Britt Music and Arts Festival officially kicks off

Jacksonville, Ore. — Ziggy Marley is in town for the first concert of the season in Jacksonville.

People are thrilled that Britt festival has officially kicked off.

This year, the local food concessions have returned and there are also new benches for reserved seating.

“We’ve got country, we’ve got rock n’ roll, we’ve got jazz, we’ve got reggae, we’ve got it all this year,” Britt Festival CEO Donna Briggs said.

It’s that time of year again when Jacksonville comes alive thanks to the Britt Music and Arts Festival.

“The energy is just so exciting. The merchants are all geared up for it and of course the staff is here and full force tonight. It’s gonna be a wonderful evening,” Briggs said.

Eight-time Grammy winner Ziggy Marley claimed the stage for the first concert in Jacksonville Tuesday night.

And loyal fans are ready to take on the summer season.

“I used to go to about 15 a year,” Jacksonville resident Dennis Clark said.

Jacksonville resident Dennis Clark says he’s been attending Britt concerts since he was a young boy.

“It’s just a close, intimate setting where you get to be up and personal with the artists, and at a lot of other places… It’s not like that,” Clark said.

Clark says he’s had his history of waiting hours upon hours for artists even with his children.

“Waiting overnight for Willie Nelson, or Huey Lewis, or Johnny Cash, or Waylon Jennings and all those guys that we saw here,” Clark said.

He remembers the days when it was first come first serve for lawn seating on the entire hill.

But now, the venue has been updated with new benches to replace the old ones for its reserved seating.

“It’s gonna provide us with additional reserved sitting and that will be particularly important to people that quite frankly can no longer sit on the lawn just because people, ya know, are getting older,” Briggs said.

CEO Donna Briggs says the Britt Festival has become more than a venue.

It’s now a place the community feels ownership of, returning each summer to a special spot where the stars come out.

The next concert scheduled at Britt is Michael Franti this Saturday.

NBC5 News Multimedia Journalist Elizabeth Ruiz was raised in Northern Colorado. She graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Journalism and Media Communication. She also minored in Spanish and studied in Spain. While at Colorado State, she was an anchor and reporter for CTV Channel 11.

Elizabeth loves Zumba dancing, singing and spending time with her family.

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