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Jambo: Big changes coming to country music’s biggest party

WTOV

All the rumors, all the questions and now all the answers.

It's true, changes are coming for Jamboree in the Hills, including the name.

Jamboree in the Hills has gone country. Jambo Country that is. 2017 means a new name and new rules for the Ohio Valley staple.

"It is a big change. Jambo Country is a nod to Jamboree in the Hills and what people have come to call Jamboree in the Hills, which is Jambo. It’s recognizing that there's significant changes but we're also moving into the future,” said Kelly Tucker-Jones, general manager.

Aside from the name, there’s another big change. Country music's biggest party will go from four days to three.

“I think in a fan's world, time commitment is kind of a big deal and when we looked historically at our Sunday, the attendance was just not there. So, as far as a fan is concerned a three-day festival works best so that's why we decided to go to three days," Tucker-Jones said.

So, no more Sunday show but fans will still be able to enjoy the Wednesday night kick-off party.

So what about ticket prices? They have yet to be announced, but Tucker-Jones say they'll be comparable to years past.

“We recognize the changes, but also this event is a staple of this community and I want to see this event continue for another 40 years. So, I think these are the right changes at the right time," she said.

And those custom coolers? Leave them parked in the campgrounds. That's right, coolers and outside alcohol will no longer be permitted inside the concert venue.

“The absolute reason is safety. Alcohol consumption, we want to monitor, we want to be responsible citizens. Also the safety, overall safety of the event, it is the most important thing to us as a company and so by monitoring what people can bring in to the venue we can keep the overall safety at the highest," Tucker-Jones said.

But that doesn't mean you can't drink. There will be alcohol on sale inside the concert site and you still have to option to go back and forth to your campsite.

Now, with these changes come some new additions. They include:

• A new parking lot after-party to keep the music going even after the big acts

• Free showers for campers

• Jambo “glamping”

• Exclusive VIP packages

Tucker-Jones says it's all a new approach to sustain a beloved and historical festival.

“Jambo fans have always meant so much to me personally and I know change is hard. It's hard for everyone, but I think they’re still going to have an amazing experience as they have every year that third week in July and we intend to keep that exactly the same," she said.

It's a lot of changes but some things will remain the same. The Redneck Run will now be called the Morning Run, but it will still happen at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and you can still claim your spot with a tarp.

There will still be a photo aisle and the fireworks will happen on Saturday night this year.

With that, some more good news. Three big acts have already been added to the lineup.

Headlining Thursday night will be Thomas Rhett. 2017 will mark his second showing at the festival.

“Thomas Rhett I think is the perfect artist. He's going to hit it big this summer and we're getting him at the exact right time and people are going to love his show. If you haven’t seen it, he puts on an amazing show,” Tucker-Jones said.

Another big name is Jason Aldean. Aldean will take the stage on Friday night.

And finally, for the first time in Morristown, Jambo Country presents Lady Antebellum.

“They've never been there before and we always try, you know we love being able to say that we've had every major country artist at that site, so we're very excited they're going to be there in 2017,” Tucker-Jones said.

WTOV9's broadcast schedule has yet to be announced, but we are proud to once again be the exclusive Jambo County television partner. In fact, 2017 marks the 27th consecutive year of our broadcast partnership.

But if you want to see the show in person, your first shot at tickets is coming up soon. The one-day sale is set for Thursday, December 15 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. That's your opportunity to get your three-day concert and camping pass for the lowest possible price.

For more information on tickets and changes you can head to jambocountry.com.

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