CMA Music Festival 2016: Only 364 Days Away

Well folks, another CMA Music Festival has come and gone. This past weekend the estimated 80,000 fans who pervaded music city were privy to performances and meet & greets with most of country’s biggest names, in addition to all of the honky-tonks, country legend museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the plethora of neon induced folly that put Nashville on the map.

I swear that each year more and more stages are erected up and down lower Broadway. I don’t know of any other event in music that offers the amount of free entertainment provided at the CMA Music Festival. Nary a fan can argue that they do not get their money’s worth.

And, without incident, by the way. I have attended quite a few multi-day music festivals in my day, and never have I come across an event the magnitude of CMA Fest, with as much drinking going on (some bars open as early as 10am to accommodate fans), and everyone seems to get along swimmingly. Of course there are always a few “be cool bro” moments, but for the most part I never see any disturbances.

Hats off to Nashville police. Cops were on site throughout the event to handle any questions and help tourists while keeping traffic moving and city operations flowing for locals. To serve and protect, what a crazy notion.

Additional merch stands and multi-level bar expansions really alleviated the crowdedness. Notwithstanding, another big shout out goes to all of the service industry folks. The bartenders and servers who kept full the cups and spirits of thousands of patrons deserve credit beyond what I can offer with a few (although erudite and eloquent) words.

And last, but definitely not least, to all of the performers. Big or small. Well known or up-and-coming. Those artists are why any of us are here. Fans, songwriters, record labels, and yes, even lowly country music bloggers, we are all a product of this music we love.

A few of my favorite moments were seeing Chris Janson on the Bud Light Stage, and the Diva Jam at which I ran into Sandra Lynn. Click here for my interview with Sandra.

Of course, once all of the hands are shook and the elbows are rubbed I am still a fan like everyone else. So let’s keep those tourist girls coming for years ahead in their cut off jeans and high heel boots.


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