Entertainment, On A High Note

Nashville gets ready for CMA Music Festival

The biggest week in country music is going on in Nashville with the arrival of CMA Music Festival running all this week, June 9 – 12. From the biggest stars to promising up and comers, CMA Fest highlights all of the amazing music and talent country music has to offer. Sports & Entertainment Nashville will be covering the event all week long, but first, here is a preview of what to expect at this year’s festival.

Tues., June 7

CMA Fest week kicks off with the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game where team iHeart Country faces off against team Grand Ole Opry. Just some of the stars participating in the game include cast members of the Bobby Bones Show, Lauren Alaina, Charles Esten, Danielle Bradbery, David Nail, Jamie Lynn Spears and more of country music’s finest. The event is in benefit of City of Hope’s mission to continue research and treatment for life-threatening illnesses such as cancer and diabetes.

Tickets: $25 – $50

Lindsay Ell is making several appearances at this year's CMA Fest. PHOTO BY MATT MAXEY

Lindsay Ell is making several appearances at this year’s CMA Fest. PHOTO BY MATT MAXEY

Wed., June 8

Chris Young will be ringing in the CMA festivities by hosting the opening ceremonies on Wed., June 8. He’ll be joined by a variety of familiar faces like Old Dominion, Michael Ray and Clare Dunn, with a closeout performance from Frankie Ballard.

Thurs., June 9

CMA Fest is officially underway Thurs., June 9 with an exciting start to the event, as multiple artists will be making appearances and performing on more than 10 stages throughout the week. Jake Owen, Maddie & Tae, Chris Janson, Brothers Osborne and more will be taking over the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage, while the fabulous ladies of country like Kelsea Ballerini, Lauren Alaina and Lindsay Ell will all be doing Q&As at the Radio Disney Country Stage (with the latter two performing as well). Keith Urban and Kip Moore will make their way to the HGTV Lodge, with Ashley Monroe closing out the evening on the Ascend Ampitheater stage. At night, Nissan Stadium will come alive with the likes of Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, Rascal Flatts, Jason Aldean and more.

Fri., June 10

Friday brings even more fun with Fan Fair Meet and Greets with Jamie Lynn Spears, Chris Carmack of “Nashville” fame, Thompson Square and more at the HGTV Lodge; Charles Esten, Eric Paslay, Chase Bryant and others perform on the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage; Sara Evans at the Ascend Ampitheater stage, with Lindsay Ell and Lauren Alaina making another appearance on the Chevrolet Park Cruze Stage. Can’t miss performances from Chris Stapleton, Sam Hunt, Eric Church and Carrie Underwood are all at Nissan Stadium from 8pm – 11:30pm.

 Sat., June 11

The weekend continues with country music all over downtown including performances by Rodney Atkins, Love and Theft, Canaan Smith, Brooke Eden and more on the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage, artist of the day Martina McBride at the CMA Close Up Stage and Q&As with Cassadee Pope and Jana Kramer at the Radio Disney Country Stage. There will also be a great show from Bobby Bones & The Raging Idiots and The Wonderful Women of Country as they’re accompanied by the lovely Lindsay Ell, Hillary Scott, Maddie & Tae, Danielle Bradbery and many more. The evening ends with superstar performances from Chris Young, Florida Georgia Line, Steven Tyler, Blake Shelton and more at Nissan Stadium.

Little Big Town helps close out CMA Fest on Sunday night at Nissan Stadium. PHOTO BY LARRY DARLING

Little Big Town helps close out CMA Fest on Sunday night at Nissan Stadium. PHOTO BY LARRY DARLING

Sun., June 12

The final day of CMA Fest comes to a strong close with several great performances from some of country music’s best acts. “Burning House” singer Cam will be at the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage, along with fellow newcomer Granger Smith, Kellie Pickler, LOCASH, Old Dominion and more. Hillary Scott and family will be at the HGTV Lodge; a CMA Awards panel honoring its 50th anniversary with Brenda Lee, Ray Stevens, the Gatlin Brothers, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Robert Deaton, and many more. The event comes to a riveting finish at Nissan Stadium with Little Big Town, Thomas Rhett, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan and others.

For a full schedule of the week’s events, visit the official CMA Music Festival site and be on the lookout for our coverage of the festival all week long.