Bama Jam 2011 Cancelled? Promoter Indicted, Website Vanishes

Ronnie and Hank Williams enjoy happier times at Bama Jam 2010

UPDATE!! April 22, 2011: Ronnie Gilley pleads guilty to counts of bribery. More below.

It is not looking promising for this year’s Bama Jam Music Festival in Enterprise, Alabama. The promoter has been put under house arrest while his business dealings are being investigated.

Here are the cliff notes of the case: Ronnie Gilley, the man behind Bama Jam, recently opened an electronic bingo casino called Country Crossing. The allegations are that Ronnie hired a lobbyist that bribed state lawmakers to support legislation that would legalize electronic bingo in Alabama. The lobbyist is already heading to jail.

So where’s the information on the state of the fest? There is none. The official site has been replaced by a link farm. The last update on the Bama Jam Facebook page is dated from November 1st and says: “Bama Jam 2011 Info Coming Soon! Stay Tuned!” Pleas from fans have been left unanswered. They have even taken to leaving messages on the Ronnie Gilley Fan Page (yes, he has one).

Whether Ronnie Gilley did anything wrong is up to the courts, but he is certainly guilty of leaving thousands of fans who already bought festival passes in the lurch as they wonder if their tickets are now just worthless paper. He could blame his complete and utter lack of communication on his Martha Stewart act, but according to his attorney: “He’s [Ronnie Gilley] still able to conduct business and use his phones and computers”.

For those of you still wondering about your plans for next June, we’ll leave you with this inspirational Ronnie Gilley unedited quote from his Facebook page. Good luck and feel free to vent below in the comments section.

In times of tyranny and injustice, when ONES interpritation of the law oppresses the PEOPLE….It’s time for the BRAVE and COURAGEOUS to make their mark in history! Again, you know what your heart is saying. The question is…Are you BRAVE enough and COURAGEOUS enough to follow it? I ask you ALL please stand up and be …heard as UNIFIED front and let’s ALL write a GREAT chapter in the history books for Alabama!

UPDATE: Gilley pleaded guilty in court to five counts of bribery, one count of conspiracy, one count of aiding and abetting and four counts of money laundering. “Everyone was out for personal gain,” he said at his hearing. “I am sorry. I am wrong and I plead guilty.” Still now word on refunds for Bama Jam ticketholders. [Full story here]

Born during a sweaty, backstage, Bonnaroo downpour, the Chief Festival Junkie's mission in life is to dance, write, and travel to every great festival that this wide world has to offer. While his identity remains a mystery, you may have already met him, probably when he helped himself to your party favors.

43 Comments

  • February 4, 2011

    Sheila Bundy

    We are all so saddened by the news of Ronnie Gilley. Thought we might have a decent President to take over the reign. We had our tickets and our campsite and were ready to roll. We have been to Bama Jam the last 4 years and had the best times of our lives. I hope it is worked out to come back because it was the best Country Music Festival with the best line ups. It just kept getting better. If it will not be coming back will our money be returned in hopes for future Bama Jams.

    Thanks for listening and I hope things work out!! Go Bama Jam and Roll Tide!!

  • February 4, 2011

    trey

    this is wrong on several levels, but the one I will point out is the legislation you reference would have only allowed the people of Alabama to vote weather they wanted electronic bingo in the state or not, it did NOT legalize it in an way as it is already legalized by the state supreme court.

  • February 4, 2011

    admin

    Bingo is legal in Alabama, but the laws allowing it were passed when the only version was the paper one that people play at churches once a week. The laws concerning electronic bingo, which allows hundreds of thousands to play at once, are hazy at best. This legislation was meant to clarify that.

    Or at least that’s how I understood it.

    Regardless. Ronnie Gilley is still under house arrest and Bama Jam fans have received no communication on the status of their tickets. These are people that have paid hundreds of dollars and set aside time in June to attend. Taking down the website and not letting these folk know what’s going is inexcusable for a promoter.

    And seriously, electronic bingo? It’s like the dry hump of gambling. All friction and no pleasure.

  • February 4, 2011

    Bama Girl

    I join hundreds of other fans in saying that “the show must go on!” Despite Gilley’s downfalls, he must get it together for those of us that have left Bamajam the last 3 years planning our next visit as we pulled out of the lot. I have been to many festivals, but none that holds a candle to this one. Memories I will keep forever, c’mon Ronnie, let’s hear it for BamaJam 2011!!!

  • February 4, 2011

    Mark

    I heard they were selling the festival to Jam Productions and were going to honor all tickets just push the date back. I read this on Billboard but i am not sure of the source. It is still wrong to go dark on all of us who purchased tickets but i can only imagine that Mr Gilley is more focused on defending himself and staying out of jail. Country Weekly this week has big story on Country Crossing and blogs and comments have said that this whole thing has bankrupted Mr Gilley and his employees have had to seek employment elsewhere? It’s a shame because 2009 with Kid Rock was the best festival I have ever been to and i have been attending festivals for past 10 years. I am still optimistic but i would like to know real soon!

  • February 5, 2011

    Tracy

    The site should be replaced with an explanation of the future of the fest and methods of returning money to fans who pre-purchased tickets. I’m worried and sad. I was really looking forward to Bama Jam and I still have high hopes of this situation turning around.

    Electronic Bingo is like the dry hump of gambling. Too funny!!

  • February 5, 2011

    Twanna Clark

    If there’s not going to be a show this year then they should just announce it. Hell, I’ll just go to Bayfest or Jazzfest.

  • February 8, 2011

    Jordan W.

    first off, it’s only been around for three years, this would be the 4th. They should refund all the tickets and campsites that were purchased last year; however, all of his assets have been frozen and at this time cannot be refunded. I think to quote bama girl “the show must go on” but no self respecting artist, or their publicist, would even want to go near something that has a promoter in jail (as of 2-7-11). Someone should take it over from My. Gilley (his son maybe?) but even if that happens I don’t see many, if any, artists coming back to Enterprise for BamaJam.

  • February 10, 2011

    Heather

    I agree w/ bama girl. Get it together Ronnie…Let the show go on!!!

  • February 23, 2011

    TeddyG

    that guy is greedy as hell! In 2008,ole greedy gilly charged fans $180 for 1 ticket,after not selling so well verizon got in on the act,lowering the price to $99 a ticket.hoping fans would buy.meanwhile greedy gilly had to send all purchasers an extra ticket free of charge,then turned around flooded all stores,gas stations,etc..with tickets for,you guessed it $180,then told ALL store managers they were the only ones selling these tickets!!on top of that,the fans with the extra tickets could not recieve a refund,nor try to sell the ticket,they would get thrown off the property or arrested! Really,is this a way to treat your loyal fans?SHAME SHAME greedy gilly!!!

  • February 26, 2011

    Lex

    We’ll step up and keep Bama Jam alive! Get in touch with me. lexinc@comcast.net
    We got stage, lights, sound P.A.
    I also play guitar for a rocking country band called Tobacco Rd. Google us.

  • March 7, 2011

    justin

    This guy is no better than any other fraud. Lock him up and throw away the key. LOVE of money is the root of all evil. You found it Gilley. Greed always ends in disaster.

  • March 13, 2011

    Melissa

    I attended Bama Jam in 2010. I Only went to see Miranda Lambert honestly. And it was fun as hell..
    Miranda was awesome! Now concerning Gilley I’ve been hearing about his reputation for a while now. I think he deserves what he gets. I totally agree with Jordan W. I would think any respected artist that knows right from wrong, and that uses their common sense wouldn’t put themselves in an environment that is ran by bribery, and greed. I would think they would have more respect for themselves, and The heart, and love of country music.

  • March 21, 2011

    Alabamagirl

    I have over $1000.00 dollars tied up in Bamajam 2011. I have taken a week off work. I have been to all the past Bamajam’s and it was great. All I want is my hard earned money back so I can plan another vacation. I donot have $1000.00 to donate to the Ronnie Gilley fund. He needs to be upfront and tell us what is going on and REFUND OUR MONEY> It is as simple as that.

  • March 21, 2011

    KT

    The worst part of Bama Jam every year?!? Having to listen to Ronnie Gilley’s IDIOTIC political rantings. He has no serious political views, only greed and a love of his own voice. It would be a GREAT music festival if they could keep him from making appearances and insulting his patrons. WHERE’S MY MONEY FOR THIS TICKET I BOUGHT NINE MONTHS AGO?!?!

    On another note, I hear Verizon Wireless has taken over the festival and ownership of the Bama Jam main office in Enterprise, AL. Hopefully they will AT LEAST be back on for 2012.

  • March 22, 2011

    Billy Raley

    I hope Ronnie Reads this, Ronnie, Im Glenn Raley’s son, i know yall knew each other back in the day, and i will be more than happy to help any way i can to help the show go on. if that means calling ppl, or stepping in and picking up where yopu left off! you knew my dad a long time ago, and he speeks very highly of you! I am originaly an enterprise native, but live in montgomery now,and go every year to suport my home town if i can help please contact me, im on face book and will do everything in my power

  • March 25, 2011

    The "Give Gack Tour"

    We all are very sad that BamaJam appears to have been canceled, especially when the state of Alabama has declared 2011 as the year of recognition of southern music!

    We may have an alternative solution!! We are not associated with BamaJam other then being Fans, however, for the past 6 months, we have been working on another Music Festival that identifies and represents “Southern Values.”

    What do we need from you? Your support! Show us that you will support our cause and we will in turn work as hard as we can to make this happen.

    BTW… our projected ticked price is under $40.00!

    We know that the June 4th date may not be feasible right now….(time is running out), but if we can garner enough support for the Southern Vision Music fest, the “Give back Tour” then we will make this happen.

    Want to learn more? You can post your comments on our facebook page:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Southern-Vision-Music-Festival-The-Give-Back-Tour/126961224042519

  • April 3, 2011

    Fed Up With Crooks

    The saddest part of all of this is the numbers of people who purchased tickets, and now have no information about where their money went. My wife and I prebought our tickets, and our friends did the same, plus our campsites. Our money is now gone, and Mr. Gilley has more funds for his legal defense. The worst part is, if the heat comes to bear about these tickets, all he has to do is go bankrupt and nobody can get anything back, or have an event with a no name singer or group to fulfill his obligation.
    I fear that greed has undone the event and the name BamaJam. As stated above, what performer would want to have their name mixed up with the name Gilley right now?

  • April 4, 2011

    Wow....lots of upset 'fans'!

    Gee…..seems everybody liked the guy when they were having a good time. Now that he is in jail – they just want their $$ regardless of the FACT his assets (probably ticket money…) has been frozen. He can’t pooped the money people….

  • April 20, 2011

    Jeannie&Freind's

    Ronnie Gilley is the best

  • April 20, 2011

    Jeannie&Freind's

    ronnie gilley bad.

  • April 20, 2011

    Jeannie&Freind's

    Ronnie Gilley ur the best, thank’s for trying to stand up to this sorry State of AL.

  • April 22, 2011

    BIG

    Stop whining people it’s just money go find something else to do. That’s what you get for buying your tickets so early. The man has more issues to deal with besides your refund….crybabies!!

  • April 22, 2011

    Jason

    I live in Enterprise and hear a lot of what the local community thinks of this guy. This guy has written a lot of checks that will never cash and has made a lot of promises to the community that will never come true. BamaJam itself since day one has been scam. Yes they have a lot of good performers but lets talk about how much they were charging for water the first year when temperatures were well in the 100’s. Lets talk about the nightmare that this festival for state / local law enforcement and the community. How about the fact that the festival is held in a dry county and the problems it creates. Now do not get me wrong. I actually am for something like this but it was a good old boy production since day one. The whole thing could have been thought out a little better rather than making a quick buck every year. As for the charges against him and the whole country cross roads deal…I still can not figure out how Victoryland stay open for as long as it did with out getting raided and shut down. Its Alabama politics at its finest.

  • April 26, 2011

    Kim R.

    Well now that Gilley has been released, he can get busy on getting our refunds to us. That would be the RIGHT thing to do now wouldn’t it?

  • May 1, 2011

    anna pettigrew

    Just want you to know that you are in my prayers daily for the outcome of all this political mess to be in your favor!
    God bless you and yours,
    Anna Pettigrew

  • May 1, 2011

    anna pettigrew

    just to let you know that you are in my prayers daily!
    God bless you and yours.
    Anna Pettigrew

  • May 7, 2011

    jim martin

    Ronnie Gilley wrote:
    In times of tyranny and injustice, when ONES interpritation of the law oppresses the PEOPLE

    Someone please contact him and tell him to stop embarrassing English teachers like me.
    Please teach him how to spell words better.
    He wrote
    interpritation
    The correct spelling is
    interpretation
    I grew up in Geneva County and attended Enterprise State Junior College.
    Please tell him to let somebody read and edit his words before he publishes them.
    He has and will keep plenty of local friends, but he needs somebody to help him spell.
    Correct spelling will help us give a better image of Wiregrass folks to the rest of the world.
    Jim Martin jimfrankmartin@gmail.com
    Lafayette Louisiana 70509

    • May 7, 2011

      admin

      @Jim Martin: That quote was taken unedited from the Facebook page, but to be fair it can’t be attributed to Ronnie Gilley as it’s unclear who updates that page.

  • May 9, 2011

    Hetoldthemto

    Yall worried about your little BamaJam tickets,Well they aint no good so quit worrying. All the investors that have sunk millions in Gilleys pockets,aint gonna see it either.This man is going to prison,already pleaded to a lesser sentence and ratting out all his ex-buddies. RG is blaiming everybody but himself. No one twisted his arm. Their are leans on property,that he has left to everyone else,he just walk away from it and left the bigger investors holding the bag!!! You cant cus like a drunk sailor then drop to your knees and pray to god that you’ll get your way,in front of a crowd like was at bamajam,in front of kids,parents,all diffrent walks of life that came to see their favorite stars like Taylor swift,who the young kids love and some adults. The good lord above will not stand for this. RG prayed to be blessed well now he is getting it. 25 years of prison time instead of 425,since he is now a rat.

  • May 12, 2011

    Hope it stays gone

    Glad to see this go, it should have been named DRUNKFEST, would never take my family back to this!

  • May 13, 2011

    Don LaRegina

    I’ve lived in Enterprise for 25 years.
    Like many others I came here by way of the Army. It’s a good place to
    Live.
    Many people misunderstand the
    Situation down here. Ronnie Gilley
    Is not a free man. He is a convicted
    Federal Felon. The trial judge has
    Allowed him to stay home pending
    Sentencing.That’s it. People should
    Not say he’s released. It’s nonsense

    I realize many people purchased
    Tickets for BamaJam 2011 way in
    Advance.They are rightfully due
    Prompt refunds.The matter has been met with a wall of silence.
    Those of us who live here know
    The truth.There will be no Bama
    Jam this year. Chances are there
    Won’t be another here ever.

  • May 25, 2011

    Ron Phillips

    I GUESS MR. GILLEY HASN’T CHECKED LATELY, BUT BY BUYING MY TICKETS ON LINE, AND THE CONCERT ISN’T HELD TO THOSE DATES, HE HAS COMMITTED ANOTHER FEDERAL FELONY, WHICH IS WIRE FRAUD. i AM WAITING FOR THE SHOW NOT TO GO ON. THE DUCKS ARE LINING UP AGAIN FOR THE FEDERAL PROCECUTORS TO GET ANOTHER CRACK AT HIM.

  • June 3, 2011

    winston sims

    good ridence bama jam too many dumb hicks

  • August 3, 2011

    Don LaRegina

    Been told that some people have received refunds in the past 30 days

  • August 4, 2011

    esteban

    Billy Ray Cirus said it right many years ago (and got chastised for it to the point he had to apologize) when he said “Ain’t nothin down there but rednecks & mosquitoes”.

    @ Jim Martin: Good luck trying to make the majority look good by the acts or merits of a single person (such as yourself). The population has to change its image. Facebook, Twitter and MySpace would have to red-tag abbreviations and mispells like Microsoft Word and simultaneously remove hip-hop from the airwaves. Apologizing for nearly everyone in your geographical birthplace is a massive waste of breath. Educate where you are and pay closest attention to viable analogies. Hip-hop, which is not only a lifestyle, a music genre and a state of prideful retardation, is the chosen language of your pupils. It is inundated with analogies; hardcore ones such as the following from Lil Wayne: “red, like a stop sign”. You sir are fighting a war as absolutely unwinnable as anything between Jews and Muslims; or for that matter Sikhs and Muslims. I admire your gusto though. My hat must come off for an English teacher in the Southeast.

    Oh, as for BamaJam; wrong place in a dry county. That said because every redneck attending is a “victim” of law enforcement when they get busted for doing something outside of the law. Everybody in the Bible Belt is a damn victim. Bet money that’s what Ronnie Gillie thinks. At least his ex wife got his ass before the state did.

  • October 31, 2011

    John Becton

    I bought 8 tickets and 2 camp passes on 6-5-2010 for $800.03…What do I need to do to get a refund?

  • January 2, 2012

    jhon tompson

    paul broxton who had worked in country music would be the perfect person to organise bama jam he works in country music and one of the best promoters in the bussiness i have been to his concerts and have his number i think he would put on the best country show evrer

  • January 10, 2012

    David Johnson

    Thank you. For the comeont. Ronnie gilet got warned he screwed everybody in country music Paul Broxton is the best promoter has well has walley g

  • October 30, 2012

    jason brown

    paul broxton has thrown concerts for t gragham brown hes the nicest and humblest man i have ever encounter given the chance to do a concert in alabama are flordia i an several thousands woul attend please come to flordia are alabama ronnie gilley dinied him of helping do bama jam but i can vouch he would do good alabama needs this

  • March 10, 2013

    bobby roshto

    Bama jam is a scam by me Gilley he coned people in country music along with families me Gilley is self centered and thinks of no one but is self interest he embezzeled millions and got away with it I have had some time Paul broxton and t gragham brown were going to meet him but when we saw what he had done to his comunify it made me sick

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