More than 5000 flock to watch Jimmy Barnes rock Tullamore

The small village of Tullamore was bursting at the seams as an extra 5000 people descended last Saturday night for the Jimmy Barnes concert.

Organisers Gary and Ruth Crowley from Stage in the Sticks are thrilled with the outcome.

"For a town with a population of 400, 5000 is just mind blowing," Ruth said.

"It was awesome, better than we expected."

The couple said they couldn't have pulled it off without the Tullamore locals.

"They really stepped up," Garry said.

"The friendliness was everywhere. All the committees pulled together, and the pub and the club are ecstatic.

"Everyone was pulling on the rope in the one direction, there was no one pulling against us, it was a wonderful experience."

The event didn't start out quite as smoothly as Ruth and Gary had planned with high winds threatening the safety of the stage and crew, and keeping the gates closed for 90 minutes past their due opening time.

"We couldn't let anyone in until it was safe," Garry said.

"That wasn't our call, that was the production manager's.

"We were very stressed at the time but Jimmy Barnes' crew were just amazing.

"They were so caring and thoughtful, they said 'we will get this done'."

Gary said for safety reasons production management shuts the stage down when winds reach 85 kilometres per hour and on Saturday they were up to 115.

"Every 15 minutes we had meetings, we were watching the weather apps," he said.

"We knew it was going to subside, but we just had to wait for it to happen."

Ruth said because of the delay the show had to be cut short.

"The Daisy Dukes were cut by half unfortunately," she said.

"And really unfortunately we had to cancel Josh Maynard, which was a real shame and we were really sorry about it but there was no other option.

"We were led by what Jimmy Barnes could do. He had a flight to catch from Dubbo so we couldn't extend."

The couple said their headline act was fully aware of what was happening.

"We kept him updated, he knew the line up went all the way back to the pub," Garry said.

"In the end, he was on stage for an extra 30 minutes."

The couple were thrilled to meet the man himself, an opportunity they didn't think they'd get.

"He was very excited to be playing with Troy Cassar-Daley and he thanked us for putting on the show," Ruth said.

"Troy gave us a big hug and said 'thank you for making my dreams come true'.

"He and Jimmy are great friends and never get the chance to play together.

"They were both like kids on Christmas morning."

Gary said they were very lucky to have secured Troy for the show.

"It was he and his wife Laurel's 23rd wedding anniversary and he had turned down four other gigs.

"But he wanted to play with Jimmy so they both came and Laurel sang as well.

"They said it was a memorable wedding anniversary for them, they had so much fun."

The positive effects have rippled out through the community as is evident from a conversation Ruth had with a local farmer's wife.

"She said it's been awesome from a mental health perspective - all the husbands have been smiling and they've been thinking about something else other than the drought, they've had new jobs to do, it's been so wonderful for them," Ruth said.

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