Country music fest set for Aug. 22June 1, 2020
By ALLEN LAMAN
JASPER – As summer festivals and gatherings are canceled across Dubois County, one private event that aims to bring in thousands of attendees for charitable causes is pushing forward.
The ESGR Presents Red White and Brauen Music Fest, a 1990s country music celebration with big-name acts, is set to take place in Jasper on Saturday, Aug. 22. ESGR stands for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve.
Organizers are working with local officials and the Dubois County Health Department to ensure the gathering is held safely. All Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines will be followed. Concertgoers will be screened by medical personnel when they enter the gates, hand sanitizing and washing stations will be scattered throughout the grounds, and social distancing will be enforced.
Guests will be required to bring a chair or a blanket, and pit pass seating is not available.
“Safety is the No. 1 priority for this,” said Amanda Tempel, who is a board member of Rally Point Events, which is the group putting on the first-time fest. She is also the event chairperson. “We have a plan, and we’ve been working with our local health department, we’ve been working with the local government officials to ensure that we are presenting the best event for the community in a safe manner.”
Craig Morgan is the festival headliner. Deana Carter, Channing Wilson, Andy Brasher and more will also perform. Red, White and Brauen will be held in a 10-acre field near Uebelhor Toyota on the south side of the city. Tickets are $20 through June 14 and the price will increase to $25 after that. Tickets sold on the day of the event will cost $30. Kids 12 and under are allowed in for free.
At last week’s Jasper Board of Public Works and Safety meeting, organizers discussed opening the event to up to 8,000 people, though that number could change with new health guidance and requirements.
Because of the size of the field the event will be held in, leadership is confident that physical distancing can be achieved. That large amount of space — combined with a large, trained staff — is something that Red, White and Brauen has that other events don’t.
“Basically, we have enough tickets available to space everybody 6 feet apart that comes out to the event,” said Lance Yearby, president of Rally Point Events.
Hoosiers are set to enter the final stage of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s reopening plan on July 4. That phase allows for businesses and restaurants to operate at full capacity, and also allows conventions, sports events, fairs, festivals and like events to resume.
Yearby served in Iraq in the First Battalion, 163rd Field Artillery, from 2007 to 2009, as the communications Sergeant for Alpha Company, while also performing convoy security missions.
He stressed that the proceeds of the Red, White and Brauen Music Fest will be distributed to local veterans groups. Some of the groups who will benefit from the event include Rolling Thunder, Team Red White and Blue and Soldier Dogs for Independence.
Focusing on local organizations is important to organizers.
“The biggest thing right now is the COVID-19 knocked out most of these fundraisers for most of these organizations,” Yearby said. “That’s how they stay afloat. That money’s gone now. And most people could tell you, you can’t go out and get money from any businesses right now.”
He continued: “There’s no way to raise [those] funds because they don’t have [them]. So, for them to complete their missions with veterans, that’s our goal to help them out that way.”
Funds will also be set aside to be used for another iteration of the fest in 2021. The concert was originally set to take place on June 13, but was postponed due to the pandemic. Gates will open at 4 p.m. on Aug. 22 — two hours prior to the official kickoff — to help alleviate arrival congestion. Local musicians will play during this time.
At least one other big event is set to return in the state later this summer, too. The Indianapolis 500 will be held in front of race fans at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Aug. 23. Other major country music festivals across the country — including the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam in early September and the Stagecoach Festival in late October — are slated to be held down the road in modified ways, as well.
When asked what he would say to readers who feel the Dubois County event is happening too soon, Yearby said his message is that we have to adapt and find ways to continue events in safe ways under a new standard.
“We’re seeing so many things be canceled, and a lot of people, they don’t have the luxury of having the power and people that we do,” Tempel said of the Red, White and Brauen Music Fest. “So we’re very fortunate with that. And I think we have to find ways to make things safe and become that standard.”
Go to www.redwhiteandbrauen.com for more information or to purchase tickets.
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