Sign up for newsletter
 

CMA Fest draws crowds, surprises

Monday, June 12, 2017 – The 46th CMA Music Festival 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.

The event had 11 stages, 7 free to the public with 167 hours of music from 350 plus artists.

The overall attendance was not released by the CMA.

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 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 halted due to the volume of excited fans pouring in.

In a surprise appearance, 2016 Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Randy Travis joined Michael Ray Thursday on the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage for "Forever & Ever, Amen."

Garth Brooks played Nissan Stadium as a surprise, singing "Friends in Low Places" and "The Thunder Rolls," as well as his newest single "Ask Me How I Know." This was Brooks' first CMA Fest appearance in nearly 20 years.

"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."

The percentage of returning attendees held steady at 48 percent. Among 4-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 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

The festival benefits music education programs across the country, as every artist donated their time, performing for free.

The previously-announced 3-hour ABC special, "CMA Fest," co-hosted by Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini, airs Wednesday, Aug. 16 at 8 p.m. eastern.

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 1-800-262-3378.

Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Old, new, it's all good for Platt & The Honeycutters – Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters were not mounting the stage with anything particularly new to push. The quartet's self-titled fifth album came out just over 1 -years ago. Lest one think that Platt and band were growing tired of life on the road, far from it. In a well-delivered 85-minute set, Platt and The Honeycutters turned that ancient... »»»
Concert Review: Lake Street Dive ends the year in style – Lake Street Dive may have been looking back when it offered that traditional New Year's song "Auld Lang Syne" as the new year rolled in. No matter which way the band looks - forwards or backwards - life is good. For the second time in six weeks, Lake Street Dive was back home (the Brooklyn-based group formed at the local New England... »»»
Follow Country Standard Time  Subscribe to Country News Digest  Follow Country Standard Time on twitter  Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook 

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Taylor uncovers the past, offering new perspectives Suffice it to say that the past has always loomed large throughout Chip Taylor's career. That's all the more obvious if only for the fact that Taylor wrote some of the biggest pop hits of the '60s, "Wild Thing"... »»»
Tyminski goes dark Dan Tyminski (known simply as "Tyminski" on his 2017 release "Southern Gothic") has traditional music roots and unassailable bluegrass street cred especially given his membership in Alison Krauss' Union Station. He is also a powerful songwriter and has been writing songs for himself and others for years now.... »»»
Washburn, Fleck create "Echoes" Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn have powerhouse individual talents; each has followed an estimable career path to where they find themselves today: making complex, but spare, records, writing music together and touring with their son Juno. Their new release, "Echoes In The Valley" features mostly songs written by Fleck and Washburn, banjos, Washburn's strong vocals and very little else.... »»»
Ronnie Milsap: The Duets
Is Ronnie Milsap proud of his age? For a clue, look no further than the name of his "76 for 76" Tour. There are some other numbers the North Carolina native is probably fond of, such as 40 number 1 records or 6 Grammys. »»»
Into the Blue CD review - Into the Blue
California country singer-songwriter Alice Wallace is back with her fourth album, as "Into the Blue" marks her debut for the female-owned Rebelle Road label, a group intent on giving women a stronger platform in music. »»»