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#CMAFest Wrap Up

One of the largest celebrations of country music on planet earth-Here Are The Highlights


On June 11th, 2023, Fan Fair now called CMA Fest concluded to rave reviews.

a substantial milestone was achieved, and new memories were made thanks to the fans, and to our country singing faves. Before we dive in, I wanted to provide some background info on the CMA Fest, and a little trivia that you might not know.


CMA Fest, also known as the Country Music Association Festival, is a four-day annual event that takes place in Nashville, Tennessee. The festival brings together country music fans from all over the world and features performances by some of the biggest artists in the industry, and up & comers.. In addition to the concerts, there are also various activities and attractions that attendees can participate in.


The CMA Fest is unique as it is specifically designed for fans to interact with their favorite country music stars. Autograph signings, meet and greets, live performances, and other interactive exhibits like dunking a country singer are some of the activities often available. Besides the main stage where country music's biggest stars perform, there are several other venues featuring country music for the entirety of the festival.


CMA Fest began in 1972 as Fan Fair, a three-day event that took place at the Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. The festival was designed to give fans the opportunity to meet and interact with their favorite artists, and featured autograph-signing sessions, concerts, and other events. The first Fan Fair drew in roughly 5,000 fans, and the event continued to grow in size and popularity over the years.


Changes and Developments Leading to CMA Music Festival


In 2003, the festival underwent a rebranding and was renamed the CMA Music Festival. Along with the name change came some significant changes to the festival's format, including the addition of new stages and venues, and the integration of new technology and social media to enhance the festival experience for attendees.


Highlights of Early CMA Music Festivals


Some of the most memorable moments from the early years of CMA Fest include performances by country music legends like Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton, as well as other iconic country music acts such as Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Loretta Lynn. These early festivals also feaatred special guest appearances by stars from other genres, including Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.


The Evolution of CMA Fest: Expansion and Growth


Introduction of New Stages and Venues


Over the years, CMA Fest has continued to expand, adding new stages and venues to accommodate the growing number of attendees. Today, the festival takes place across 11 different stages, including the Nissan Stadium, which can hold up to 70,000 people.


2023 CMA Fest Highlights


In 2023, The CMA Fest celebrated their 50 year anniversary! One of the biggest highlights was the legendary Tanya Tucker performing at CMA Fest. Tanya Tucker made her very first appearance at the Fan Fair in Nashville, Tennessee in 1972. She was just 13 years old when she took the stage and wowed audiences with her powerful vocals and charismatic presence.


CMA Fest
Tanya Tucker

Fans quickly took notice of Tucker's raw talent and captivating performances, propelling her to stardom within the country music industry. Tanya Tucker's performance at the 50th CMA Fest was nothing less than stellar. From her gorgeous white studded jumpsuit to the epic performance with new country faces Lainey Wilson, and Elle King. Tanya received a standing ovation proving that she still has it, and the fans LOVE her!


CMA Fest 2023
Elle King, Lainey Wilson & Tanya Tucker

 

Eric Church took the stage on day three of the CMA Fest. It was dark, and cold, but

that did not dissuade The Chief as he offered new spins on two classics, and was very visibly having a great time!



It was the end of the night, and it is quite possible that some fans were fairly inebriated by then as they did not notice that Eric played seven songs. Some went on Twitter to call out that Eric only played four songs, but that is just not true.

There was also some dissension on the songs Eric chose to play. Fan favorites Like Springsteen, and Talladega were absent from the set, which left some less than happy.


In my humble opinion, the pushback is coming from people that are not really fans. If Springsteen is the one song you wanted to hear from Eric, you've missed an entire cannon of incredible music. Don't get me wrong, Springsteen is one of my faves, but good gosh what an epic version of Drink In My Hand! Also kudos for including deep album cuts, most performers don't do that, and the deep cuts are usually my favorites. Many said Eric was upset and didn't bother to say goodnight, and properly end the show, but as you will see below it is also not true..



Despite all the misinformation circling, The Tennessean, Music Choice and

Billboard have highlighted The Chief's performance as one of the best at the 2023 CMA Fest Also starting in July, you'll be able to check out Eric Church: Country Heart, Restless Soul at The Country Music Hall Of Fame. I'm sure he'll get inducted some day.


 

Jon Pardi brought the party to the 2023 CMA Fest! The new Grand Ole Opry member typifies bridging the old with the new. His set included old school styled

Heartache Medication which delighted all us traditional country fans. The beach country infused Tequila Time took me back to my home state of Florida, and was a crowd favorite. Jon not only brought the sounds, but he also brought the honky tonk swag that is often missing in country music today.


Jon Pardi
Pardi Time

The Cali Troubadour wore a black "Nudie" type waist length jacket with light beige rosettes trimming the front and encrusted rhinestones. His hat matched the color of the jacket's embroidery, and his pants were black like most of his jacket. Hank, and Lefty would've been proud! Jon Pardi closed his set with his first number one Head Over Boots. Check it out..



 

CMA Fest
CMA Fest Weather Delays

Sadly, Nashville's unpredictable weather strikes again. But there were still

several indoor shows and activities to keep things going like Pickleball! Believe it or not, it is the fastest growing sport in America, and this year it finally came to the CMA Fest..

CMA Fest
Pickleball @ The CMA Fest


Here are some additional highlights of the greatest country music festival on planet earth!







CMA Fest
CMA Fest Reopens Gates

And thankfully the gates reopened and around 8:15 PM Josh Turner took the stage..



Alabama, the most successful band in country music was awarded the Pinnacle Award after their amazing CMA Fest set.



In a touching moment, Tim McGraw was joined by Metro Nashville school kids that benefit from the CMA Foundation's music education initiatives. In case you didn't know, the artists all play for free, and a portion of the proceeds go to music education not only in Nashville, but across America!

The CMA Fest is like no other event in the world. 50 years of connecting the country music family with each other. It is the amazing spirit of love for the music that brings us all together. I hope you will consider paying it forward by making a donation to the Country Music Foundation. One of the world's greatest gifts is music, and kids

should have access to inspiring education that gives their dreams wings. One day the kids will wake up, and say: "Hey, why not me! Maybe I can be a country star some day.." Your donation say maybe they can..




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