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 The official site has been replaced by a link farm.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]