top of page

CMA Fest 2024: A Celebration of Country Music and Iconic Moments

The CMA Fest 2024, held in the heart of Nashville, was a celebration of the past, present, and future of country music. Fans from all over the world gathered to witness the biggest names in the genre, celebrate new artists, and enjoy unforgettable performances. But before diving into the highlights, let’s take a quick trip down memory lane.

Dolly Parton | Josh Brasted/CMA | Gretchen & Ashley John Shearer/Getty for CMA

A Brief History of the CMA Fest

The Country Music Association (CMA) Festival, originally known as Fan Fair, began in 1972. Held at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium, the festival was created to give fans a chance to interact with their favorite country music stars. Over the years, the festival has grown exponentially, moving to larger venues like the Tennessee State Fairgrounds and eventually to its current home, the Nissan Stadium and surrounding areas. Today, the CMA Fest is a four-day extravaganza filled with concerts, meet-and-greets, and events that celebrate the genre's rich history and vibrant future.

Dolly Parton: The Queen of CMA Fest

One of the most anticipated events of the CMA Fest 2024 was Dolly Parton’s Q&A session at Fan Fair X. The beloved icon made several exciting announcements that had fans buzzing with excitement. Dolly revealed she is launching a new wine line, with the first release being Dolly Wines California Chardonnay 2023, available in July. She also announced a new cookbook, hinted at the opening of a new hotel in Nashville, and, most thrillingly, announced a Broadway musical titled "Hello, I’m Dolly," set to debut in 2026. The musical will feature some of her biggest hits and new songs written especially for the show. Produced by Parton herself, along with Adam Speers for ATG Productions and Danny Nozell for CTK Enterprises, this musical promises to be a spectacular tribute to her legendary career.

Josh Brasted/CMA

Tracy Lawrence Takes Over Ascend Amphitheater

On Saturday night, Tracy Lawrence hosted a star-studded, sold-out show at the Ascend Amphitheater. "Tracy Lawrence and Friends" featured performances and collaborations with Riley Green, Chris Young, Maddie & Tae, Priscilla Block, RaeLynn, Charles Esten, Kasey Tyndall, and surprise guests Randy Houser and Lee Greenwood. The night was a testament to Lawrence's enduring appeal and his ability to bring together a diverse group of artists for an unforgettable evening.

Photo credit: Marisa Taylor

Breakout Stars Shine Bright

The CMA Fest is known for showcasing rising stars, and this year was no exception. Breakout superstar Tucker Wetmore captivated audiences with his energetic set at the Hard Rock Stage, while Virginia native Shaboozey drew a massive crowd with his performance, proving his rapid rise in the country music scene is no fluke.

Iconic Collaborations and Emotional Moments

Ashley McBryde's set at Nissan Stadium was a highlight, particularly when she brought out Gretchen Wilson to sing the classic hit "Redneck Woman." The crowd roared as these two powerful female icons shared the stage.

Jelly Roll's performance was another emotional highlight. Reflecting on his journey from attending games at Nissan Stadium as a child, to spending time in a nearby detention center, to now headlining the CMA Fest, Jelly Roll was moved to tears. His heartfelt performance resonated deeply with the audience, making it a truly memorable moment.

Traditional Tunes and High-Energy Closures

Zach Top brought traditional country sounds to Music City, reminding fans of the genre's roots and timeless appeal. Meanwhile, Hardy closed out the CMA Fest with an explosive performance, bringing out Big and Rich to perform their hit "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)." The high-energy finale was the perfect end to a festival filled with incredible music and unforgettable moments.

A Festival to Remember

CMA Fest 2024 was a spectacular celebration of country music, filled with iconic performances, emotional moments, and exciting announcements. From Dolly Parton's Broadway news to Tracy Lawrence's star-studded show, and the rise of new stars like Tucker Wetmore and Shaboozey, this year's festival truly had it all. As fans head home with memories to last a lifetime, one thing is certain: CMA Fest continues to be the ultimate celebration of country music.


Does your organization or artist have something to promote?
Submit to us at

bottom of page