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CMA Fest Celebrates 50 Years In Style And Many Memorable Moments

For 50 years the Country Music Association has been brining fans and country artists closer. This year's festival brought together some iconic names along with some new faces for four unforgettable days for fans. The streets of downtown Nashville were turned into a country music lover's paradise with stages everywhere you could see and music in the air.

“What a weekend! As we’ve spent the past year reflecting on this milestone celebration, one theme has persisted—the incredible connection between Country Music fans and the artists,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “It’s magical because it still matters after all these years. From first timers to legends, so many artists started as fans—some as far back as Fan Fair. Almost every artist who performs during the festival has had their own experience as a fan, so for many of them, taking the stage at CMA Fest is a full circle moment. We only get the chance to celebrate our 50th anniversary once, and to do so in such an impactful way has meant the world to us. Thank you, Country Music!”

From sunup to sundown, there was no denying the energy of more than 90,000 estimated daily attendees, a 12% growth over 2022. The stadium alone saw a 10% increase in attendance year over year. Fans from all 50 states and a record-breaking 51 countries filled Music City in anticipation of seeing more than 300 acts taking part in CMA Fest.

Here are the highlights.

Lainey Wilson Kicks Off The Festival At The Riverfront Stage

Lainey Wilson's early set time did not deter thousands of fans packing out the Chevy Riverfront Stage. Fans could be seen lining up to get a taste of the CMA winner's set as early as 7am! The Bell Bottom Queen took the stage with her signature flair to Hold My Halo off her latest project Bell Bottom Country. The six song set was bright and full of energy. Fans old and young sang every word and little girls dawned their own bell bottoms. Lainey's friend and collaborator Lukas Nelson joined her on stage for their duet More Than Friends. Lainey's superstardom was on display at 10:30am!

Luke Combs Brings Out Vince Gill At Nissan Stadium

Country superstar Luke Combs helped to kick off the CMA Fest Nissan Stadium festivities on Thursday June 8th. Kicking it off with hits like Kind Of Love We Make, 1,2 Many and his latest, his cover of Fast Car. Luke then addressed the crowd with a BIG surprise!

"I couldn't be more excited to be performing for you tonight" Combs explained to the 60,000 in attendance at the Nissan, "but I've never been as excited as I have right now to bring out my absolute hero, an absolute legend on the guitar and vocals singing one of his incredible songs, give it up for Mr Vince Gill".

Bailey Zimmerman Has Fans Jumping The Fences At The Riverfront Stage To See His Set

The young hit maker was not messing around this CMA Fest! Fresh off his highly successful major label debut, Bailey Zimmerman's force in the genre was on full display as he closed out the Riverfront Stage June 8th. Playing hits like Rock and a Hard Place and Fall in Love, Bailey clearly cemented himself as a force in modern country.

Jake Worthington Bring The TONK To The Chevy Vibes Stage.

Bright and early Friday June 9th modern country traditionalist Jake Worthington brought his Texas flair to CMA Fest. With his signature drawl and 5 piece band, Jake Worthington had fans two stepping at 10am!

Reba Joins Cody Johnson For Surprise Performance Of “Whoever’s In New England”

During Friday night’s performance at Nissan Stadium, Reba joined Cody Johnson for an incredible duet of Reba’s #1 hit from 1986, Whoever’s In New England.

Miranda Lambert Surprises CMA Fest Crowd With Appearance By Avril Lavigne For Performance Of “Kerosene” And “Sk8er Boi”

Well this collab was not on our 2023 bingo card! Miranda Lambert gives fans the biggest surprise of the festival bar none! During her performance after being joined onstage by 2000s pop punk princess Avril Lavigne for two songs during her set on Friday night.

The unlikely duo first did a performance of Miranda’s 2005 hit Kerosene. Then the gals rocked out to Avril's hit Sk8er Boi.

Lauren Alaina and Lainey Wilson Performed Their Brand New Duet "Thicc As Thieves" For The First Time

Megan Moroney sang her hit song "Tennessee Orange" to a packed crowd on the Chevy Riverfront Stage

Country songstress Megan Moroney closed out the Riverfront Stage to a packed house. Fans of all ages could be singing along to the new hit maker's fun set! Plus you have to check out this magic moment!

The Country Music Association presented legendary Country Music band, Alabama, with the CMA Pinnacle Award

The Pinnacle Award recognizes an artist or group who has undeniably redefined the pinnacle of success in the genre by achieving prominence through concert performances, consumption numbers, record sales and/or other significant industry achievements at levels unique for Country Music. They have also attained the highest degree of recognition within the broad expanse of music worldwide, and their talent and presence will have a long-term positive impact on the appreciation of Country Music for generations to come. The Pinnacle Award was created in 2005 when it was presented to Garth Brooks. The award’s only other recipients are Taylor Swift (2013) and Kenny Chesney (2016).

Jelly Roll Gets Emotional During His Surprise Nissan Stadium Performance!

Nashville native and superstar Jelly Roll gets emotional during his set on Friday June 9th. "I used to sit in the 300 level and watch, I also used to be at the correctional facility across the street. And now I am here," the stunned singer told the crowd.


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