Tag Archives | CMA Music Festival

Our Favorite Moments From CMA Music Festival 2017

Garth Brooks performs on night one of CMA Music Festival as a surprise guest. Photo credit: Courtney Davidson

CMA Music Festival is always one of our favorite times of the year when downtown Nashville is filled with country music and fans from around the world converge on our great city.

We thought we would relive some of our favorite moments from the festival in anticipation of it airing on ABC on August 16th beginning at 7pm/central, and because we just want to go back.

1) It put a smile on our faces to walk across the pedistrian bridge first thing on Thursday and spot all those people decked out in pink walking with all those cute dogs in Miranda Lambert’s Muttnation to help get numerous dogs needing a forever home adopted.  Loved the start and could not have asked for a more perfect day to start the festival.

2) Who didn’t love it when Garth Brooks surprised us on night one of the nightly concerts at Nissan Stadium? Always the consummate entertainer, and we loved every minute of it.

3) We loved Warner Music night at Ascend Amphitheatre and hearing new artist Cale Dodds.  Such personality and great songs.  One to watch.

4) Interviewing Luke Pell and getting to see him perform live for the first time on the Chevy Park stage.  Nice, talented guy who most will remember from Jojo’s season of “The Bachelorette”.

5) Attending High Valley’s fan club party at Warner Music on Music Row.  Sometimes it was just nice to get away from all the hustle & bustle downtown.  High Valley especially impressed.  Loved their harmonies and hearing them live for the first time.   They have this great blend of traditional country blended with today’s radio-friendly sound as they incorporate lots of the bluegrass instruments missing from most country artists’ music today.

6) Attending anything over at Warner Music for the Warner Sound during the festival with the cool Bic Lounge offering men free shaves and everyone 21 & up free drinks.  It was very relaxing just being over there.

7) Attending Sofar Nashville, a surprise pop-up show that happened at Warner Music on Music Row.  We especially loved Australian artist Morgan Evans signed to Warner Music and engaged to Kelsea Ballerini.  Great personality, voice, and good music.  It was a relaxing time.

8) City of Hope celebrity softball game is always a fun time, but it sure was hot out there that day.  Still fun and they broke their record for attendance this year.

9) Pandora’s “Sounds Like Country” concert was a fun time.  Boy, that line seemed neverending to get in, but worth it to see RaeLynn, Old Dominion, and Jake Owen at Marathon Music Works.

10) The Pepsi Firehouse was a cool experience with great food, specialty drinks, a chance to hear some new music from a few up and coming artists, and getting to see Devin Dawson perform an intimate set in a very cool setting.

Bonus: Kicking off the festival with Sony’s LANco at Flipside in 12South area enjoying drinks and checking out their new mural inspired by their new single, “American Love Story”, painted by artist Neon Lumberjack.

LANco with mural artist Neon Lumberjack

Don’t miss CMA Music Festival airing on ABC on August 16th at 7pm/central to see many of the nightly performances hosted by Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini.

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Big Machine Re-Launches Flagship Store During CMA Fest, Tasting Event, And Signings

Big Machine Label Group proudly announces the re-launch of its newly designed brand store located in downtown Nashville just in time for CMA Music Festival. The flagship space, which originally opened in June 2015 at 122 Third Avenue South, has become a destination for fans seeking exclusive BMLG artist merchandise, one-of-a-kind acoustic performances and opportunities to support music education through the Music Has Value program.

The Big Machine Store officially welcomed fans on 6/7. Open from 10:00A to 11:00P throughout CMA Music Festival, fans can visit the store for a chance to meet BMLG star artists like Florida Georgia Line, Brett Young, Drake White and catch a few special performances. A full schedule can be found at SoundtrackToSummer.com.

As announced last week, Big Machine Label Group is debuting a premium, platinum-filtered spirit. While the aptly named Big Machine Vodka will soon become available in the Middle Tennessee region. Fans ages 21 and older who visit the Big Machine store during CMA Fest will be among the first to have a taste during the POUR IT ON World Premiere tasting event, featuring Big Machine Platinum Filtered Premium Vodka, Clayton James Tennessee Whiskey and All Mighty 140 Shine bottled and distilled by Tenn South Distillery in Lynnville, TN.

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Warner Music Nashville Announces The Warner Sound Presented By BIC® Flex5 Hybrid™

Warner Music Nashville (WMN) is proud to announce the sixth year of The Warner Sound, an exciting week of events in support of CMA Music Fest, June 8-11. Held at WMN’s headquarters in the heart of Nashville’s historic Music Row (20 Music Square East), The Warner Sound presented by BIC® Flex5 Hybrid™ will feature fan parties and performances from WMN artists including Cole Swindell, Brett Eldredge, Brandy Clark, Hunter Hayes, Devin Dawson, Cale Dodds, Bailey Bryan, Ryan Kinder, William Michael Morgan, Morgan Evans, RaeLynn, Charlie Worsham, High Valley and Michael Ray. Additionally, guests will enjoy a custom barber shop experience courtesy of BIC® Flex5 Hybrid™ at the “Sip & Shave” lounge, including shaves and hot towel service by Rudy’s Barbershop, a full bar, product samples and a place to kick back and relax. The BIC® Flex5 Hybrid™ “Sip & Shave” lounge is open daily from 10AM to 6PM.


The Warner Sound Presented By BIC® Flex5 Hybrid™  June 8-11



10:00 AM        Cole Swindell                          Down Home Crew Party

11:00 AM        Brett Eldredge                          Fan Party * 21 Music Square East

1:00 PM           Warner Chappell Writers         Lyrical Lunch Hour

4:00 PM           Brandy Clark                           Fan Party



10:00 AM        Hunter Hayes                           Songs in the Round Party

1:00 PM           Blake Shelton                                      Blake Bingo *Blake not in attendance

4:00 PM           WMN Artists                            Family BBQ feat. Ryan Kinder, Bailey Bryan,

Devin Dawson and Cale Dodds


10:00 AM        William Michael Morgan         Fan Party

1:00 PM           Morgan Evans                          Sofar Sounds Event

4:00 PM           RaeLynn                                  RaVe Party



10:00 AM        Charlie Worsham                     Donuts & Jam Fan Party

1:00 PM           High Valley                             Fan Party

4:00 PM           Michael Ray                            Sunday Funday Fan Party


WMN also has other events being held around town, including:

  • SiriusXM The Highway presents Saturday, June 10 at Ascend Amphitheatre’s Cracker Barrel Country Roads stage with Dan + ShayHunter Hayes,High Valley and RaeLynn. Additional performances by newcomers Cale Dodds, Ryan Kinder and Bailey Bryan
  • Waffle House Presents “Scattered, Smothered, Covered and Country” late night at Aerial (411 Broadway) featuring Ryan Kinder and friends (June 8-10 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM)
  • Chris Janson at the Wildhorse Saloon on June 8 at 10:00 AM
  • Fans can enjoy a free ride to WMN courtesy of JoyRide golf carts – just look for the one decked out in WMN’s artists and hop on
  • Fan party ticket purchasers will enjoy a transportation discount or free rides courtesy of Lyft



For more info about The Warner Sound and other WMN events please visit WarnerMusicNashville.com/MusicFest  / Follow @wmnashville



Warner Music Nashville was created in 2009 with the goal of expanding the presence of WMG and its family of labels has had in the Nashville music community for more than 60 years. Under the leadership of Chairman & CEO, John Esposito, the division is home to Warner Bros. Nashville, Atlantic Nashville, Elektra Nashville and the LoudMouth comedy label. www.warnermusicnashville.com



BIC is a leading manufacturer of stationery products, lighters and shavers. BIC mens and womens razor portfolios offer innovative solutions that provide an ultrasmooth shaving experience and honor BICs commitment to providing highquality, affordable products to consumers everywhere for more than 50 years. Through this unwavering dedication, BIC has become one of the most recognized brands in the world today, deliveringMore for your MoneyAlways!”  Visit https://us.bicworld.com

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Thomas Rhett And Kelsea Ballerini To Host CMA Music Festival Airing On ABC Later This Summer

Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini to host “CMA Fest,” airing this summer on the ABC Television Network.

CMA Music Festival is not only the ultimate Country Music festival experience for fans from all over the world to attend, it’s also the only music festival with its own annual network television special. This year that special will be hosted by two of Country Music’s hottest stars: Kelsea Ballerini and Thomas Rhett. The pair will team up to host “CMA Fest 2017,” the three-hour special that brings Country Music’s most storied Festival to a national television audience this summer on the ABC Television Network, executive-produced by Robert Deaton.


The announcement that Ballerini and Thomas Rhett would serve as hosts this year was made Thursday morning on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”


“I’ve grown up going to CMA Fest as a fan and last year getting to perform on the big stage is one of the most epic memories I’ll ever have. And now, being able to host with my current tour mate, Thomas Rhett, is going to be another crazy thing off the bucket list,” said Ballerini. “I can’t wait to test out my hosting skills and perform again this year!”


“I always look forward to CMA Music Fest,” added Thomas Rhett. “Ever since I was there as a fan sitting in the nosebleeds to hosting this year with Kelsea, it’s always been one of the biggest weeks in Country Music that is all about the fans. I’m pumped.”


Ballerini has launched to stardom after releasing three consecutive No. 1 smashes from her critically acclaimed debut album The First Time, the Platinum-certified “Love Me Like You Mean It” and “Peter Pan,” and Gold-certified “Dibs,” making her the only female artist in Country Music history, including female duos and groups, to achieve this accolade. The singer-songwriter wrote or co-wrote all 12 songs on her debut. Top 5 and climbing with “Yeah Boy,” Ballerini is currently in the studio working on her second album — as Entertainment Weekly named her among “The 35 Most Anticipated Albums of 2017.” The Black River Entertainment artist was featured as one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” class of 2017. She’s been named “The Country Sweetheart” in People Magazine’s elite “Ones to Watch” portfolio, praised by Rolling Stone as the “Nashville It Girl,” touted by Billboard Magazine as “Country’s Next Queen,” and selected as one of CMT’s Next Women of Country. After her 2016 headline THE FIRST TIME TOUR — which visited dozens of cities across the U.S. and included sold-out shows in her hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee; Minneapolis, Minnesota; New York City; Los Angeles; and more — she joined Thomas Rhett for his HOME TEAM TOUR, to be directly followed by a fall run with Lady Antebellum’s YOU LOOK GOOD WORLD TOUR. For more information visit KelseaBallerini.com, and reach out to her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


With “a sky-rocketing Country career” (“TODAY”), Thomas Rhett is preparing for the highly-anticipated 2017 release of his third studio album, kicking things off with the “driving, sexy” (Rolling Stone) lead track “Craving You” featuring Maren Morris. New music follows seven trips to the No. 1 position on the Country radio charts and his Platinum-certified release Tangled Up Deluxe (The Valory Music Co.), which includes the Double Platinum, Grammy-nominated, six-week chart-topping smash “Die A Happy Man.” The record-breaking track is the reigning CMA Single of the Year and garnered major trophies from the “Billboard Music Awards” and “CMT Music Awards.” Thomas Rhett is exciting fans as he performs new music on his headlining 2017 HOME TEAM TOUR, one of Rolling Stone’s most anticipated tours of this year. After drawing capacity crowds overseas last year, he returns as a “force to be reckoned with” (Daily Star) with plans to return to Europe while also making his debut headlining run in Canada in addition to US dates. For more information and for a full list of upcoming tour dates, visit thomasrhett.com.


Filmed during CMA Music Festival June 8-11 in Nashville, the special features many of today’s most exciting Country Music stars as they hit the stage during the four-day celebration of America’s music. The annual event is unlike any other, with meet-and-greets in Fan Fair X, live music on 11 stages, hundreds of artists and celebrities, and a guest list of 88,500 avid singing-and-dancing-till-dawn fans.


A limited number of tickets for the Nightly Concerts at Nissan Stadium are still available at CMAfest.com or through the CMA Box Office at 1-800-CMA-FEST. Outdoor daytime stages including the Chevrolet Riverfront and Park Stages, Budweiser “Forever Country” Park Stage, Gildan Broadway Stage at Hard Rock Cafe, and the Music City Stage inside the Nashville Visitor Center at Bridgestone Arena are free and open to the public.


Funds generated through CMA Music Festival ticket sales for the Nightly Concerts and Fan Fair X benefit music education. Since 2006, CMA and the CMA Foundation have donated more than $17.5 million to support quality, sustainable music education initiatives across the country on behalf of the artists who participate in the event for free, impacting the lives of one million children through the power of music.


For upcoming talent announcements and all other info, stay connected with CMA on CMAfest.com, Facebook.com/CMA, Twitter.com/CountryMusic, Instagram.com/CMA, “CMAsnaps” on Snapchat, and sign up for CMA Country Connection, CMA’s e-newsletter. This year’s app is now available in the App store for iPhone and Android and includes features that allow fans to create individual concert schedules and be the first to know which of their favorite stars will be appearing on the free stages throughout the Festival.


CMA Music Festival is organized and produced by the Country Music Association. Fan Fair® is a registered trademark of WSM, Incorporated and is used by permission.



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Ty Herndon’s Concert For Love And Acceptance Set To Return June 8th

Award-winning recording artist Ty Herndon has confirmed his second Concert for Love & Acceptance, a benefit supporting at-risk youth, for June 8th at Wildhorse Saloon (120 2nd Ave. North) in Nashville, Tenn. The concert will bring together musicians and celebrities for a night of entertainment and a good cause. The doors will open at 6 p.m. with the show starting at 7:30 p.m.


“I’m very excited to announce our 2nd Concert For Love & Acceptance.  We had so much fun the first time that we had to do it again,” comments Ty Herndon, “We have some amazing artists and celebrities that are coming together to celebrate love and acceptance in Nashville, and we want to be a shining beacon to the rest of this world we are living in.”


Cody Alan, host of CMT’s Hot 20 Countdown, producer of iHeartRadio’s CMT After Midnite and CMT Radio Live, will serve as host for the event that will feature performances from renowned artists who will be announced in the coming weeks.


Grammy-nominated and Dove Award winning artist Ty Herndon created the Concert for Love & Acceptance, when his 20th anniversary fan club party turned into a coalition of artists gathering in support of Nashville’s at-risk youth. The driving force behind the benefit is Herndon’s desire to foster positive cultural change and encourage Nashville’s youth to live to their fullest potential.


In November of 2014, Ty Herndon became the first major male country artist to publicly come out as gay.  Shortly after, he made history when he hosted this first-of-its-kind event, The Concert for Love & Acceptance. The event received national attention from Boston Globe, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Tonight, People Magazine and more.  A philanthropist at heart, Herndon has also donated his time to organizations such as the Trevor Project, Make A Wish, St. Jude, GLAAD, HRC and Feed the Children.


For more information on Concert for Love & Acceptance or to purchase tickets, please visit www.TyHerndon.com.



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CMA Music Festival Announces “Forever Country” And “Music City Stage”

With nearly 150 acts already set to perform at the 2017 CMA Music Festival across four stages, CMA announced lineups for two additional free stages today: The brand new Budweiser “Forever Country” Park Stage in the park space behind Ascend Amphitheater, which will feature some of the biggest names in Country Music from recent decades; and the Music City Stage, located in the Nashville Visitor Center at Bridgestone Arena, a cool spot to enjoy some of Country’s hottest rising stars. CMA Music Festival takes place Thursday through Sunday, June 8-11, in downtown Nashville.


“We focus on programming unforgettable performances on every stage and thank our returning partners for helping us to do that, while also offering unique activities and experiences for fans,” said CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern.


Performances on the Budweiser “Forever Country” Park Stage will take place from 11:00 AM-4:45 PM/CT daily during the Festival. The lineup includes Jeff Bates, Bellamy Brothers, John Berry, Mark Chesnutt, Confederate Railroad, George Ducas, Emerson Drive, Exile, Andy Griggs, Ty Herndon, “Honky Tonkin’ with Tracy Lawrence and Friends”, Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers, Little Texas, Lonestar, Mila Mason, Terry McBride, Rick Monroe, Jamie O’Neal, James Otto, Danielle Peck, Trick Pony, Collin Raye, Restless Heart, Julie Roberts, Ray Scott, Shenandoah, Doug Supernaw, Rhonda Vincent and Daryle Singletary, Lari White, Mark Wills, and Darryl Worley.

Fans will enjoy rewinding the clock with many of Country’s most established acts from the ‘80s, ‘90s, and ‘00s.  Bellamy Brothers, Exile, and Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers debuted at CMA Music Festival in the early to mid-‘80s. While this marks McBride’s first solo appearance at the Festival, he made his CMA Fest debut with McBride & The Ride in 1990. White and Supernaw last appeared at CMA Fest in ’95 and ’96, respectively.


Festival attendees often enjoy hours of jam-packed fun in the sun, but the Nashville Visitor Center inside Bridgestone Arena will be the coolest place to take in performances during the Festival. As the location of the Nashville Convention and Visitor Corp’s Music City Stage, it’s the only FREE, air-conditioned, indoor Festival stage, offering fans a convenient place to escape the June heat while still catching the entertainment CMA Music Festival is known for.


Performances on the Music City Stage will take place from 11:00 AM-4:40 PM/CT daily during the Festival. The lineup for Thursday through Saturday includes Jimmie Allen, Sammy Arriaga, Kassi Ashton, Maggie Baugh, Brennley Brown, Brian Callihan, Dallas Caroline, Jessie Chris, Julia Cole, Nora Collins, Dalton & the Sheriffs, Shelly Fairchild, Kenny Foster, Livy Jeanne, Jessie Key, Colm Kirwan, McCoy, Tristan McIntosh, Megan & Liz, Native Run, Camille Rae, Mary Sarah, Zach Seabaugh, CJ Solar, Scott Stevens, Sweet Tea Trio, Mitchell Tenpenny, The Hootz, Kasey Tyndall, and James Robert Webb.

On Sunday, ASCAP Presents at the Music City Stage will showcase artists ranging from fresh-faced new talent to emerging songwriter-artists boasting publishing or record deals and recent tours with major label acts. Performers include Raquel Cole, Crooked King, Dorado, Adam Hambrick, Lucas Hoge, Martin McDaniel, Post Monroe, Brandon Ratcliff, Sarah Allison Turner, and Anna Vaus.


Artist lineups subject to change.


A limited number of tickets for the Nightly Concerts at Nissan Stadium are still available at CMAfest.com or through the CMA Box Office at 1-800-CMA-FEST. Outdoor daytime stages including Chevrolet Riverfront and Park Stages, as well as the Gildan Broadway Stage at Hard Rock Cafe, are free and open to the public.


Funds generated through CMA Music Festival ticket sales benefit music education. Since 2006, CMA and the CMA Foundation have donated more than $17.5 million to support quality, sustainable music education initiatives across the country on behalf of the artists who participate in the event for free, touching the lives of one million students. For more information, visit CMAfoundation.org.


Additional stage lineups, Fan Fair X activities, and more will be announced soon. Don’t miss a beat by staying connected with CMA on CMAfest.com, the Official CMA Fest App, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and sign up for CMA Country Connection emails to receive the latest news as soon as it’s announced.


CMA Music Festival will once again be filmed for a national television special to air on the ABC Television Network. This is the 13th consecutive year the event has been filmed for a network television special, a feat no other music festival has achieved. “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” will be executive-produced by Robert Deaton.


CMA Music Festival is organized and produced by the Country Music Association. Fan Fair® is a registered trademark of WSM, Incorporated and is used by permission.



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CMA Music Festival: Our Favorite Moments — Tonight On ABC 7pm/C

Summer means hot, sultry days, going to the beach, long car rides with the family for vacation, AND music festivals. Continue Reading →

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Steven Tyler will perform a special collaboration with Martina McBride during "CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock" airing Wednesday, Aug. 3 on the ABC Television Network.

Photo Credit: Donn Jones / CMA

Country Music’s hottest stars will take over primetime with the biggest concert event on television this summer when the ABC Television Network airs “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” on Wednesday, Aug. 3 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET). Brett Eldredge and Thomas Rhett host the three-hour special that brings Country Music’s most storied Festival to a national television audience. “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” will be executive-produced by Robert Deaton.
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Bridgestone Arena is the cool place to be during 2016 CMA Music Festival, Thursday through Sunday, June 9-12. Continue Reading →

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Looking Back At CMA Music Festival 2015: My Wrap-Up

Eric Church performing during night show at LP Stadium during festival.

Eric Church performing during night show at LP Stadium during festival.

One of my favorite weeks during the year in Nashville is CMA Music Festival.  It’s 4 days filled with fun and music at the largest country music festival in the world held in the home of country music! Oh, and there’s ALWAYS the summer heat that seems to turn up a notch on that week, too.  It’s always a given! Grab your sunblock and drink plenty of water, you’ll survive it! There’s too much to enjoy about the festival and great music to be had to let those high temps keep you away.

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