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2017 CMA MUSIC FESTIVAL DELIVERS

2017 CMA Fest

2017 CMA MUSIC FESTIVAL DELIVERS WITH CAPACITY CROWDS, SOLD OUT NIGHTLY CONCERTS, AND HIGHEST FAN ENGAGEMENT IN 46-YEAR HISTORY OF MUSIC EVENT OF SUMMER

2018 CMA Music Festival Pre-Sales Begin June 19, National On-Sale Launches June 27

NASHVILLE – The 46th year of CMA Music Festival, the Music Event of Summer, drew sold-out crowds to the Nightly Concerts at Nissan Stadium, capacity crowds at Chevrolet Riverfront Stage and the Cracker Barrel Country Roads Stage at Ascend Amphitheater, and largest fan engagement by Country Music fans in the event’s history from visitors from all 50 states and at least 18 international countries.

The excitement in downtown Nashville includes 11 stages, seven of which are free of charge to the public, and offers 167 hours of music from 350 plus artists and over 1,100 musicians.

The Cracker Barrel Country Roads stage at Ascend Amphitheater, headlined by Big & Rich, Sara Evans, Hunter Hayes, and Dan + Shay, as well as the daytime Chevrolet Riverfront Stage, hit capacity numbers repeatedly over the course of the four-day event. Halfway through Old Dominion’s CMA Fest kick-off set Thursday morning in Riverfront Park, entry was briefly halted due to the volume of excited fans pouring in. Gates re-opened after each postponement.

On Wednesday night prior to CMA Music Festival’s official kick-off, CMA partnered with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to host a surprise Jason Aldeanconcert replete with fireworks at the Chevrolet Park Stage in honor of his Asphalt Cowboy featured exhibit.

In a thrilling and emotional surprise appearance, 2016 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Randy Travis joinedMichael Ray Thursday on the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage for a moving performance of his CMA Award-winning No. 1 smash “Forever & Ever, Amen.”

In another stunning surprise, reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year Garth Brooks brought the packed house at Nissan Stadium to a roar with a medley of his classics, including “Friends in Low Places” and “The Thunder Rolls,” as well as his newest single “Ask Me How I Know.” This marks Brooks’ first CMA Fest appearance in nearly 20 years.

Three-hour ABC TV Special “CMA Fest” Airs Aug. 16

XFINITY Fan Fair X at the expansive 350,000 square foot Music City Center launched each day with Artists of the Day that included Hunter HayesMartina McBride, and Jake Owen. Saturday’s Artists of the Day Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood drew an unprecedented crowd to the CMA Close Up Stage with CMA Awards Executive Producer Robert Deaton to share the behind-the-scenes process of prepping for Country Music’s Biggest Night™. The superstars then revealed they’ll be returning to host for the 10th consecutive year at this year’s “The 51st CMA Awards” live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena Wednesday, Nov. 8. The three-hour telecast begins at 8:00 PM/ET on the ABC Television Network.

The panel was livestreamed and can be viewed on Billboard.com. Fans have flocked online to view the livestream as well as a highlights video of Brad and Carrie’s most memorable hosting moments that debuted during the discussion panel. The pair of videos has already been viewed nearly one million times across the internet and social platforms after just two days.

The Budweiser “Forever Country” Park Stage was a hit with fans of all ages as timeless Country stars such as Tracy Lawrence, Little Texas, Restless Heart, Daryl Worley, and others carried the crowd with countless hits as they enjoyed games and activities like cornhole presented by Budweiser, and rocking chairs provided by Cracker Barrel.

“This is definitely one for the record books,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “This year’s Festival was marked with memorable moments and one-of-a-kind experiences. We’re happy how fans embraced not only our new stages, but also the city during an exciting historic Stanley Cup run for the Nashville Predators.”

CMA Music Fest fan engagement across the board was at an all-time high. The official free CMA Music Festival app was accessed throughout the four-day event by over 48,000 users besting the previous year by 25 percent. The average time spent per visit on the app was up over 41 percent. CMA Fan Access users were up 62 percent and CMA Fan Access engagements were up over 183 percent. The volume of social posts from Twitter and Instagram, powered by Sprinklr, were featured on the screens at six different stages, including Nissan Stadium, which saw an increase of 116 percent in social interactions.

This year, CMA implemented Budweiser FastBar at the Festival. Attendees clamored for the RFID wristband which offers easy access to purchase beverages across the downtown footprint by registering a method of payment and Driver’s License, and scanning in at various purchase points, eliminating having to present cash or a credit card every time. As a result, total beer sales increased by 126 percent.

The newly created VIP Nash Pass was also in high demand. All 1,500 $50 passes, which offered early access to the Ascend Amphitheater performances, sold out before the start of the Festival. Nash Pass also included admission to XFINITY Fan Fair X, as well as tours of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and Ryman Auditorium during the Festival.

Corporate brand and marketing partnerships are a key element to the fan experience, and support the Festival. This year, there were 84 partner activations, up 68 percent from 2016. Digital partner collaborations included Amazon Music, Billboard, Facebook, Pandora, and Vevo, and were complimented by marketing and media efforts by ABC, The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Cumulus, Escape Game, Grand Ole Opry, HGTV, iHeart, JACK FM 96.3, Jesus Calling, Mix 92.9, NASH, NASH Icon, PBR, PEOPLE, Radio Disney, RFD-TV, Sirius XM, WKRN, World Market, WSIX, and Yelp to enhance the overall Festival experience and exposure.

“The quality of digital and marketing partnerships this year, combined with the heightened fan engagement, speaks to the relevance and reach of Country Music,” said Damon Whiteside, CMA Chief Marketing Officer.

Key attendee statistics:

  • The percentage of returning attendees held steady at 48 percent. Among four-day passholders, the returning attendee level is even higher at 51 percent returning for 2017
  • Gen X and Millennials now make up the biggest base of Festival fans with equal shares of attendees from both of these coveted fan demos
  • Millennials, attendees ages 18-34, delivered a key segment for new attendees with a share of 57 percent attending for the first time compared to 52 percent across all age ranges

Preliminary attendee stats for this year’s Festival are based on attendee registration data via CMA Fest Fan Access.

CMA Fest - Lonestar“CMA Music Festival continues to attract a loyal and engaged audience that is evolving both demographically and in breadth of interest across all types of Country Music,” said Karen Stump, CMA Senior Director of Market Research. “It’s our fan base that is key to supporting the success stories from this year’s event.”

2017 CMA Music Festival merchandise sales of items such as tees, tanks, hats, accessories, and youth items are up over 2016, and e-commerce pre-orders are up over 400 percent. Official CMA Music Festival merchandise is still available here while quantities last. Fans can also purchase the special edition event tee that was previously only available onsite at the Festival.

CMA Music Festival directly benefits music education programs across the country, as every artist at the Festival donates their time, performing for free. The result of that generosity is that Festival proceeds support in- and after-school programs touching the lives of 1 million students nationwide through the work of the CMA Foundation.

Artists Kelsea Ballerini, Brooks, Evans, Scotty McCreery, and more demonstrated their commitment to music education across the event.

Brooks popped up at the HGTV Lodge with Trisha Yearwood to announce the cable network’s donation to the CMA Foundation and meet local CMA Music Teachers of Excellence Thursday afternoon prior to his surprise Nissan Stadium performance.

On Saturday, McCreery’s fan club presented the CMA Foundation with a donation on the singer’s behalf. McCreery in turn received the limited-edition CMA ADVOCATE key from The Giving Keys. The ADVOCATE key launched exclusively inside XFINITY Fan Fair X and is available for purchase now on The Giving Keys website. A portion of all sales benefits the CMA Foundation. Other artists presented the ADVOCATE key include Little Big Town and Thomas Rhett.

Bobcat Company, the choral group from Ballerini’s alma mater (Central High School in Knoxville, Tenn.), performed the national anthem at Saturday’s Nightly Concert at Nissan Stadium. Earlier in the day, the “CMA Fest” host surprised students during their rehearsal time.

Evans and ONEHOPE Wine, which creates award-winning wine that empowers people to do more good in the world with everyday actions, joined forces to develop the ONEHOPE Sara Evans Signature Series 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, which was available at the ONEHOPE booth inside XFINITY Fan Fair X. Evans debuted the wine during a pre-Fest event Wednesday. Every purchase of the limited-edition bottle will benefit the CMA Foundation.

Also in XFINITY Fan Fair X was the CMA Foundation Celebrity auction. Fans bid on memorabilia and autographed items including CMA Awards posters and program books, CMA Fest commemorative drum heads, and more, raising nearly $50,000.

Fans also got in on the action by participating in the Cracker Barrel Rock-a-Thon, which saw 644 signature Cracker Barrel rocking chairs throughout the Festival (in honor of the number of Cracker Barrel restaurants nationwide), challenging fans to reach 150,000 rocks. They rose to the occasion and in return, Cracker Barrel donated $15,000 to the Foundation. Hayes presented the check to the CMA Foundation on behalf of Cracker Barrel prior to his Saturday night set on the Cracker Barrel Country Roads Stage.

National and international media alike flocked to Music City to cover CMA Music Festival. The event drew approximately 650 domestic media representing 233 outlets, including ABC’s annual Robin Roberts CMA Awards Week Special, Billboard, BuzzFeed, E!, “Extra!,” “Good Morning America,” NBC Sports Network, The NHL Network, PEOPLE, Rolling Stone, and NPR, to name a few.

Sixty-three media representatives from 32 international outlets, such as BBC Radio 2, UK; ZDF, Germany; RTL, France; MBS, Canada; and DPA, Germany, with coverage in the following 20 countries, also descended on Nashville: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K.

BBC Radio 2, with over 15 million listeners, will broadcast four one-hour specials in October as a lead into the 2017 CMA Awards.

The previously-announced three-hour ABC Television Network special, “CMA Fest,” co-hosted by Thomas Rhett and Ballerini, airs Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 8:00 PM/ET. The special debuted in 2004 and is helmed by Deaton.

Tickets for the 2018 CMA Music Festival, which is Thursday, June 7 through Sunday, June 10, go on pre-sale Monday, June 19. The national on-sale date is Tuesday, June 27. Order tickets online or call the CMA Box Office at 1-800-CMA-FEST (1-800-262-3378).

For CMA Fest news and information, stay connected onCMAfest.com, Facebook.com/CMA,Twitter.com/CountryMusic, Instagram.com/CMA, “CMAsnaps” on Snapchat, and sign up for CMA Country Connection, CMA’s e-newsletter.

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.

2017 CMA Music Festival merchandise sales of items such as tees, tanks, hats, accessories, and youth items are up over 2016, and e-commerce pre-orders are up over 400 percent. Official CMA Music Festival merchandise is still available here while quantities last. Fans can now also purchase the special edition event tee that was previously only available onsite at the Festival.

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2013 CMA MUSIC FESTIVAL SUPERSTAR ARTISTS ADDED TO LINEUP

kelly clarkson
Artists Performing at LP Field Include Gary Allan, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Kelly Clarkson, Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes, Miranda Lambert, Jake Owen, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Keith Urban, and Zac Brown BandNASHVILLE – Where can you find more CMA Award winners and nominees than at the annual CMA Awards? Try the 2013 CMA Music Festival!The star-packed lineup is bursting at the seams with reigning trophy winners, former Award recipients, and nominees all performing for the most ardent, passionate fans in the world during CMA Music Festival, Thursday through Sunday, June 6-9, in Nashville.“We have an amazing lineup of talent for this year’s Festival,” said Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “I know our fans will be entertained and enthralled to see our annual family reunion of the best and brightest performers in the industry.”

More artists have just been announced including Gary Allan, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Kelly Clarkson, Florida Georgia Line, Hunter Hayes, Miranda Lambert, Jake Owen, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift, The Band Perry, Keith Urban, and Zac Brown Band.

Previously announced performers for this one-of-a-kind, award-winning festival include Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, and Carrie Underwood (with more artists to be announced soon).

Allan made his first appearance at Fan Fair in 1997. In 2003, he received his first CMA Awards nomination for the Horizon Award (now known as the New Artist of the Year). He last played LP Field in 2006 and he opened the concerts at Riverfront Park in 2011.

Bentley made his first Festival appearance in 2003 at Riverfront Park. He has performed at LP Field seven times and has 10 CMA nominations to his credit including a win in 2005 for the Horizon Award.

eric churchReigning CMA Album of the Year winner for Chief, Church will be making his second, consecutive appearance at LP Field in 2013. He played Riverfront from 2006-2009. Church was the top CMA Awards nominee in 2012.


kelly clarksonClarkson is no stranger to the LP Field stage having played the Nightly Concerts in 2007 and 2011. She has four CMA Award nominations to her credit and one win for Musical Event of the Year with Jason Aldean in 2011 for “Don’t You Wanna Stay.”

What a difference a huge hit (“Cruise”) and a year make for Florida Georgia Line. In 2012, the duo performed on one of the events numerous free stages downtown, and now they will have their first LP Field performance in 2013.


hunter hayesReigning New Artist of the Year Hayes made his first Festival appearance in one of the free areas in 2011. In 2012, he was invited to LP Field, and he will be making his return appearance in 2013.


Miranda LambertReigning CMA Female Vocalist and Song of the Year winner Lambert first played Riverfront in 2004 and has performed at LP Field every year since (2005-2012). She has 22 CMA Awards nominations and has won six times, including three for Female Vocalist of the Year (2010-2012).

Owen has played Riverfront four times (2005, 2006, 2010, 2011) and LP Field three times (2008, 2009, 2012). Owen has two CMA Awards nominations including Musical Event of the Year (2008) and New Artist of the Year (2009).

Brad PaisleyPaisley, who has hosted the CMA Awards with Underwood for the past five years, made his first Fan Fair appearance in 1998. Since then, he has performed on the LP Field stage 10 times (2001-2004, 2006, 2007, 2009-2012). He has 58 CMA Awards nominations and 14 wins including three for Male Vocalist of the Year (2007-2009) and one for Entertainer of the Year (2010).


blake sheltonThe reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year Shelton performed at Riverfront for the first time in 2001. Since then, he has played at LP Field six times (2002, 2005, 2006, 2010-2012). He has 15 CMA Awards nominations and five wins including three for Male Vocalist of the Year (2010-2012) and Song of the Year with wife Lambert for “Over You” (2012).


Taylor SwiftSwift first played Riverfront in 2006 and has played LP Field four times (2007-2009, 2011). She has 15 CMA Awards nominations and seven wins including her first for the Horizon Award in 2007 and two for Entertainer of the Year (2009, 2011), which ties her with Barbara Mandrell for wins in that category by a female artist.

The Band Perry’s first CMA Music Festival performance was at Riverfront in 2010. They performed at LP Field in 2011 and 2012. The sibling trio has garnered six CMA Awards nominations and two wins including New Artist of the Year in 2011 and Single and Song of the Year (for composer Kimberly Perry) for “If I Die Young” in 2011.

Urban has played LP Field seven times. He has collected 25 career CMA Awards nominations and won six trophies from the Horizon Award in 2001 to Entertainer of the Year in 2005. He has been named CMA Male Vocalist of the Year three times (2004-2006).

Zac Brown Band has appeared at CMA Music Festival every year since 2008 when they performed at Riverfront and have played LP Field every year since (2009-2012). The band has 12 CMA Awards nominations and one win for New Artist of the Year in 2010. Zac Brown has six solo CMA Awards nominations to his credit.

Now is the time to experience CMA Music Festival. According to Budget Travel Magazine, Nashville is one of the Top 10 Best Budget Destinations and CMA Music Festival is “the” time to visit. And Conde Nast Traveler selected Nashville as one of the Best Places to Go in 2013 citing easy access to “incredible live music.”

Fans can purchase tickets to 2013 CMA Music Festival through Ticketmaster at Ticketmaster.com or 1(800)745-3000. They can also purchase them by calling 1(800)CMA-FEST (262-3378). Ticket prices are based on the level of seating at LP Field for the Nightly Concerts, and range from $135 to $350 plus handling fees. A limited number of four-day parking passes for LP Field are also available (parking is not included in the Festival ticket price), ranging from $60 for Cars to $140 for an RV/Motorcoach, plus handling fees.

Ticket and parking prices are subject to change without notice. All sales are final and non-refundable. Children 3 years and younger are admitted FREE. For information on ADA seating, please call 1-800-CMA-FEST.

Fans can stay in the loop by visiting CMAfest.com, the official website of CMA Music Festival, where they can sign up for the CMA Exclusive e-news, follow the CMA Facebook and Twitter feeds for more insider info and of course see the entire lineup of Country Music’s biggest stars as they are announced in the coming weeks.

The Ultimate Country Music Fan Experience began in 1972 as Fan Fair®, bringing 5,000 fans to Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium. More than 40 years later, the legendary festival has become the city’s signature event, which annually attracts tens of thousands of fans from all 50 states and around the globe and has raised $7.6 million for music education.

CMA Music Festival will once again be filmed for a national television special to air on the ABC Television Network. This is the 10th consecutive year that 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. 

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2013 CMA MUSIC FESTIVAL FIRST ARTISTS ANNOUNCED TO PERFORM

cma music festival

Nashville’s Signature Music Event Benefits Music Education And Will Once Again Be Filmed for ABC Television Special

luke bryan 2013 CMA Music Festival

NASHVILLE – The one-of-a-kind, award-winning 2013CMA Music Festival takes over downtown Nashville for four days this summer, Thursday through Sunday, June 6-9, with a star-packed lineup that includes Luke Bryan, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood, and more artists to be announced soon.

The Ultimate Country Music Fan Experience began in 1972 as Fan Fair®, bringing 5,000 fans to Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium. More than 40 years later, the legendary festival has become the city’s signature music event, which annually attracts tens of thousands of fans from all 50 states and around the globe and has raised millions of dollars for music education. The event will once again be filmed for an ABC Television special airing later in the summer, shining a national spotlight on both Country Music and Music City.

lady antebellum 2013 CMA Music Festival“What an exciting lineup – and we are just getting started,” said Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Ticket sales are stronger than ever and we are always researching and developing ways to enhance the Festival experience for our attendees and the artists who continue this time-honored tradition of giving back to the fans.”

Bryan was nominated for CMA Male Vocalist and Album of the Year for tailgates & tanlines and will launch his first headline tour, the “Dirt Road Diaries Tour,” this week. Bryan last performed at CMA Music Festival in 2012, where he also co-hosted the “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” special on ABC last summer.

Platinum-selling group Lady Antebellum, made up of members Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley, and Hillary Scott, has won seven CMA Awards, including Vocal Group (2009-2011), Single (2009 for “I Run to You” and 2010 for “Need You Now,” which also earned them an additional Award for producing), and New Artist of the Year (2008). They last performed at the Festival in 2012.

carrie underwood 2013 CMA Music FestivalReigning CMA Vocal Group of the Year, Little Big Town – consisting of members Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, and Jimi Westbrook – has received a career total of 11 CMA Award nominations and two wins in 2012 for Single of the Year for “Pontoon” and their first Vocal Group of the Year trophy.

A five-time CMA Award winner, Underwood will also perform on the Nightly Concerts at LP Field during 2013 CMA Music Festival. Underwood has won three CMA Female Vocalist of the Year Awards (2006-2008); and has co-hosted the CMA Awards for the last five consecutive years. After winning “American Idol” in 2005, she made one of her first public appearances at CMA Music Festival, and has been a strong supporter of the event ever since. Underwood last performed at CMA Music Festival in 2012.

Fans can purchase tickets through Ticketmaster at Ticketmaster.com or 1-800-745-3000. They can also purchase them by calling 1-800-CMA-FEST (262-3378). Ticket prices are based on the level of seating at LP Field for the Nightly Concerts, and range from $125 to $350 plus handling fees. A limited number of four-day parking passes for LP Field are also available (parking is not included in the Festival ticket price), ranging from $60 for Cars to $140 for an RV/Motorcoach, plus handling fees.

Ticket and parking prices are subject to change without notice. All sales are final and non-refundable. Four-day ticket pricing corresponds to seating levels at LP Field. Children 3 years and younger are admitted FREE. For information on ADA seating, please call 1-800-CMA-FEST.

Fans can stay in the loop by visiting CMAfest.com, the official website of CMA Music Festival, where they can sign up for the CMA Exclusive e-news, follow the CMA Facebook and Twitter feeds for more insider info and of course see the entire lineup of Country Music’s biggest stars as they are announced in the coming weeks.

CMA Music Festival celebrates the unique relationship between Country Music artists and their fans in the heart of Music City. The artists participate for free, and on their behalf, CMA donates half the net proceeds of the Festival to support music education through the Keep the Music Playing program.

To date, more than $6.1 million has been donated to purchase musical instruments and supplies, providing thousands of students with the resources and opportunities they could not have afforded on their own, and giving many of them the motivation to remain in school. The total also includes a $1 million endowment for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s Words & Music program, which assists language arts and music teachers with classroom instruction in the basics of songwriting. CMA will announce the donation from the 2012 CMA Music Festival in February.

Featuring concerts, autograph signings, family activities, and more, CMA Music Festival is an unparalleled celebration of America’s music.

In 2012, more than 450 artists performed more than 200 hours of concerts. The event drew a record 71,000 fans daily from all 50 states and 24 nations and for the third consecutive year sold out each nightly concert at LP Field. According to the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, direct visitor spending generated by the Festival totaled more than $35 million. CMA Music Festival is a four-time winner of the International Entertainment Buyers Association’s LIVE! Award for Festival of the Year (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010).

CMA Music Festival will once again be filmed for a national television special to air on the ABC Television Network. This is the 10th consecutive year that 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 CMA. Chevrolet™ is the Official Ride of Country Music. Transitions Optical; The Official Eyewear of the CMA Music Festival.

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