Fans planning to attend Jamboree in the Hills in 2019 were met with a surprising message on Wednesday (Nov. 7) on the country music festival's website.

"Jamboree in the Hills will be on hiatus for 2019 while we consider options regarding the future of the Belmont County, OH festival site," a notice reads. "We will provide an update when more details are available. We are grateful for the community support since the festival's inception."

Local news organizations speculate that the reason for the hiatus could stem from an ongoing dispute between festival management and country music fans regarding alcoholic beverages served on site.

"We have met numerous times with Live Nation regarding Jamboree in the Hills' future," Belmont County Commissioner Mark Thomas says in an email to The Intelligencer, a local newspaper. “We appreciate their willingness to sit down with us to talk about the challenges a festival, of that nature, has in today’s different corporate concert world. It is important to note that the Jamboree site is atypical to its regular facilities, the closest one being Key Bank Pavilion at Star Lake (in Pennsylvania). Because the Belmont County site permits fans to bring in their own alcohol, Live Nation does not make a lot of money on concessions, something that is vital to all of their more permanent venues."

Jamboree in the Hills is a longstanding event that started in 1977, with legendary acts like Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash and Merle Haggard on early lineups. Just last year, thousands of country music fans took in performances by Thomas RhettJason Aldean and Lady Antebellum at the Morristown event.

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