Devin Dawson is ‘Grateful’ to be a part of ‘Mecca’ CMA Fest

Devin Dawson is looking forward to the 2018 CMA Music Festival for many reasons, but the main one is getting to see his fans in one place.

Devin Dawson is ‘Grateful’ to be a part of ‘Mecca’ CMA Fest
Devin Dawson; Photo credit: Jimmy Fontaine

Devin Dawson has become one of country music’s newest young trailblazers and he spent much of 2017 getting to know the people who’ve helped give him a solidifying debut single and album. The rising star will get to see many of these fans converge when he performs at CMA Music Festival in 2018.

“CMA Fest is like this mecca of country music,” Dawson, who will be performing at the Riverfront Stage on Saturday (June 9), tells Sounds Like Nashville. ”Everyone comes to the same place at the same time and it’s a crazy week.”

Dawson earned his first chart-topping single when “All on Me” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart, while his captivating debut album Dark Horse saw itself in the Top 5 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart. Along the way, he’s opened for the likes of Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on their massive Soul2Soul Tour, Brett Eldredge’s The Long Way Tour and Maren Morris, meeting people from all walks of life who have been impacted by his music. He’s looking forward to when they all come together in downtown Nashville to revel in a variety of country music during one of the genre’s biggest yearly events that celebrates both artists and fans alike.

“It’s cool to get everyone here and get all of the listeners and fans in one place. I think going on the road, you realize where you’re at, how people are reacting. Kansas City might react differently than Indiana, might react differently than New York. But when they’re all in the same place, you get a good barometer of where you’re at with what people like and what they’re feeling,” he explains. “I’m excited to see these people that I’ve met along the way and take some checkpoints and say thanks.”

The Riverfront Stage typically draws some of the festival’s largest crowds, as fans have the opportunity to hear live music for free from some of the genre’s brightest rising acts including Jon Pardi, Lauren Alaina, Carly Pearce, Russell Dickerson and many more. The performance will be a special moment for Dawson, who knows what it’s like to partake in the festival from the viewer’s perspective. “I’m going to be playing the Riverfront Stage, which I’ve seen as a fan many times, but I’ve never played it as an artist, so I’m really looking forward to that,” he says. “And I’m going have my first fan party this year, so it’s good all around, I’m excited to do it again. Grateful to be there.”

2018 CMA Fest takes over Music City June 7-10. Dawson continues to tour with Eldredge through October.