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Top Moments of 2019 - #8: FGL Fest Finally Rocks IMS

Editor’s Note: This is the third of a series of 10 vignettes in which IMS Senior Communications Manager Paul Kelly picks his top 10 moments of 2019 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The 2018 Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard Powered by Florida Georgia Line was one of the most surreal race weekends ever at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since the facility opened in 1909.

Fan enthusiasm for the annual NASCAR weekend at the Brickyard was on the rise with a move to a new date, the second weekend in September. One of the highlights of the weekend also was to be a Saturday night concert featuring top artists from Big Machine Label Group, headlined by global superstars Florida Georgia Line.

And then the rain started Friday morning. And it never stopped until Sunday night. Not an engine was fired for three straight days at IMS.

Clear skies Monday finally allowed the Indiana 250 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the Big Machine Vodka 400 at the Brickyard for the NASCAR Cup Series to be run on the same day, providing loyal – and dry – fans the opportunity to cheer 650 miles of exciting, fender-rubbing racing on the 2.5-mile oval.

But the late summer monsoon forced the cancellation of FGL Fest. There was no other choice.

So, it was only natural that anticipation for the second annual FGL Fest – but the first to actually take the stage – continued to build from the moment the show was announced Jan. 9.

The lineup of Dan + Shay, Nelly, Mitchell Tenpenny, Blanco Brown, Canaan Smith and Payton Smith leading off for Florida Georgia Line put a song in the soul of tens of thousands of fans who bought tickets for one of the biggest, best lineups of the summer in the Midwest.

And when showtime arrived Saturday, Sept. 7, the musicians – and weather – delivered.

A packed house sang, danced and celebrated throughout the entire show, which took place in sunshine and under the stars.

It took two years, but FGL Fest delivered beyond even the sunniest expectations. Love for the music and the scene reigned – not rained – over everyone.

It’s not surprising that nearly everyone who attended that magical show at IMS already circled the date for the next FGL Fest at IMS, which just happens to fall on America’s birthday weekend. Talk about a Fourth of July party!

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