Dubbed as the “Home of Country Music,” Nashville becomes a haven for the biggest country music stars in the entire country every summer with the existence of the highly anticipated CMA Music Festival. Presented by the Country Music Association, CMA Music Festival is a four-day event that is chock full of the best country musicians in the nation. In an event like no other, attendees can expect top-notch performances by acclaimed country artists as well as opportunities for autographs and pictures. This year, the event will commence on the 9th of June and will conclude on the 12th. If seeing the likes of Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Alan Jackson, and Keith Urban on stage excites you, then this festival is definitely for you. So, mark your calendars and prepare for the biggest music festival this summer!
“CMA Fest is a one-of-a-kind festival!” – Nashville Voice
“CMA Music Festival had all the requisite star power that keeps tens of thousands of fans flocking to Nashville every June.” – Rolling Stone
“CMA Fest’s rich history has made it one of the most remarkable and entertaining music festivals, bringing together artists and fans to the country music capital of the world.” – Lucchese Bootmaker
The CMA Music Festival is the longest-running country music festival in the world. Its conception can be traced back to 1972, when it was first held in Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium from April 12–15 that year. In partnership with the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Association created the festival as a call to refrain fans from attending the annual radio industry-only convention meant more for disk jockeys and other radio dignitaries that the CMA hosted in the fall. The executives of WSM Radio proposed a fan-friendly event designed to allow the artists to meet and thank their most loyal supporters and enable fans to have personal contact with their favorite stars.
In its inaugural year, around 5,000 fans were able to witness the performance of Dolly Parton, Porter Wagoner, Archie Campbell, and other celebrities. The event was moved to June the year after in the hopes of finding better weather conditions and attracting more visitors. As a result, the attendance doubled to 10,000 fans that year.
Aside from the live entertainment, the event also featured an exhibit hall filled with several booths where eventgoers could meet with performers and ask for their autographs and photo opportunities. There were also some peripheral associated events, such as fan club parties and celebrity sports events.
The festival’s attendance grew significantly when it was moved to the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in 1982. The bigger capacity of the venue helped in attracting thousands of visitors from coming year after year until 1999. The year 2000 was the final year of the Grand Ole Opry’s co-sponsorship of Fan Fair; the same year, the CMA announced that the event would move back to downtown Nashville in 2001 and be renamed “CMA Music Festival.” In 2006, CMA added the festival’s charitable component. Today, the organization donates funding to the “Music Makes Us,” a program that supports music education among public schools in Nashville.
Over the years, the festival grew to be one of the best (if not the best) country music festivals in the world. It has thrived more than a music festival with autograph sessions and fan club parties because of the close relationship many country-music artists develop with their fans, which is deeply rooted in decades-long tradition.
“We’ve been waiting two years to host Country Music fans from coast to coast and every corner of the world. Now we’re two months out, and the excitement is palpable! We can hardly wait to bring the Country community back together in June.”- Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer
This year’s CMA Music Festival is expected to be one of the most massive the association has ever staged in recent memory. As COVID restrictions are almost nonexistent, thousands of people are expected to swarm Nashville to catch a glimpse of their favorite country music artists. After a two-year hiatus, country artists can finally get together with their fans in a four-day event that will serve as a celebration as we all embrace life after the pandemic.
Among the headliners who’ll be taking the stage for four nights of shows at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium are Alan Jackson, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, and Luke Bryan.
The presence of country music veteran Alan Jackson says it all. After all, country music isn’t country without Alan Jackson. There’s nothing better than Jackson’s traditional country sound! And yes, CMA Fest is “hotter than a hoochie coochie!” In addition, the inclusion of Carrie Underwood and Jason Aldean certainly creates excitement as fans hope that they’ll be performing their CMT Award-winning duet “If I Didn’t Love You” on the big stage. Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, and Luke Combs will also be performing their hits, and we can already hear the amount of sing-along and screaming from the audience.
Moreover, other big names to join as headliners in the Nissan Stadium include Zac Brown Band, Thomas Rhett, Kane Brown, Carly Pearce, Dierks Bentley, Kelsea Ballerini, and Darius Rucker. They are just a few of the many names revealed by CMA to grace the festival. More than 150 names have been announced for the lineup, from the superstars to the obscure, for a festival that’s returning to business as normal after a two-year time-out for the pandemic. These numerous acts, big and small, enrich the festival’s experience and allow spectators to see the wide range of country music.