Country Music Association Festival
If you are a country music fan, than CMA Fest is where you want to be! It's a four day event in Nashville, TN where you will see the best of the best in country music artists, and get to enjoy the fan fair as well! There are nightly concerts that you buy tickets for, daily concerts that are free, and chances for meet and greets everywhere. You will also get a TON of freebies and swag at the fan fair and be able to take part in many different events and activities, all on some of the most famous streets in country music history.
Where It All Happens!
Nashville is the capital of Tennessee, located in Davidson County on the Cumberland River.
It was founded in 1779, originally called Fort Nashborough.
Today there are many places associated with country music that tourists love to visit in Nashville. Some of these places are: the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, and the General Jackson showboat.
More On Nashville
The View at LP Field
This is where the main shows take place. When you buy your CMA Fest tickets, this is what you're paying for. You'll see a LOT of amazing artists back to back every night here.
Fun Fact: LP Field is the home stadium of the NFL's Tennessee Titans and the Tennessee State University Tigers.
It's located on the bank of the Cumberland River, and if you look across you will be staring right at downtown Nashville (and the Riverfront Stage.)
My Thoughts on the Venue
My first thoughts when I entered the stadium were, "Wow, this is huge, and there are so many people!" I was pretty unsure of where to go, and it was a bit much to deal with. The concerts begin while it's still light out, so it can be very hot and uncomfortable sitting there baking in the sun.
The seats I purchased tickets for were also very high up and therefore it was hard to see the stage. I found myself looking at the large screens next to the stage most of the time. This to me made little sense, it was just like watching on tv, except not in the comfort of my own home.
I really enjoyed the amount of artists that I was able to see perform every night though. And the shows they put on were fantastic! Sugarland is the one that really stands out in my memory. They had a high school marching band join them for their performance and it was just awesome.
Another topic that this brings up; LP Field concerts are what are filmed for the tv broadcast. So, there were multiple times where certain songs or speeches were performed more than once so the cameras could get all the angles they needed.
Brad Paisley Performing at LP Field
This is where you see the free shows. Anyone can attend the shows, even if don't have CMA Fest tickets. The only plus to having tickets is you get to enter the grassy area where you watch from first, and you can walk right up in front of the stage and take pictures too.
I really enjoyed the performances I saw at this stage. It was a much smaller crowd, and you're able to see the artists very well no matter where you sit. The only problem was the heat! It was so hot the whole week I was there, and because these concerts are during the day, the sun is brutal. I highly recommend bringing a hat, sunglasses, sunblock, and lots of water!
Check out some of the photos I took at Riverfront Stage below.
Riverfront Stage PicsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Brantley Gilbert - on the Riverfront Stage
Brantley was one of the MANY awesome artists to perform on the Riverfront Stage during the CMA Festival in 2011.
He is such an amazing writer and performer. IF you listen to Jason Aldean, you'll probably like Brantley! He's written many of Jason's songs.
It was wonderful being so close to Brantley, we were maybe 10 feet away!