The second annual edition of Jam in the 'Dam is drawing ever closer, March 19-20-21. While there is still plenty of time to make plans, the message boards are alive with folks planning to attend again, or for the first time.
The inaugural event was a huge success, and was documented by Cinovative, who plan to release a DVD of the festivities around this years' show. On the homepage at jaminthedam.com, you can view a video capsule they did that captures the outrageous fun and feel of this one-of-a-KIND festival, and gives a taste of what to expect from the DVD. Pre-sale orders will be taken at the website starting in February.
Last year's Jam in the Dam featured Umphrey's McGee, the Disco Biscuits, Keller Williams, and Particle. It was staged at the Melkweg, the most fan friendly venue imaginable, with its' two concert halls under one roof. It sold out four months in advance, and many people were surprised at how easy it was to navigate everything, once they arrived in Amsterdam. Everyone there speaks English, and the natives are indeed friendly and tolerant. Getting a passport is about the only thing that differed from traveling in the states, according to many who attended. A great review done by Shain Shapiro can be found HERE.
JitD 2006 will again feature Umphrey's McGee and the Disco Biscuits, and will add STS9 and the Benevento/Russo Duo. This is the bill Marc Brownstein from the Biscuits lobbied for, and in his best Mary Poppins, has dubbed it "practically perfect." In addition this year, there will be a special warm-up show on March 18th at the Melkweg featuring The Bays from England. They are a totally unique electronic improv band who never releases recorded product, and has played on major festivals from Glastonbury to WOMAD. Their motto is, "Performance is the product."
Umphrey's McGee also has announced plans to play London, Paris, Milan, and Hamburg on this trip as well. Info on those dates can be found at www.umphreys.com.
It is a huge week of American bands in Amsterdam. In addition to JitD, the Black Crowes are playing the three following nights at The Paradiso, March 22-24. The JitD folks actually grabbed blocks of 50 tickets to the first two nights and sold them here in the States. Chris Robinson is friends with the Umphrey's guys, so who knows what surprises may be in store. Also, on Friday March 24th, Jack Johnson will be at the Heineken Music Hall, and there are rumors of a Xavier Rudd show that week as well. Phew! Sound like the word is out that Amsterdam is THE place to be for the Spring Equinox?
Tickets are available through jaminthedam.com, where there is also a message board for info and discussion. Travel arrangements are available through www.madisonhousetravel.com.