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Tim McGraw Battles Strong Winds, Rain, and Damaged Equipment to ‘Save’ BamaJam 2012

Tim McGraw
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Every summer, thousands of country music fans gather in Enterprise, Ala. for BamaJam, a three-day, three-night music festival. This year’s line-up was guaranteed to be a winner, but a bad storm blew in and threatened to derail opening night — until Tim McGraw stepped in.

Before the 2012 festival even began, many people doubted that it would actually happen. Last year’s BamaJam was cancelled after several thousand people bought tickets. Rendy Lovelady, the new producer of the show, had taken every step to make sure that this year’s event restored the festival’s good name, but on Thursday afternoon a storm blew in, overturning tents, ruining band equipment and blowing electric generators. Even with haunting images of the stage collapse at last year’s Indiana State Fair running through his mind, Lovelady and several other BamaJam producers decided not to cancel the show. But once the storm ended the mayhem continued.

Without the proper equipment available several bands had to cancel their sets, including Christian band Third Day and country musician Darryl Worley. Some people had packed up their camping supplies and left, refusing to wait for the severe weather to pass. It seemed like everything was falling apart until McGraw called.

“Tim has landed and he is trying to get in here and he gets caught in traffic. There’s just a massive amount of people coming in here to listen to some music,” Lovelady told the ‘Dothan Eagle.’ “It was then that he called ahead and said ‘I’m playing tonight.’”

Despite not having all of his usual equipment available, McGraw wasn’t willing to back out of the performance. Eric Church took the stage at 10PM and McGraw followed him an hour later. Fans got their money’s worth and then some. On Friday night, Alan Jackson and the Zac Brown Band were the headliners.

Overall, Lovelady said that BamaJam 2012 was a success — but he pointed out that McGraw is definitely a huge reason why the show went on.

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