The last time I rose with the sun was for a deep-sea fishing trip when I lived in Florida. Now, three weeks into my new Nashville life, I was up at 5:30 a.m. twice in one week to live the dream of covering CMA Fest. With a media pass around my neck, I ventured into the chaos of downtown Nashville and surrounded myself with artists, fans and four days of country music.
Day #1: Even with my early start, I’m still rushing. I only gave myself 15 extra minutes for CMA Fest traffic. Amateur move. But at least I have time to rehearse my interview questions on the interstate. I finally park in the media lot by LP Field across the Pedestrian Bridge from downtown. I haven’t walked over this bridge in months. Was it always so long? It’s definitely not a quick 5-minute stroll to get from one side to the other. My interview is in 3 minutes. Patrice is going to kill me. AAH!
My favorite workout quote is “I don’t run unless something’s chasing me.” (I’m more of a pilates and elliptical girl.) I’m running up the incline of the bridge huffing and puffing kicking myself for not being a runner. A golf cart approaches heading in the same direction. Insert praising choir of angelic voices. I flag down the driver, hop on and make it to “NRA Country’s Kegs and Eggs” to interview Josh Dorr and Tyler Farr. Success!
The rest of the weekend was mostly spent wandering through the sea of country music fans. Six blocks of Broadway were shut down and filled with six stages of nonstop music from morning to night.
Saturday morning we covered the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Tournament, and I’ve never had so much fun interviewing people. We got the inside scoop on the “green carpet” on how everyone trained to get in shape and who their biggest opponents would be on the field. Musicians, radio personalities and industry leaders gathered to play ball and #strikeoutcancer.
Once the party wrapped up downtown every evening, 60,000 people flooded into LP Field to watch headliner after headliner until about midnight. You’ve never seen such a production. Every time the lights shined into the audience singing the words in unison, I was reminded just how amazing it is to be united with so many people by country music.
CMA Fest (Media Edition) is in the books, and I couldn’t be more excited for the sequel!
TUNE-IN ALERT: CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” will be airing Tuesday, Aug. 4 at 8:00 PM Eastern on the ABC Television Network.