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Sunday, Sep. 25, 2016

Musicfest crew storms into action

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Antonio Graham, left, and Michael Marina work on one of the stage wing walls while Wartace Mayor Ron Stacy, right, discusses repairs to the Musicfest stage with John Rick, center, and electrician Derek Pendergrass. The stage, which lost its roof due to high winds last week, is expected to be ready for the annual Musicfest this Friday and Saturday.
(T-G Photo by Mary Reeves) [Order this photo]
It's been less than a week since high winds ripped the roof off the Musicfest stage in Wartrace, and it's only two days before Musicfest is slated to begin, but fans, fear not. Thanks to a cooperative insurance company and the Belfor construction crew out of Nashville, which Musicfest organizers hired, the show will go on -- with a stage.

"They worked all weekend," said Wartrace Mayor and Musicfest chairman Ron Stacy.

"We were celebrating building a stage," chuckled John Rick with Belfor. "We'll be ready to rock-and-roll," said Stacy.

Well, rockabilly-and-roll anyway, as well as country and bluegrass. Musicfest, which is Friday and Saturday at the horse show grounds in Wartrace, will feature several music styles this year, and the focus has shifted to competition rather than big name performers.

But that doesn't mean there aren't some quality acts lined up.

"We've got some great bands," said Stacy, a musician himself. "Mostly local but some, like 2 Country 4 Nashville, out of Nashville."

Despite the storm damage, which also affected the wings of the stage, there was never any doubt the show would go on, said Stacy last week. He said then that a tent would be put up if that was what it was going to take. Luckily, with everything but some trim and painting completed by Tuesday morning, a tent for the performers won't be necessary, although one for spectators will be put up for shade.

The new roof is being built back even stronger, said Stacy.

They've added some support, including some hurricane strips.

"The next time it blows away, the whole thing will go," he joked.

After news spread about the damage, town hall received numerous calls from volunteers, but since the insurance was taking care of the repairs, those greatly-appreciated offers weren't needed.

"They can come chase off the cicadas," said Rick.

Stacy encouraged them -- and everyone else -- to come to the show itself, and bring lawn chairs.

"The fire department is doing the food and there will be vendors," he said. "We've gotten lots of sponsors and Little Debbie's will be giving free Little Debbie's to the first 600 people there Friday night."

Plans are to have some RVs in the parking lot with jam sessions going on, as well as the music and competitions on stage.

"We hope to have jams going on all over the place," Stacy said.

He won't be competing or one of the paid performers. "That wouldn't be right. But I hope to do a little jamming sometime," he said.

Showtime begins at 10 a.m. Friday with the jam sessions and open stage, followed by Nashville Traditions Radio Show broadcasting from the show grounds at 1 p.m.; and at 10 a.m. Saturday. Admission is $5 each day.