Bash draws 17,000

Fans say they wouldn’t mind seeing a third concert


Collegian photo by Taylor Roemeling

Taylor Roemeling, Reporter (She/Her)

​​Last week’s music triple-header attracted about 17,000 fans to Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium and helped South Dakota State University polish its image around the region. 

The Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band headlined the concert, known as Jacks Bash 2, and Fall Out Boy and Gabby Barrett also performed Wednesday, Sept. 8. First PREMIER Bank and PREMIER Bankcard were exclusive sponsors of the show.  

The event happened five years after the original Jacks Bash, and it went smoothly, creating a positive impact for SDSU, said Jeff Holm, senior associate athletic director for the university. 

“People embracing (the event) from the campus, to the community, to the state, brings people to our beautiful campus and stadium. It unites people,” Holm said. “Everyone is there to have a great time and see some great performances.” 

Last week, all the planning and practice for the event worked well, as far as Sioux Falls resident Glenda Merkwan was concerned. 

“It was my first time at the Dana J. Dykhouse Stadium, and I thought it was awesome,” she said. 

Melissa Carlson, a resident of Dell Rapids, said she is a fan of country music and attended the first Jacks Bash in 2016. Jacks Bash 2 did not disappoint her. 

“My experience was great,” Carlson said. “My husband and my daughter were able to go and they had a good time. My daughter is 14 and she liked it a lot. I didn’t know there were going to be fireworks; it was a nice surprise.”

The event was billed by promoters as a one-of-a-kind pyrotechnics finale followed Zac Brown Band’s performance. Pyrotecnico, the company that put on the display, also produced the pyrotechnics show at halftime of Super Bowl LV in Tampa.

Also on hand were former NFL Minnesota Vikings stars Chad Greenway and Ben Leber, both native South Dakotans. They served as hosts for the show and shared the experience with their social media followings. 

“That was fun, Brookings!” Greenway tweeted.

Leber also got the word out: “Damn, this is fun!!” he tweeted. “Thank you @GoJacksSDSU for having @chadgreenway52 and I host.”

Timothy Heaton, SDSU’s chief of Safety & Security, said the event went smoothly.

“It was pretty calm,” he said. “We didn’t have many issues.” 

Holm said he is happy that this year’s event went well but wouldn’t say if his department is planning another one. 

“Students were having a great time. That’s how we want to be remembered,” Holm said. 

Kate Thompson is a 19-year-old nursing major from Minnesota. She said she’s going to the next Jacks Bash, if there is one. 

“It was amazing. Great night,” Thompson said. 

The first Jacks Bash attracted almost 23,000 fans and featured Luke Bryan as the headliner, with Little Big Town and Lee Brice. The university is always looking for ways to improve fan experiences, and Holm said they’ve come a long way since the first Jacks Bash, which was the first event ever at Dykhouse Stadium. 

“Jacks Bash 2 was just as fantastic, but we had an idea of how the stadium operates,” Holm said. “We learned things from every football game we had, trying to make the event a better situation as we move forward.”