Bama Jam 2012 Friday, June 15th photos by Moseley Studios
CMA Music Festival set a new attendance record in 2012 with daily attendance topping 71,000 fans, a 9.2 percent increase over the 65,000 in attendance in 2011 and a sell out for the third consecutive year at LP Field. Tickets for 2013 CMA Music Festival, which will be held Thursday through Sunday June 6-9, are on sale now.
The increase was attributed to expanded seating at LP Field for the nightly concerts and mild temperatures that drove increased attendance in the free event and concert areas downtown.
“Third time’s the charm and to achieve a sell out for a third straight year and increase attendance says a lot about the strength of this event, the dedication of our fans, the support of our industry and local community, and the popularity of our music and artists,” said Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer.
Attendance figures for 2012 include four-day ticket packages, promotional and single night tickets, as well as attendance in non-ticketed free areas and events. In all, more than 450 artists performed more than 200 hours of concerts.
Week-long mild temperatures in Nashville resulted in increased attendance in the numerous free areas including The Buckle, Fan Alley, public events, and concert venues. In fact, there was record attendance on Friday and Saturday at Chevrolet Riverfront Park with more than 25,000 fans attending the free concerts throughout each day on the sloping bank of the Cumberland River. Crowds for the new BIC® Soleil Bella® Beach Stage were strong and attendance at the Bud Light Stage on the Bridgestone Plaza increased over 2011. The new BMI Stage at LP Field was bustling each evening as crowds entered the stadium for the nightly concerts.
“Eighty percent of our four-day ticket holders come from outside of Tennessee,” said Moore. “What we are seeing is gains with our locals who are coming out to support our free areas in increasing numbers.”
According to the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, the direct visitor spending generated by CMA Music Festival in 2011 was $30 million, a $6 million increase over 2010 making the Festival the top annual generator of tourist income in Nashville. And it appears that 2012 was a boon to business again. Figures for 2012 will be released by the NCVB at a later date.
“More stages, more music, and more fans. This event outperforms itself every year and at every level and the ‘halo’ effect lasts all year long,” said Butch Spyridon, President of the NCVB.
“For us, the Grand Ole Opry and CMA Music Festival go hand in hand,” said Melissa Fraley Agguini, Director of Retail, Opry Originals on Broadway, which premiered its Accessories Bar this year. “Although we are open year-round, we definitely see a peak during Festival week. This year we brought in extra staff and added security due to the number of artist autograph signings in-store. And while we had increasing traffic throughout the week, Sunday was our largest day because people feel they can carry what they purchase directly home, and the Country fans definitely love us for our unique apparel and accessory offerings.”
“The CMA Music Festival has been everything as advertised,” said Brian Pedrick, Manager, Bailey’s on Broadway. “Money-wise, CMA Music Festival increases about 400 percent of the normal business we do here downtown in a week.”
“We’ve tripled our inventory for these four days, and it was much needed,” said Linda Gorby, Manager of Boot Country on Broadway. “The store has been packed nonstop.”
CMA Music Festival benefits downtown businesses, but it also supports music education in Music City. The artists and celebrities participating in CMA Music Festival donate their time. They are not compensated for the hours they spend signing autographs and performing. In appreciation of their exhaustive efforts, The CMA Foundation donates proceeds from the event to music education on the artists’ behalf through CMA’s Keep the Music Playing program. To date, CMA has donated more than $6.1 million to the cause.
CMA’s valued corporate partners are contributing to this worthy and important initiative, too.
For the third consecutive year, longtime partner Chevrolet invited music industry professionals to a pre-Festival Industry Test Drive. Held at CMA on June 1, the event featured a wide variety of Chevrolet cars and trucks. For every test drive, Chevrolet donates $25 to the Keep the Music Playing program.
“Another great year at the CMA Music Festival where Chevrolet’s support of Country Music, engagement with passionate music fans, and offerings of multiple Chevrolet activities made for a fun, multi-day experience for fans and customers alike,” said Phil Caruso, Manager, Chevrolet National Promotions. “CMA Music Festival is good example of how Chevrolet continues to play a role in popular culture and the lives of many musical artists and their fans.”
Corporate brand partnerships are a key element to the marketing, fan experience, and financial support of the Festival. Nearly 50 different brands participated in the CMA Music Festival generating a combined activation and consumer engagements of more than 1.25 million – an increase of nearly 40 percent over numbers for 2011 (900,000). These various engagement elements included product sampling, dedicated registrations and sales leads, as well as brand impressions.
“This year more than 15 new brands – including AT&T, BIC, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Emerald Coast Vacations, Jelly Belly, Jack in the Box, Cracker Barrel, Bad Boy Buggies, and Cabot Cheese – participated at the Festival with dynamic consumer activities,” said Sheri Warnke, CMA Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications. “The Festival is always a fan favorite thanks in no small part to the commitment that our partners make to delivering an outstanding fan experience.”
“Pepsi, on a regional, national and even global scale, enjoys and seeks out innovative partnerships with companies and associations that share our values and vision for integration into daily lives of families and individuals alike,” said Tawni Fite, Pepsi Americas Beverages Mid Atlantic Region Food Service Marketing Manager. “We are passionate about creating quality beverages for every taste, activity, and occasion, while enriching our consumer’s experiences by capturing the excitement of now and encouraging people to live each moment to the fullest, the concept behind our first-ever global campaign launched last month, ‘Live for Now.’ For this reason, we couldn’t be more excited about teaming up with CMA.
“CMA is passionate about bringing a quality, wholesome product into the homes of music fans everywhere and enriching their lives through music,” Fite added. “It’s summertime in the U.S.A., and what could be more enjoyable for families everywhere than to enjoy cool, refreshing Pepsi beverages and wholesome, fun music brought to you by the CMA? Pepsi and CMA, a perfect partnership, one which we hope to grow for years to come.”
“CMA was a natural fit for Hunt Brothers Pizza,” said Kurt Solsvig, VP, Marketing, Hunt Brothers Pizza. “As a Nashville-based company we’ve always been interested in Country Music, and Hunt Brothers Pizza consumers are also huge Country Music fans, so a partnership with CMA seemed like a great way to leverage our common strengths and reward our loyal fans. The results were phenomenal. We achieved more than $600,000 in media coverage, received more than 21 million impressions, and more than doubled our following on Facebook.”
CMA Music Festival, which started as Fan Fair® in 1972, is about the fans and their relationship with the artists and the music.
The theme is universal and in 2012, Festival attendees came from all 50 states and two dozen countries, including Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Holland, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, and the U.K.
“Martin Guitars has enthusiasts from all over the world which was evident by the performers in our Martin Jam Tent; from Japan, Cuba, France, Germany, Holland and the U.S.A. all strummed their finest tunes at the CMA Music Festival,” saidAmani Duncan, VP Brand Marketing, CF Martin & Co., Inc.
Tickets for 2013 CMA Music Festival, which will be heldThursday through Sunday, June 6-9, are available now.
Fans can order tickets by calling the CMA Box Office at 1-800-CMA-FEST (262-3378) or Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. To purchase tickets online, visit. Prices do not include applicable handling fees. Ticket prices are subject to change without notice. All sales are final and non-refundable. Four-day ticket package categories correspond to different levels of seating at LP Field. Children 3 years and younger are admitted free.
2013 CMA MUSIC FESTIVAL- FOUR DAY TICKET PACKAGE PRICES
Gold Circle (sections A-E) – $350
Floor – $250
Lower Level Premium – $250
Lower Level – $200
Club Level Premium – $200
Club Level – $160
Upper Level Reserved – $135
Upper Level General Admission – $125
2012 CMA Music Festival Research Recap
With so many ardent Country Music fans in one place, opportunities abound for CMA to conduct research with this important consumer group.
“Understanding how fans experience Country Music is a priority for the industry,” said Karen Stump, CMA Senior Director of Market Research. “During Music Fest, attendees provided extremely valuable contributions to this understanding by eagerly participating in the variety of research studies we have going on.”
Top line research findings from the 2012 CMA Music Festival:
- Average age: 38.5
- 71 percent are college educated
- More than 50 percent (53.2%) of attendees say they are listening to more Country Music now than they did two years ago
- Satisfaction level is extremely high with 94 percent of the respondents stating they plan to return to next years’ Festival
Highlights of 2012 CMA Music Festival
The Eighth Annual CMA Music Festival Kick-Off Parade claimed Broadway from Tenth to First Avenue on Wednesday before an estimated 20,000 cheering spectators. Country Music Hall of Fame member Glen Campbell served as Grand Marshal. Little Big Town invited 40 lucky fans on their flotilla of four Premier pontoon boats and the Keep the Music Playing All Stars Marching Band, which is made up of high school musicians representing eight Metro Nashville Public Schools, made its second appearance in the parade.
Following the procession, the fun kicked into high gear with The Seventh Annual CMA Music Festival Block Party. An estimated 11,400 fans gathered at the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage for the kick off with Little Big Town followed by full-tilt performances from Brazilbilly, Eric Lee Beddingfield, andLoCash Cowboys. Angie Johnson performed the national anthem.
Nightly Concerts at LP Field
The Nightly Concerts at LP Field featured 38 acts over four nights of star-packed shows.
Pre-show activities Thursday included pre-taped remarks from students who have benefited from the Keep the Music Playing program followed by a special performance with David Nailand the Nashville School of Arts Chamber Choir (under the direction of Walter Bitner). Nail and the students performed a moving version of Nail’s “The Sound of a Million Dreams” before the students performed the national anthem. Welcoming the audience was CMA’s Moore and Nashville Mayor Karl Dean,who declared, “Welcome to Nashville…If you’ve come a short distance or a long distance, we are thrilled to have you in Nashville. I hope in the next few days you experience all that Nashville has to offer.”
Performing Thursday were Jason Aldean, Glen Campbell, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Brad Paisley, and Zac Brown Band. Hank Williams Jr. made a surprise appearance, joining Paisley on “I’m Gonna Get Drunk and Play Hank Williams.” Lauren Alaina and Kellie Pickler delivered acoustic sets.
“I started way back there at the top,” said Lambert, pointing to the high seats at LP Field. “How are y’all doing up there? Slowly over the years, I made my way down. I can’t tell y’all how much it means to me to be here as an artist with y’all singing back to me.”
“The amazing thing about Country Music is that while it’s all about reality, it still has the ability, between our music and beer, to help you forget what you want to forget tonight,” said Paisley.
The Band Perry, Brantley Gilbert, Ronnie Milsap, Jake Owen, Blake Shelton, and Carrie Underwood performed on Friday. Randy Houser and Gwen Sebastian of “The Voice” performed acoustic sets and the national anthem was performed by the Oak Ridge Boys.
“Nashville, every single person that came from all over the country and the world, don’t think I can’t love you,” called out a jubilant Owen.
More reflectively, Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry told the audience, “You may not know this, but you have changed the lives of my brothers and me. Thank you, to each and every one of you.”
Performing Saturday were Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Hunter Hayes, Faith Hill, Little Big Town, and Kenny Rogers.Rodney Atkins made a surprise appearance, performing “Just Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Love and Theft and Kip Mooreperformed acoustic sets and the national anthem was performed by Julie Roberts.
“Nashville! Are you having the night of your life out there?” queried Bryan.
Church made his LP Field debut in 2012. “I just wanted to tell you that I’m having a really, really good time right now,” he exclaimed.
“What’s up, LP Field? I can’t tell you how cool it is that I can actually say that!” said Hayes, who also made his debut on the CMA Music Festival’s LP Field stage.
The Sunday lineup featured Dierks Bentley, Alan Jackson, The Mavericks, Martina McBride, Scotty McCreery, andRascal Flatts. Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild made a surprise guest appearance with Bentley. Country Music Hall of Fame member Bill Anderson and Steel Magnolia performed acoustic sets and the national anthem was performed bySarah Darling.
Dedicating his song “Home” to the fighting men and women of the U.S. armed forces, Bentley said, “When we think about those guys in Afghanistan who traveled west, they fly across that ocean and they see that eastern seaboard for the first time and have that American flag on their sleeve, those guys must be thinking, what’s that song? Well, this is ‘Home.’ Let’s sing this song for them.”
“You guys got me here today, voting me through ‘American Idol,’ so I owe this to you,” said McCreery.
“All I’ve ever wanted to do since I was 4 years old was sing,” said McBride, who closed the Festival Sunday night. “That’s all I wanted and that’s all I was good at. And you guys did this for me. Thank you for making my dreams come true.”
Thursday and Friday were hosted by GAC “Headline Country” host Storme Warren; Saturday was hosted by CMT “The Singing Bee” host/actress Melissa Peterman; and Sunday was hosted by CMT’s Evan Farmer.
BMI Tailgate Party
New at this year’s Festival was The BMI Tailgate Party. Located outside LP Field, the new stage featured a strong selection of BMI’s songwriters and artists warming up the audience and providing a popular pre-show destination before fans entered the stadium for the Nightly Concerts.
“This opportunity to partner with the CMA for the Tailgate Party was a natural fit for BMI,” said Jody Williams, BMI VP Writer/Publisher Relations Nashville. “Both organizations share a passion for championing great new artists, and together we can shine an even brighter light on the next generation of stars – and have a lot of fun doing it.”
Digital Promotions Engage the Fans
Through digital and social media, CMA connected with more fans than ever during the 2012 CMA Music Festival.
Digital planning and assistance tools included the CMA AWARDS & MUSIC FEST App (17,000 new downloads for the 2012 event); CMAfest.com and its mobile phone-optimized counterpart CMAfest.mobi; the Custom Schedule feature available via both the App and CMAfest.com, allowing fans to build their weekend schedule while viewing the totality of the entertainment options; the CMA MOB text alerts, which fans may opt in to by texting keyword FESTIVAL to shortcode 66937 (standard text and data rates apply); the official blog (blog.CMAfest.com); and social media channelsFacebook.com/CMA, ,YouTube.com/CountryMusicAssoc andPinterest.com/CMAworld.
In 2012, CMA launched a Social Media Team, who in addition to tweeting and posting live happenings at the Festival, held daily games and contests to give away prizes such as Luke Bryan and Scotty McCreery meet-and-greet passes, LP Field Gold Circle seat upgrades, Fan Fair Hall CMA booth Fast Passes, and more. CMA’s social audiences were notified of times and places of games, and contestants were selected from the groups amassed at each respective locale through activities such as dance-offs and Country Music trivia. Games included “Dancing on the Stars,” CMA’s version of a cakewalk; “What Was I Thinkin’,” CMA’s take on “The Newlywed Game;” and “Man! I Feel Like a Woman,” in which contestants played dress-up using non-clothing household items including table cloths and toilet paper. Each night, the Social Media Team capped off the evening passing out LP Field Fan Photo Line Fast Passes at random locations revealed via Twitter.
Nightly text-to-screen and tweet-to-screen promotions at LP Field were a hit during pre-show and set-change periods, resulting in more than 31,000 tweets and 22,500 texts sent to the Jumbotrons. Winners of text and tweet promotions won prizes including upgrade to the front row Chevrolet Best Seats in the House, and backstage meet-and-greets with artists including Brantley Gilbert, Hunter Hayes, Faith Hill, Jana Kramer, Jake Owen, and Blake Shelton. Through these promotions, CMA’s MOB climbed to nearly 165,000 members by the close of the Festival, while CMA’s Twitter (@CountryMusic) followers increased nearly four percent Thursday to Sunday.
CMA’s total aggregate digital audience now exceeds 1.4 million fans.
Chevrolet Riverfront Stage
“The party is here, baby!” proclaimed Eddie Montgomery ofMontgomery Gentry as the 2000 CMA Vocal Duo of the Year opened their set and four days of music at the popular Chevrolet Riverfront Stage in front of one of the biggest opening day crowds on record – 14,500.
The stage bustled with a roster of outstanding performers delivering longer sets for the appreciative crowd. In all, 41 acts performed nearly 30 hours of concerts over the four days.
Bud Light Stage at Bridgestone Arena Plaza
The audience at the Bud Light Stage at the Bridgestone Arena Plaza was enthusiastic and didn’t hesitate to demonstrate their appreciation for the 39 acts performing on the stage during 26 hours of concerts. The exceptional lineup included up-and-comers, established stars, and legends.
“The CMA Music Festival is one of the premier events for Country Music fans, and we’re thrilled that Bud Light continued its role as the official beer partner in 2012,” said Mike Sundet, VP, Bud Light. “We are also proud to have sponsored the new Bud Light Stage at Bridgestone Arena Plaza, which was one of top destinations for live music throughout the Festival.”
BIC® Soleil Bella® Beach
New to the Festival in 2012 was the BIC® Soleil Bella® Beach and Stage with a non-stop lineup of talent performing in the beach-like setting in Hall of Fame Park. In all 39 acts performed including Soleil Bella belle Sunny Sweeney.Volleyball, food trucks, interactive exhibits, cabanas, and a real sand beach with lounge chairs and umbrellas provided the perfect setting for the beautiful weather.
AT&T U‐verse® with Cisco® Technology Fan Fair Hall
The state of continuous commotion that’s been the standard for Fan Fair Hall was back in force with more than 250 artists and celebrities appearing at the Nashville Convention Center. All exhibit booths were sold out in advance of the event. Artists meeting fans, posing for photos, and signing autographs in the AT&T U-Verse® with Cisco® Technology Fan Fair Hall included Lauren Alaina, Lynn Anderson, The Band Perry, Laura Bell Bundy, Easton Corbin, Bucky Covington, Billy Dean, Edens Edge, Eli Young Band, Sara Evans, Donna Fargo, actress Jennie Garth, Brantley Gilbert, Linda Gray and Josh Henderson from the upcoming TNT revival of “Dallas,” Hunter Hayes, Randy Houser, Brenda Lee, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Scotty McCreery, Montgomery Gentry, Justin Moore, David Nail, Heidi Newfield, The Oak Ridge Boys, Craig Morgan, James Otto, Gwen Sebastian, Doug Stone, Josh Turner, Mark Wills, and Chris Young, who also did a virtual meet-and-greet with fans on Friday.
New procedures for securing autographs were in place in 2012 making the Exhibit Hall safer and the process of getting a coveted signature fair for all attendees. The online drawing was created to improve safety, enhance the overall Festival experience, and make the process for securing an autograph equitable for all Festival goers.
“There was something cool about spending the night outside Fan Fair Hall before the first day,” admitted Andy Soto, 40, from Austin, Texas. “But the new system does make things a lot easier and a little bit safer for us all, too.”
Durango® returned to present the Acoustic Corner, which launched in 2004 as a showcase for independent artists, and featured 38 solo or group performers. The Acoustic Corner’s move to the floor of the Fan Fair Hall was extremely popular with fans and the area stayed packed throughout 20 hours of music. All performances were broadcast and streamed live by 650 WSM-AM Nashville.
The Wrangler Fashion Show on Saturday, hosted by GAC’sSuzanne Alexander, was a hit with spectators. Participants included Trace Adkin’s wife Rhonda Adkins and daughtersMackenzie, Brianna, and Trinity, members of Brassfield Aly, Kristy Lee Cook, Ali Dee, Dee Hilligoss, Rachel Holder, child actor Jet Jurgensmeyer, members of Parmalee, Michael Ray, Lizzie Sider, Bridgette Tatum, Tennessee Titans cheerleaders, Olympic bobsledder Jeremy Ware, Trent Willmon and other Festival fashionistas modeling the hottest styles from Wrangler, Durango boots, and additional designs from Manuel, designer to the stars who is known world-wide for his embellished and embroidered motifs. Manuel will be embellishing a few of the Wrangler fashions that will be auctioned off to benefit Keep the Music Playing. A few lucky fans won the chance to strut their stuff with the artists, compliments of Wrangler.
New in 2012 was the Fan Fair Hall Red Carpet, where fans got to be the paparazzi and photograph artists as they were entering or leaving the booths. Highlights of the Red Carpet included TNT “Dallas” stars Linda Gray and Josh Henderson posing for photos and addressing the enthusiastic crowd; Neal McCoy who serenaded fans; Gwen Sebastian, who did a somersault down the catwalk; and a surprise appearance byLuke Bryan with The Band Perry on Sunday.
“I try to make it to the Red Carpet at the CMA Awards,” saidGeoff Brown, 51, from Minneapolis, Minn. “Having the same chance to see my favorites up close in Fan Fair Hall makes the Festival experience even better.”
A partner of CMA Music Festival, the City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge Saturday morning game pitted two teams of Country stars against each other at Greer Stadium. The game ended in a 15-15 tie between Team “After Midnight with Blair Garner” (including Bucky Covington, Scotty McCreery, Robin Meade, David Nail, Tennessee Titan Dave Ball, and more) and Team Grand Ole Opry (Lauren Alaina, Brantley Gilbert, Vince Gill, Carrie Underwood, Tennessee Titan Jake Locker, and more). Proceeds from tickets to the game will be donated to City of Hope to fund research into curing cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases.
The grassy area south of Riverfront Park was home to several exciting events. On Thursday the Field & Stream Celebrity Total Outdoorsman Challenge showcased artists and a few lucky fans testing their skills in fly casting, archery, and air rifle shooting. The overall winner was Ty Brown (score 104) followed by Trent Willmon (score 102), and Mark Wills(score 97).
During Total Outdoorsman Challenge regional qualifiers, two of the participants shot the equivalent of a hole-in-one known as a “Robin Hood.” A Robin Hood is a once-in-a-lifetime event for an archer where an arrow is split by a second arrow.
Both Brian Newhouse 29, St. Charles Mo, and Chase Gibbs, 40, Brentwood Tenn., were shooting Bowtech Diamond brand bows at a distance of 25 yards, using carbon arrows. They accomplished the amazing feat on consecutive shots.
Gibbs, a veteran big game hunter with a bow, said he has shot thousands of arrows, but the Robin Hood at the Total Outdoorsman Challenge was his first. “I’m pretty excited,” he said. “I’ve been hunting for 32 years and this is just about the most exciting event in archery I’ve ever experienced.”
High-flying four-legged athletes competed in Ultimate Air Dogs. The overall winner was Trout, a 3-year-old Chesapeake Bay Retriever owned by Pat Trainor of Cherry Log, Ga. Trout’s leap measured 26 feet 4 inches.
CMA credentialed more than 730 journalists, photographers, and videographers representing more than 230 domestic and international media outlets including: AOL Music/The Boot, Associated Press, BBC Radio 2 (UK), Billboard, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Canada), CMT, CMT Canada (Canada), Country Aircheck, Country Music Channel (Australia), Country Music People (UK), Country Weekly, Deutschlandradio (Germany), Dial-Global Radio Network, “E! News,” Envision Radio Network, FOX News Channel, FOX News Radio, GAC, “Good Morning America,” Gray Communications, “Headline Country,” “Inside Edition,” MSN.com, Music Row,Nashville Business Journal, NYT.com, People, Premiere Radio Network, Reuters News Service, RTL (France), Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Tennessean, “The Better Show,” “The Chew,” “The View,” The Travel Channel, TV Guide, United Stations Radio Network, UPI Newswire, US Magazine, USA Today, VH1, Yahoo!, and more.
International media outlets came from the following countries: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Earlier this year, CMA designated 2012 as “The Year of Country Radio.” Broadcast professionals from more than 40 radio stations attended the event and many hosted the various event stages.
“Hosting a show at Music Fest is without question a career highlight of mine,” said Philip Gibbons of “The Philip Gibbons Show” on WGSQ-FM Cookeville, Tenn., who hosted on the Bud Light Stage. “CMA and Country radio have an outstanding partnership that continues to enhance and propel Country Music to new heights during the Year of Country Radio!! Great teamwork, CMA!”
“The opportunity to get up in front of the most passionate Country fans on the planet was invaluable,” said Billy Greenwood of “The Billy Greenwood Show” on WSIX-AM Nashville, who hosted on the Bud Light Stage. “This was the best CMA Music Fest to date – and all of the artists I talked to backstage agreed! We’ll never take for granted the support we’re given through CMA and look forward to another BIG party next year!”
“We’ve been hosting The Chevrolet Riverfront Stage on Friday afternoons for several years now, and this was the loudest and most enthusiastic crowd ever,” insisted Big D and Bubba of Clear Channel Radio’s syndicated “Big D & Bubba Show.” “We were surprised by the number of people who told us this was their first time and how many of them were already planning their next visit to CMA Music Festival.”
CMA took numerous steps in 2012 to protect the safety of fans so they could fully enjoy the Ultimate Country Music Fan Experience. Enhanced Information Booths were scattered throughout the downtown footprint with trained staff to serve the needs of a steady stream of visitors.
Medical tents and roving medical teams from Vanderbilt Medical Center, a nonprofit medical facility, were readily available for Festival goers needing attention for a variety of ailments including treatment of blisters and sunburns. In all, they logged 882 patient contacts with 14 ambulance transports. Vanderbilt LifeFlight also unveiled its new state-of-the-art transport helicopter, an AmericanEuro EC 130 Helicopter, during the event.
For the third year, CMA enlisted volunteers for the Festival. More than 460 people stepped up from across the country and around the world to volunteer their time to fill 822 positions including the Fun Team, shuttle drivers, managing lines at the Fan Fair Hall, as well as balloon and banner holders for the Kick Off Parade. The volunteers worked more than 10,000 hours.
ABC Television Special
As previously announced, the Festival was filmed for a three-hour television special “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” airing Monday, Sept. 17 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) and hosted for the first time by Luke Bryan and The Band Perry’sKimberly Perry. Robert Deaton is the Executive Producer. The special was shot in high definition and will be broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound.
This is the eighth year the show will air on ABC. The primetime event debuted on the CBS Television Network in 2004. The special features stadium concerts and intimate club-like performances with behind-the-ropes access to the artists.
For up-to-the-minute information about tickets, travel information, schedules, artists appearing at 2013 CMA Music Festival and more, visit www.CMAfest.com. Sign up for CMA Exclusive, the official eNewsletter of Country Music, where fans get connected to Country and receive exciting updates about your favorite artists, contests, free stuff, and more. Join the free CMA Mobile Community by texting CMAINFO to 66937 (standard text rates apply).
CMA Music Festival is the Ultimate Country Music Fan Experience – a celebration of America’s music that takes over downtown Nashville with non-stop concerts on multiple stages with a vast and varied roster of artists. CMA Music Festival is a four-time winner of the International Entertainment Buyers Association’s LIVE! Award for Festival of the Year (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010).
CMA Music Festival is organized and produced by the Country Music Association. Fan Fair® is a registered trademark of CMA. Chevrolet™ is the Official Ride of Country Music. American Airlines is the Official Airline of the CMA Music Festival. BIC is an Official Partner of the 2012 CMA Music Festival. Bad Boy Buggies are the Official UTV of the CMA Music Festival. Connect with CMA online at CMAfest.com, Facebook.com/CMA and Twitter.com/CountryMusic.
What do you get when you cross deep old school bluegrass and aggressive hip-hop? You get the commencing sound of Gangstagrass. Gangstagass is a unique New York band with an original sound of modern hip-hop and Bluegrass. The band recently played at the notorious Springwater Supper Club on 27th Avenue N. By contorting different styles of music, Gangstagrass brings in new listeners to the Bluegrass community as well as hip-hop. They are a prime example of pushing the envelope to drive musicians outside of their normal boundaries.
The show also featured some of Nashville’s predominate artist such as Charles Butler and associates, Openmic Mcgahan, Ron Dee, Music City Soul Dancers and the bold, yet eye-opening Deep Fried 5. With so many Bluegrass/Country music acts around, the mixing of hip-hop and rap into the fire, not only gives new life to a traditional style of bluegrass, but also entices different levels of listeners.
The band’s leader and soul is Rench, whom is an accomplished all around musician. He favors different styles of music ranging from a beat with an electronic drum machine, to songs with a more time-honored style of folk pedal steel guitars. Gangstagrass’s other central constituent is T.O.N.E.Z, which adds the urban style rap into the habitual resonance of bluegrass, which gives Gangstagrass their signature sound.
Gangstagrass major hit “Long Hard Times To Come” was featured on the attained show Justified in 2010. This brought Gangstagrass to a new level and made an impressionable mark for new music genres. By adding two diverse sub-genres of music and mixing them both together, makes for a stimulating and pleasant sound.
This Brooklyn based band has more to offer than an innovative vibe. With catchy songs such as “I Go Hard”, ”Long Hard Times” and “I’m Gonna Put You Down,” offers an array of songs to please anyone who has an ear for great music. By molding different genres of popular music together will only make this dynamic band more innovative and intriguing. If you are expecting an upbeat and thought-provoking concert with a little thrust behind it, then Gangstagrass is the group for you.
Story and Photos by: Harrison Baker