Eight years ago, Tony Herdman was in a band that was part of the Dayton Battle of the Bands, which was taking place at Canal Street Tavern. The competition ran throughout the summer, with numerous bands duking it out to win time to record in a local studio. Herdman’s band reached the finals, but unfortunately losing. Even though they lost, Herdman noticed the overwhelming support and love from family, friends, and fans of his band. To show how much he appreciated seeing everyone coming out, he wanted to give back and throw a party for everyone. So he found a location in Waynesville, and thus began the yearly event Hog Jam. “We wanted to throw this party for everyone that came out and supported us throughout the summer”, Herdman explains. “So, we roasted a pig, played some music, and had one of the best times of our lives. We had a lot of people afterwards mention that we should do it again.”
Throughout the years since the first Hog Jam, Herdman has constantly tried to make the weekend bigger and better this than the previous. This year, Herdman has enlisted another festival organizer and friend Jim Hamden to help make the eighth installment the best one to date. “We both work so well together, even though we are completely different people”, said Herdman. “I am just thrilled that we are actually doing this together, and plan on working together for a long time to come.”
The weekend will also be showcasing artists and bands from all ranges of genres and from the United States. Some of the bands that will be performing include the local funk/rock fellas over at Magic Jackson to the Dayton version of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Emily and the Lost Cat Ramblers to the rich folk sound of Charlie Tipton Band to Herdman himself. The music will be giving the festivals goers plenty of great music from the beginning of the afternoon to the wee hours at night.
Attendees will be able to camp out and hang out all weekend long. Vendors will be also there for everyone to grab food. Speaking of food, the roasting of the pig will be still take place. And this year’s pig isn’t for the faint of heart. “It’s going to be a 300 pound pig”, said Herdman. Yep-300 pounds. This year’s festival, like the ones before, will surely have everyone planning on attending next year. “We have folks that come to me and tell that they plan on coming for the next year as soon as the event is done on Sunday (laughing)”, Herdman said.
As the end nears at each year’s festival, Herdman shared with me a tradition that he holds dear to him. “Each year, I gather around some of family and friends, grab a shot of whiskey, bow my head down and say ‘here’s to another great year!”
Hog Jam 8 will be located this year at VFW Campgrounds on 8718 Claude-Thomas Road in Franklin, Ohio. The event will be a two-day festival that will have two stages with 17 artists and bands for to play. Tickets at the gates for the weekend are $35. For more info, click on the Facebook page, located here.