Our Guide To The CMA Music Festival

Written by SLN Staff Writer
Our Guide To The CMA Music Festival

Many of you tuned in last night for the 3-hour TV special CMA Music Fesival: Country’s Night To Rock. Chances are, whether you’ve been before or if you’re a first-timer, watching last night’s show got you excited about planning a trip to Nashville for the annual CMA Music Festival. There’s LOTS of information out there that sometimes becomes confusing and a bit overwhelming. If you’re thinking of heading to the CMA Fest next year, here’s our tips that will hopefully help you in your planning!

GO ~ You’re a country music fan and you’ve heard about the festival and what a fun time it is…but can it really be all that it’s cracked up to be? Can it really be such a great deal for your money? The answer is YES! If you still haven’t made up your mind, just do it…bite the bullet and decide to go! Every country music fan should experience this festival at least once…and the sooner the better! Once you go, we have a feeling you’ll want to go back year after year.

Go Early, Stay Late ~ The festival is officially held beginning on Thursday, June 9 and goes through Sunday, June 12…but there are many other activities in and around town on the surrounding days, such as fan club parties of your favorite artists and the City of Hope celebrity softball game. If you can swing it, we recommend getting there a day (or two!) early to enjoy some other activities that Nashville has to offer because once the festival begins, you won’t have time to do much else!

Admission ~ The main events that are held during the CMA Fest are the big nightly concerts at LP Field, the daily shows at the Riverfront Stages, and Meet & Greets with the stars. The admission ticket that you purchase will range from $120 – $300 (unless you buy an inclusive package – then it will be included in that cost) and that ticket is your admission to all of those events. You will receive a lanyard with your ticket attached…you will wear that throughout the 4 days and that will get you in to all things festival related.

Stay downtown ~ Sure, you can find cheaper accommodations on the outskirts of Nashville, but it is definitely worth the little bit of extra money to be right in the heart of the action. If you stay outside of town, by the time that you use gas to drive in town and pay to park, you’ll end up paying the same that you would if you had stayed downtown. And besides, with so much going on, it’s just so convenient to walk steps from your hotel and be in the heart of the action.

Buy a package ~ The very first year that we went we opted to buy one of the all-inclusive packages instead of purchasing each bit separately. We would definitely recommend this!! Doing this took so much work and confusion out of the process for us. Now that we’ve been, we feel confident that we could do things on our own if it proved to be cheaper, but buying it in a package really was the best way to go.

Pack accordingly ~ It’s hot and you’ll be doing a lot of walking and very little sleeping so you definitely want to worry about comfort instead of fashion. If you can pull off both, then great (and please let us in on the secret!,) but definitely make comfort your priority.

Travel with whatever works ~ We always enjoy the festival with friends and have a great time! Our group is always so laid back, go with the flow, and we’re able to customize our trip the way we want. If someone wants to go in one direction while the others go in a different direction, that’s fine…we really just roll with the flow and that works for us. But, if you don’t have any friends that you think would enjoy the festival, don’t be afraid to go alone! You are NEVER alone at the CMA Fest…you’re surrounded by thousands and thousands of people with the same interests as you. We meet so many new friends that week and it’s also very surprising how small the country music concert scene is. We are constantly bumping into people that we have seen along the way at a previous show or seen in an artists fan club. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly, so if the only way for you to go is to go alone, don’t hesitate!

Those are the major points that we can think of right now, but if you have any questions, post them here in the comments section or send us an e-mail at contactus@countrymusicislove.com. We’re happy to answer any questions that we can. We know that money is tight for everyone now, so if you’re looking to get the most out of your money, then the CMA Fest is the way to go! We’re in no way experts about the festival, and our recommendations are just that – recommendations!…but we know how confusing it can be at first so we’re glad to help you through the process!

P.S. ~ These girls had a few mishaps on the way, but they didn’t let that ruin their enthusiasm!