2018 CMA Fest: What to expect at this year’s event

June 6, 2018

CMA Fest

The following are excepts from CMA Fest press releases:

The Country Music Association proudly reveals the artist lineup for this year’s CMA Fest. Now in its 47th year, CMA Fest boasts an exceptional bill of hundreds of artists performing on 11 stages throughout downtown Nashville Thursday through Sunday, June 7-10, 2018. All of CMA Fest’s outdoor daytime stages, as well as nightly shows at the Cracker Barrel Country Roads Stage at Ascend Amphitheater, are free and open to the public. (Click here for a full schedule.)

Billboard named CMA Fest its No. 1 Country Music festival in the U.S. in 2017, raving, “When it comes to great Country Music festivals, this one has been – and is – the gold standard.” Last year’s CMA Fest drew sold-out crowds and the largest fan engagement by Country Music fans in the event’s history from visitors from all 50 states and nearly 20 international countries. CMA Fest is the longest-running Country Music festival in the world with proceeds going directly to helping enrich and sustain music education programs across the country through CMA’s nonprofit arm, the CMA Foundation, thanks to every artist at the festival donating their time.

Here’s a list of 2018 CMA Fest stages and the artists who will be performing on those stages. All times listed are Central Time.

Nissan Stadium

June 7-10 nightly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skupL4cBa7k

Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Kane Brown, Luke Bryan, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Brett Eldredge, Charles Esten and Friends, Florida Georgia Line, Dustin Lynch, Old Dominion, Jake Owen, Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce, Charley Pride, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Ricky Skaggs, Chris Stapleton, Cole Swindell, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Lee Ann Womack and Brett Young. Lauren Alaina and Bebe Rexha will make guest appearances.

Chevy Riverfront Stage

June 7-10, 10 a.m.-5:15 p.m. at Riverfront Park

All performances are free and open to the public.

A Thousand Horses, Lauren Alaina, Frankie Ballard, Lee Brice, Chase Bryant, Cam, Craig Campbell, Easton Corbin, Jordan Davis, Devin Dawson, Gavin DeGraw, Russell Dickerson, Drake White and The Big Fire, Lindsay Ell, Tyler Farr, Hunter Hayes, Walker Hayes, High Valley, Home Free, LANCO, Chris Lane, LOCASH, Maddie & Tae, Scotty McCreery, William Michael Morgan, Parmalee, Eric Paslay, Carly Pearce, Cassadee Pope, RaeLynn, Michael Ray, Dylan Scott, Canaan Smith, Corey Smith, Granger Smith, The Cadillac Three, Morgan Wallen and Aaron Watson.

Chevy Breakout Stage

June 7-10, 10:30 a.m.-4:55 p.m. at Walk of Fame Park

All performances are free and open to the public.

Jimmie Allen, Abby Anderson, Kassi Ashton, Drew Baldridge, Chris Bandi, Big Smo, Ashley Campbell, Crowder, Jacob Davis, Delta Rae, Cale Dodds, Adam Doleac, Clare Dunn, Brooke Eden, Riley Green, Trent Harmon, Sundance Head, James Barker Band, Jillian Jacqueline, Krystal Keith and Lance Carpenter, Jon Langston, Love and Theft, Ashley McBryde, Logan Mize, Steve Moakler, Muscadine Bloodline, Jerrod Niemann, Luke Pell, Josh Phillips, Radio Romance, Maggie Rose, Runaway June, Dylan Schneider, Sister Hazel, SmithField, The Wild Feathers, Michael Tyler, Walker McGuire, Waterloo Revival and Charlie Worsham.

Budweiser Forever Country Stage

June 7-10, 11 a.m.-4:45 p.m. behind Ascend Amphitheater

All performances are free and open to the public.

Keith Anderson, David Ball, John Berry, BlackHawk, Terri Clark, Mark Collie, Billy Dean, Joe Diffie, Exile, “Forever Country, Never Forgotten: A Tribute to Those Lost from Country Music,” Andy Griggs, Wade Hayes, Ty Herndon, Honky Tonkin’ with Tracy Lawrence (and special guests), Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, Little Texas, Lonestar, Mila Mason, Terry McBride, Lorrie Morgan, Heidi Newfield, Jamie O’Neal, Lee Roy Parnell, Restless Heart, Shenandoah, The Bellamy Brothers, Mark Wills, Darryl Worley and Michelle Wright.

Cracker Barrel Country Roads Stage

June 7-9, beginning at 7 p.m. at Ascend Amphitheater

All performances are free and open to the public.

June 7: BBR Music Group presents Chase Bryant, Craig Campbell, Lindsay Ell, Everette, Chase Rice, Runaway June and Granger Smith.

June 8:  Red Light Management presents Lee Brice, Clare Dunn, Tyler Farr, Maddie & Tae and Drake White and The Big Fire.

June 9: Warner Music Nashville presents Cole Swindell, Cale Dodds, Morgan Evans, Michael Ray and Tegan Marie.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store returns to CMA Fest with Rock With Us, a rocking chair experience Thursday through Saturday. The brand will turn Ascend Park and the nearby John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge into a true Cracker Barrel front porch experience by displaying 100 rocking chairs as well as three giant rockers making their festival debut. Fans will be encouraged to post photos in the rockers on their social media channels using the hashtag #CBMusic. During CMA Fest in 2017, Cracker Barrel raised $15,000 for the CMA Foundation through a rocking chair experience. Additional details for this year’s Rock With Us will be announced soon.

The Maui Jim Broadway Stage

All performances are free and open to the public.

June 7-10, 10:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at Hard Rock Cafe

17 Memphis, Ryan Beaver, Logan Brill, Brennley Brown, Austin Burke, Davisson Brothers Band, Travis Denning, Jeffrey East, Hannah Ellis, FILMORE, Noah Guthrie, Levi Hummon, Brett Kissel, Tegan Marie, Josh Mirenda, Hudson Moore, Hayley Orrantia, Meghan Patrick, Stephanie Quayle, Jordan Rager, Brandon Ray, Restless Road, Tyler Rich, Adam Sanders, Scooter Brown Band, Kalie Shorr, Natalie Stovall, Sweet Tea Trio, Temecula Road, Mitchell Tenpenny, The Last Bandoleros, Tyminski and Carter Winter.

June 7, 2:45 p.m.-6:30 p.m.:  BMI Showcase with Adam Craig, Ray Fulcher, Trea Landon, Drew Parker, Faren Rachels, and Payton Smith.

Nashville Acoustic Corner Stage

June 7-10, 11 a.m.-4:40 p.m. at Bridgestone Arena’s NCVC Visitor Center

All performances are free and open to the public.

Baylou, Craig Wayne Boyd, Lewis Brice, Emily Brooke, Kenton Bryant, Dallas Caroline, Ruthie Collins, Dalton & the Sheriffs, Sarah Darling, Haley & Michaels, Halfway to Hazard, Lucas Hoge, House Whiskey, Madison Kozak, Kendell Marvel, Ian Munsick, Ray Scott, George Shingleton, Sons of Daughters and Tara Thompson.

June 7: ASCAP showcase with Max Camp, Hannah Dasher, Austin Jenckes, Parker McKay, Steven Lee Olsen, Riley Roth, Steel Union, Matt Stell, TRAVLRS and Sarah Allison Turner.

June 8: SESAC showcase with Spencer Crandall, Ben Danaher, Erin Enderlin, Livy Jeanne, Jordyn Mallory, Tom O’Connor, Jake Rose, Seaforth, SZLACHETKA and Jenny Tolman.

HGTV Lodge at Fan Alley 

June 7-10  at Music City Center

Lauren Alaina, Carlton Anderson, Lee Brice, Cam, Luke Combs, Jordan Davis, Chris DeStefano, Lindsay Ell, Morgan Evans, Walker Hayes, Ryan Hurd, Jillian Jacqueline, LANCO, Chris Lane,  LOCASH, Dustin Lynch, Maddie & Tae, Ashley McBryde, Kip Moore, Jon Pardi, Eric Paslay, Cassadee Pope, Michael Ray, Mitchell Tenpenny, Tenille Townes, The Cadillac Three, Rachel Wammack, Lee Ann Womack and Trisha Yearwood. Special appearances by HGTV “Property Brothers” stars Jonathan and Drew Scott. Great American Country’s Suzanne Alexander will emcee during the four-day event.

Radio Disney Country Stage at Xfinity Fan Fair X

June 7-10  at Music City Center

Jimmie Allen, Abby Anderson, Cam, Jillian Cardarelli, CB30, Jordan Davis, Devin Dawson, Russell Dickerson, Cale Dodds, Lindsay Ell, Emily Hackett, Adam Hambrick, Trent Harmon, Walker Hayes, Jillian Jacqueline, Caroline Jones, Madison Kozak, LANCO, Maddie & Tae, Tegan Marie, Jaden Michaels, Cassadee Pope, Stephanie Quayle, RaeLynn, Savvy & Mandy, Noah Schnacky, Kalie Shorr, Christina Taylor and Rachel Wammack. Marie, Hayley Orrantia and Shorr join Radio Disney Country personality Betsy Spina to share hosting duties throughout the weekend.

CMA Spotlight Stage at Xfinity Fan Fair X

June 7-10 at Music City Center

2Steel Girls, 8 Ball Aitken, American Young, Paul Bogart, Haley Mae Campbell, Cort Carpenter, Caryn Lee Carter, CERRITO, Jessie Chris, Chas Collins, Dustin Collins, Nora Collins, Crystal Day, Joe Denim, Dixie Jade, James Dupré, Tim Elliott, EmiSunshine, Farewell Angelina, Folk Soul Revival, Kenny Foster, Gal Friday, Josh Gallagher, Lee Gantt, Harper Grae, Kristi Hoopes, Jason Morton & The Chesapeake Sons, Meghan Kabir, Kyle Dillingham & Horseshoe Road, Kelsey Lamb, Olivia Lane, Cherish Lee, Jenny Leigh, Lucy Angel, Elizabeth Lyons, Red Marlow, Bobby Marquez, Jackson Michelson, Kylie Morgan, Marta, Shane Owens, Presley & Taylor, Jesse Rice, Matt Rogers, Southern Halo, Summer Brooke & The Mountain Faith Band, Glen Templeton, The Lovers, The Springs, The Wandering Hearts, The Young Fables and Karen Waldrup.

Close Up Stage at Xfinity Fan Fair X

 June 7-10 at Music City Center

These are Q&As with celebrities.

June 7: Dierks Bentley

June 8: Luke Bryan

June 9: Dustin Lynch

June 10: Kelsea Ballerini

New this year, CMA will host the Music Streaming Lounge at Xfinity Fan Fair X, a place for fans to have hands-on involvement with music streaming platforms, offering charging stations and a lounge for fans to enjoy each day.

On June 7, the lounge will be transformed into an iHeartRadio recording studio where fans will have the opportunity to become an on-air radio host interviewing some of the biggest names in Country Music for broadcast on a special iHeartRadio Fan Fair X station. Fans will also get a photo with the artist to commemorate their first radio gig inside the iHeartRadio pop-up studio.

On June 8, Spotify will debut a new digital experience where fans can find their “Country Music Match” and create collaborative playlists live with Country artists, while also offering updated free product and assisting listeners in personalizing their listening experiences.

On June 9, guests will be able to interact with tens of millions of songs on Amazon Music while using Alexa, requesting music in brand new ways based on mood, era, genre, city, lyrics, and much more. Guests will also be able to meet various Country Music artists stopping by the Amazon Music space, some featured on the brand-new global playlist Country Heat.

Of the numerous artists appearing at Xfinity Fan Fair X over the four-day event, most of the meet and greets do not require tickets. In these instances, fans may freely join the line formations for non-ticketed signings.

Don’t miss a beat—download the CMA Fest app, or get connected with CMA on CMAfest.comFacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube, and sign up for CMA Country Connection emails to receive the latest news as soon as it’s announced.

About CMA Fest 
The Ultimate Country Music Fan Experience™ began in 1972 as Fan Fair®, which drew 5,000 fans to Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium. Now in its 47th year, the legendary festival has become the city’s signature Country Music event that hosts in excess of 90,000 fans from all 50 states and two dozen foreign countries. In 2017, CMA Fest featured 11 stages with over 350 artists, 1,100 musicians, and 167 hours of music – all to benefit music education. Since 2006, CMA and the CMA Foundation have donated more than $21 million to sustainable music education initiatives across the U.S. thanks to the fans who attend CMA Fest and the artists who perform for free. CMA Fest is filmed for a three-hour ABC Television Network special. 2018 marks the 15th consecutive year of the broadcast.

About the CMA Foundation
Established in 2011 as the philanthropic arm of the Country Music Association (CMA), the CMA Foundation is committed to improving and sustaining music education programs all across the United States, working to ensure every child has the opportunity to participate in music education. Through strategic partnerships, professional development and grant distribution, the CMA Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), has invested more than $21 million in over 85 programs across the national public school system, after school programs, summer camps and community outreach organizations. Guided by the generosity of the Country Music community, proceeds from CMA Fest, the four-day long music festival held annually in Nashville, are used to power the CMA Foundation’s social impact and unique model of giving. For more information visit CMAfoundation.org.

2018 CMA Fest: Thomas Rhett, Kelsea Ballerini return as hosts of ABC special

June 5, 2018

Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini
Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini at 2017 CMA Fest in Nashville. (Photo by Mark Levine/ABC)

The following is a press release from the Country Music Association and ABC:

The Country Music Association has announced that Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini will return for a second year as hosts of “CMA Fest,” the three-hour special that brings country music’s ultimate fan experience to a national television audience. “CMA Fest” airs WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 8 (8:00–11:00 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network and is executive produced by Robert Deaton.

“This year’s CMA Fest is our biggest yet with many artists debuting full sets on the Nissan Stadium stage,” said Sarah Trahern, chief executive officer, CMA. “We’re thrilled once again to broadcast ‘CMA Fest’ and bring the festival to millions of country music fans not only here in the U.S. but all around the world.”

“Thomas and Kelsea are the embodiment of the summer fun that is CMA Fest, and we are so excited they’ll be back for year two,” said Rob Mills, senior vice president, Alternative Series, Specials & Late-Night, ABC Entertainment.

Filmed during Nashville’s annual CMA Fest, Thursday, June 7, through Sunday, June 10, the television special features more than 25 of country music’s biggest names as they hit the stage during the four-day event. 2018 marks the 15th consecutive year of the broadcast, a feat no other U.S. music festival has achieved. Last year’s broadcast of “CMA Fest” achieved three-year ratings highs.

Ballerini will perform at Nissan Stadium Saturday, June 9, in addition to appearing as Artist of the Day at Xfinity Fan Fair X on Sunday, June 10. A limited number of four-day tickets for the nightly concerts at Nissan Stadium, which also includes four-day access to Xfinity Fan Fair X, are still available at CMAfest.com/tickets or through the CMA Box Office at 1-800-CMA-FEST.

CMA Fest is unlike any other with live music on 11 official stages throughout downtown Nashville; meet and greets and up-close-and-personal experiences for fans at Xfinity Fan Fair X; over 300 acts donating their time in support of music education through the CMA Foundation; and nearly 90,000 country music fans from the all over the U.S. and abroad flocking to Music City each summer. All of CMA Fest’s outdoor daytime stages, as well as nightly shows at the Cracker Barrel Country Roads Stage at Ascend Amphitheater, are free and open to the public. Fans can purchase the CMA Fest Nash Pass for $60 plus fees, allowing a limited amount of fans VIP early access at the Cracker Barrel Country Roads Stage. The Nash Pass also includes a Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum tour, Ryman Auditorium tour and four-day admission to Xfinity Fan Fair X. Tickets for Xfinity Fan Fair X are available for $10 each day or $25 for a four-day pass.

Guided by the generosity of the country music community, proceeds from CMA Fest are used to drive the CMA Foundation’s mission of enriching and sustaining music education programs. Through strategic partnerships, professional development and grant distribution, the CMA Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), has invested over $21 million in 85 programs across the national public school system, after-school programs, summer camps and community outreach organizations.

Don’t miss a beat—download the CMA Fest app, or get connected with CMA on CMAfest.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and sign up for CMA Country Connection emails to receive the latest news as soon as it’s announced.

About CMA Fest

The Ultimate Country Music Fan Experience™ began in 1972 as Fan Fair®, which drew 5,000 fans to Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium. Now in its 47th year, the legendary festival has become the city’s signature Country Music event that hosts in excess of 90,000 fans from all 50 states and two dozen foreign countries. In 2017, CMA Fest featured 11 stages with over 350 artists, 1,100 musicians, and 167 hours of music – all to benefit music education. Since 2006, CMA and the CMA Foundation have donated more than $21 million to sustainable music education initiatives across the U.S. thanks to the fans who attend CMA Fest and the artists who perform for free. CMA Fest is filmed for a three-hour ABC Television Network special. 2018 marks the 15th consecutive year of the broadcast.

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