For those of you who like country music or live in the province of Alberta, you are probably familiar with Big Valley Jamboree AKA BVJ! We had known about it for decades, but had never gone until 2018 when our friends (the Idt’s) told us we had to go cause it was so much fun, and we had a bus, so there was no excuse! So BVJ 2018 rolled into BVJ 2019 and we’ve pre-purchased tickets for BVJ 2020, so we might be lifers now! For those who don’t know, BVJ is the biggest concert of its kind in Canada and it is a well-oiled event (is that a saying? I don’t know)! The lineup for 2019 included (this is off memory, so I’m missing A LOT) Brothers Osbourne (#brothersosbourne), Aaron Goodvin (#aarongoodvin), Billy Rae Cyrus (#bilyraecyrus), Kane Brown (#kanebrown), Toby Keith (#tobykeith), High Valley (#highvalley), Old Dominion (#olddominion), Brett kissel (#brettkissel) and Brooks & Dunn (#brooksanddunn). These were basically all the shows I wanted to see. There are probably 20 more that I missed on the list, but you get the picture. We had quite the campground setup with 2 buses and a motorhome, forming the infamous “U” campsite. We brought some new friends this year including Shawn and Nadine, Ethan, Erin, Porter and Nicolette.
We initiated a tradition at BVJ 2018 called Family Tequila hour – where, when called out to the family, (good quality) tequila is poured and consumed by all family members. This year, the Id’ts decided to add a special feature to the tradition, by including a cow bell! How very appropriate to this country event! Whomever rang it, had to pour it! Let’s just say that newby Ethan mastered this new tradition!
Before heading to BVJ though, I consulted my niece Cassidy about a very important piece of clothing, called the “wine rack”. She claimed she used a wine rack for many years at BVJ and since she wouldn’t be going this year, she would lend me hers! I was pretty excited, and this piece of clothing was worth every penny (although it was free to me, but still I would have paid at least $50 for it)! I wore this thing everyday, full of wine, it fits an entire bottle! Best invention and everyone wants a sip.
All in all, the concerts were amazing! I was super impressed that everyday, there was at least 2 Canadian country artists taking the main stage and laying it all on the line for the 32,000 (+/- 5000) eager fans in the audience. The weather was almost perfect, except on Friday when Toby Keith was delayed an hour due to tornado warning.
Here is a snapshot of all the fun we had!
The final night concert was Brett Kissel (from Edmonton) and Brooks and Dunn! I was super excited, I’ve loved B&D since the early 90’s, when my long time friend Jackie Bursey introduced me to them! And to have an Alberta singer open for the final night concert was super exciting. On our way in to the concert, we met a couple of volunteers that had Pit Pass bracelets and they said they weren’t going to use them and GAVE ME THEIR PIT PASSES, all 4 of them! This was the best day ever!! A pit pass means we get to stand at the front of the stage and dance and scream and be a super fan!
Apparently BVJ doesn’t allow the artist to come out for an encore, but Brett Kissel DID! Such a rebel. It was so good.
Then it was Brooks & Dunn! I actually had a tear in my eye, what was wrong with me!
And at the end of it all, this is how many bracelets I needed to get access to all the places I wanted to be at!
And then when we tried to leave, Ruby was stuck in the mud – Wade had to pull us out with his bus.
So long story short – after BVJ we went to Edmonton to visit my life long BFF and family. As I’m telling them our weekend story, her husband (Mitch) says, oh Brett Kissel is my cousin! (WTF!) So basically we’re related!