Every year, thousands of music fans from around the country swarm to Nashville for a 4-day celebration of camaraderie, fandom, and good ‘ole fashioned fun at the CMA Music Festival. This year, they celebrated their 45th year running, and we sent one of our New Heartland members into the fray to scope out the scene and report back about her experience.

I went to CMA festival on Sunday afternoon. My very favorite country music artist is Tracy Lawrence, and he was playing a 2+ hour set with a few of his friends (Lorrie Morgan, John Michael Montgomery, T Graham Brown, & more) at Ascend amphitheater, one of my favorite new outdoor music venues in Nashville.


I managed to weasel my way into a seat in the shade 4 rows back from the stage. Tracy Lawrence played all of my old favorites from the 90s (Alibis, Sticks & Stones); Lorrie Morgan came out looking lovely and strutting her stuff to "Watch Me"; T Graham Brown played a really moving song about his sobriety, "Wine Into Water" and received a standing ovation from the crowd; and the show ended with all of the artists returning to the stage to play a Merle Haggard song in tribute to the late artist. 

After the show I took a stroll on the pedestrian bridge to take in the beautiful view of the city where I ran into local celebrities the Bang This Twins. Then, I ventured onto Broadway to enjoy the people watching, (I met HeeHaw man - how old are those overalls?!) and picked up a few free samples courtesy of Doritos (walking tacos) and 1893 (delicious fancy soda). Along the way, I popped into a few bars on Broadway to listen to the local performers who are always jamming (CMA Fest or not) and get out of the heat for a few minutes. 

My favorite part of CMA Fest was definitely Tracy Lawrence's performance on Sunday afternoon, but honestly, I love it all (minus the heat)! 

- Melissa C.

Nashville, TN

Have you been to the CMA Music Festival? Tell us about your experience! Who did you see!? Are you planning to again?!

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Cynthia A.
I went to Nashville in June 2014 for Gary Allan's fan club party. After arriving, my husband I (along with a few hundred fans), were met with the news that the party had been cancelled due to Gary having a viral infection in his throat. Disappointed as I was, my husband and I ventured out downtown to see what we could get in to. We ended up having the best time! It was at the beginning of the CMA fest that week, so we got to see all sorts of artists playing on various stages downtown, and it was free! We even saw James Van Der Beek walking down the street! We were even mistaken for t.v. stars! It was awesome! We plan on going next June for our 10 year anniversary.