Moondance Jam offers refunds after online backlash following lineup switch

An annual rock and roll music festival dating back to the 1990s in northern Minnesota has announced major changes to its lineup – less than a month before ticket holders were set to attend the weekend camping event. (Supplied)

A popular music festival in northern Minnesota will offer refunds after all following an announcement that its lineup will be drastically changed this year – just two weeks before it’s scheduled to happen.

Scheduled for July 18-20 in Walker, Minnesota, Moondance Jam was initially set to feature headliners Kansas, Journey's lead singer Steve Augeri and Creed – as well as other classic rock acts Blue Oyster Cult, Foghat and The Sweet.

But then things changed.

Citing the "present economic climate", festival organizers said they would make changes to its lineup, now highlighting only regional acts.

Renamed "Camp Moondance" it would feature local bands Johnny O'Neil, Mallrats and Aortic Fire, as well as, cover bands The Band That Fell to Earth: A Tribute to David Bowie and the Beatles' tribute band A Hard Days Night.

Despite the late notice, refunds were initially not offered to fans.

Instead, all purchased tickets would be honored, fans were told, with people being offered an additional four tickets at the gates. Purchasers could also exchange tickets for either Deuces Wild Dueling Pianos tickets (held on Aug. 9) or Moondance Harvest Moon Festival (Sept. 21). Camping passes would also roll into next year’s event, organizers said.

But now Moondance has changed its tune, and a full refund will be honored for those who choose not to attend.

"This series of events all transpired within the last eight days. Despite our trying to work through the circumstances, this is the only viable option," a post from Kathy Bieloh, owner of Moondance Jam, said on their Facebook page. "Everyone who knows me and our Moondance crew, knows that we are so sincerely sorry that this decision had to be made. We just did not meet the necessary financial thresholds to produce a festival with national touring attractions."

The post goes on to say that in spite of having to change the lineup, she was "personally asking you to support me and our Moondance crew and join us at Camp Moondance being held on the same dates."

The 2024 iteration of the music festival would have been its 33rd under the Monndance Jam brand.