a celebration lost, the organizers viewed it as an opportunity to try something new.

The 2017 Downtown Country Jam was attended by 3,400 people. Reed said that the draw to that first Jam was a combination of die-hard country fans seeking every opportunity to participate in a country show and curious onlookers wondering how Shellabration would be able to pull off such an event in a downtown arena.

“There really are not that many music events in a downtown arena,” said Reed. “The environment for this show is completely unique.”

Most shows of this magnitude are in a large indoor concert hall, or perhaps an outdoor arena on a plot of land with nothing surrounding it, so to create an outdoor show for people of all ages to attend, with lights playing off of the eight-story buildings downtown is something special to be a part of.

The fact that the Jam is truly an all ages show is something that Shellabration is proud of. All children ages 12 and under get in free. There will be food and drink for all in attendance, whether you are a youngster looking for your favorite soda pop and a slice of Domino’s pizza, or you’re 21 plus and looking for something a little bit different in the form of your favorite beer. With HyVee and the Iowa Central Community College Culinary Arts Program providing ribeye sandwiches, burgers, brats, and nonalcoholic beverages and Domino’s serving pizza and nonalcoholic beverages, there is sure to be a treat for all to enjoy during the show. The Shellabration board will be serving soda, beer, and other beverages.

Tickets for the 2019 Downtown Country Jam are on sale now at HyVee, Great Western Bank (both Fort Dodge locations), Availa Bank, and Northwest Bank.

Tickets are $25 today and increase to $30 beginning on Monday. Any tickets remaining will be sold at the gate for $35.

Tickets are also available online at www.ticketweb.com or by phone at (866) 468-3401.

Remember: kids 12 years of age and under are admitted free if accompanied by an adult. All tickets are general admission, festival style (bring your own chair) seating.

Event Information

Sept. 21, 2019

Historic Downtown Fort Dodge

(Central Plaza)

900 Central Avenue

(Central Ave & 9th Street)

Ticket Pricing

$25 by today

$30 beginning Monday

$35 at the gate

Kids 12 and under admitted free (no ticket required)

Ticket Availability

Online: www.ticketweb.com

Phone: (866) 468-3401

Retail: Hy-Vee, Availa Bank,

Northwest Bank, Great Western Bank

Schedule of Events

5 p.m.: Gates open

5:30 to 6:30 p.m.: Brad Morgan

6:45 to 8 p.m.: Casey Muessigmann

8:30 to 10 p.m.: Chris Janson

General Information

General admission, bring your own bag chair seating.

A full array of sandwiches, soft drinks and adult beverages are available for purchase in venue.

Attendees subject to security screening at gate.

No weapons allowed, including guns and knives of 3 inches or longer

No outside food or beverages allowed.

No pets allowed.

Weather-related delays or early set starts due to hazardous conditions are possible for public safety.