The CMA Music Festival, now in its 48th year, has evolved into one of the biggest country music events in the world, hosting hundreds of thousands of fans each year and drawing some of the biggest names in music and entertainment to Nashville every June. With so many exciting things to do, food to eat, places to see, and famous people to spot, you’d have to be crazy not to attend the CMA Music Festival! Check out these 10 reasons why you should go this year if you haven’t already!
1. A chance to see your favorite singers perform live
As any country music fan knows, it can be hard to get a chance to see your favorite singer perform live. This is especially true if you live in an area that isn’t known for its interest in country music. At most concerts, audience members are treated with a brief performance from one or two artists before being made to listen to songs by other artists they may not be familiar with. During festival time, however, fans have a much higher chance of seeing all of their favorite singers perform live. For example, Blake Shelton and Carrie Underwood were on stage together during one night of last year’s event while Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton also shared a stage later that evening.
2. Great activities for all ages
Whether you’re a die-hard country music fan or just someone who likes to have fun, there’s plenty to do at Nashville’s annual CMA Music Festival (known as Fan Fair until 2003). From an autograph area and festival marketplace to concerts on stages throughout downtown Nashville, you can find something to suit any taste. Between events and performances, people watch on every corner of downtown. But no matter what you choose, here are 10 reasons why Fan Fair should be on your must-do list for next summer: #1 Because it’s free!
3. See what’s new in the industry
Maybe you’re just now trying to figure out your field. Maybe you’ve been at it for years but still, feel like you could use a little brush-up. Either way, attending conferences and trade shows is a great way to get plugged in to what’s happening in your industry, meet people who are doing cool things and learn new skills. If music is part of your professional life, then definitely consider attending at least one or two CMAs throughout your career; it’s hard to imagine an industry event that’s more fun or packed with inspiration.
4. Learn about artists you haven’t heard of yet
Attending a music festival is about more than just watching your favorite artist perform. As new acts are constantly being discovered at music festivals, it’s a great way to expand your musical horizons. In addition to gaining exposure to new artists, you can learn about upcoming trends and gain valuable insights from leading industry professionals. One of my favorite things about attending concerts is that I often discover new songs or albums by artists I’ve never heard of before. At live performances, however, there’s an opportunity to ask questions directly and get recommendations on what else you should listen to by those in the know.
5. Get tickets at face value
There are plenty of bargains to be had at CMA Fest, but you’ll need to plan. The general public can buy tickets to concerts on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights—but not Sunday. Even if your favorite act is playing a festival stage on one of those other nights, you won’t have access to their performance unless you attend all four days. Most special events (like Brad Paisley’s tribute to Tom Petty) are also only available as part of a 4-day pass or as individual tickets (for an exorbitant price). If you’re planning for next year, get your CMA Music Festival Tickets 2022 early before they sell out.
6. Get autographs from your favorite singers
This might sound like an obvious tip, but it’s worth mentioning. Getting autographs is a fun and cost-effective way to get closer to your favorite singers. This year, however, you might want to consider planning so you don’t spend hours waiting in long lines. Check out stars’ social media accounts before you go so you know where they’ll be each day, or schedule one-on-one appointments beforehand to save time. These strategies will not only help shave hours off your wait time, but they’ll also help minimize frustration—and that’s priceless at any festival!
7. Meet your favorite stars
Whether you’re a country music fan or not, attending an event of its scale is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see your favorite stars live. Between performances, fans will get to meet and mingle with their favorite musicians at exclusive receptions and parties. Learn more about why you should make it a point to attend here. (Note: Be sure to include information about where you can purchase tickets)
8. Enjoy great food and drinks at bargain prices
Nowhere else will you find such a diverse range of great food, drinks, and entertainment options at such bargain prices. Within easy walking distance of all Nashville’s top attractions, you’ll be able to enjoy everything from wild game cookouts and cornhole tournaments to rowdy bar crawl. Plus, if you’re staying in Nashville for a few days during or after festival week, you won’t have to worry about paying for parking downtown when you head out for a night on the town. Get your wristband early: Not only is it easier than waiting in long lines at will call, but it guarantees that your wristband(s) are yours and yours alone until midnight on Sunday evening. It also lets you get through security much faster.
9. See lots of merchandise you can’t get anywhere else
Okay, technically, you can get all of these items almost anywhere else. But, there’s something so special about visiting Nashville and checking out all of the merchandise being sold at CMA Fest. From t-shirts to hats and everything in between, you’ll find so many great items that are simply perfect for any country music fan. Everyone will be wearing their favorite artists’ shirts and caps while chatting it up with other festival attendees. It is an experience like no other! So many people have made memories by attending CMA Fest. It’s not just about catching your favorite performer or enjoying a few adult beverages; it’s about being surrounded by others who love country music just as much as you do!
10. Enjoy all the other cool things going on outside the venue
Of course, what makes CMF so special is that it’s not just about seeing some of your favorite artists on stage—it’s about being in a city full of country music fans. CMF offers a wide range of activities outside of just experiencing performances. From tailgating and bowling to seeing a movie or touring one of Nashville’s legendary landmarks, there are plenty of great ways to enjoy yourself at CMF without ever buying a ticket to an event. And if you still want more after all that? Well, you get to do it all again next year!