Artists and fans have already crowded into downtown Nashville for the 2012
CMA Music Festival. All that’s missing is the relentless heat — often pushing the 100-degree mark — that longtime attendees
have come to expect and endure each year.
The music at Riverfront Park launched Thursday morning (June 7) with Montgomery
Gentry, but there’s plenty of live music to be heard at several stages and other venues before the festival closes Sunday
night at LP Field.
And everything’s cool — in more ways than one. With the thermometer hitting the high 70s on Thursday,
the National Weather Service is forecasting a high of only 90 throughout the weekend. And that makes things better for everybody.
Glen Campbell served as grand marshal for the festival’s kick-off parade
Wednesday in Nashville. The day was highlighted by the CMT Music Awards,
one of several ancillary events coinciding with the festival. Numerous artists are also hosting fan club parties this week.
the smaller stages at the festival are offering a diverse array of entertainment, the main focus is on the daytime concert
series at Riverfront Park and the evening shows at LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans.
Free and open to the public,
the Riverfront Park offering ranges from veterans (Mel Tillis, the
Oak Ridge Boys, Larry Gatlin the Gatlin Brothers) to established
hitmakers (Tracy Lawrence, Jo
Dee Messina, Lonestar, Neal
McCoy, Craig Morgan, Phil
Vassar, Darryl Worley to newer acts (Lee
Brice, Laura Bell Bundy, Edens
Edge, Brett Eldredge, Colt
Ford, Gloriana, Casey James,
Jana Kramer, Lonestar, Love
and Theft, Dustin Lynch, Kip
Moore, David Nail, Jerrod
Niemann, the Randy Rogers Band, Thomas
Rhett, Sunny Sweeney, the
Farm, Josh Thompson and James
The nightly concerts at LP Field are ticketed events featuring some of the biggest names in country music.
The series begins Thursday with Glen Campbell, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum,
the Zac Brown Band and Brad
Paisley. Friday’s lineup includes Ronnie Milsap, Brantley
Gilbert, Jake Owen, The
Band Perry, Blake Shelton and Carrie
Underwood. The music continues Saturday with Kenny Rogers (who will
perform earlier in the day at the Bonnaroo festival in Manchester, Tenn.), Hunter
Hayes, Little Big Town, Eric
Church, Luke Bryan and Faith
Hill. The festival closes Sunday with the final songs being sung by the Mavericks,
Scotty McCreery, Dierks
Bentley, Rascal Flatts, Alan
Jackson and Martina McBride.
In addition to the autograph
signings at the Nashville Convention Center, two other noteworthy events are scheduled.
The annual City of Hope Celebrity
Softball Challenge is set for Saturday at 9 a.m. at Greer Stadium, home of the Nashville Sounds baseball team. Scheduled to
participate are American Idol‘s Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina,
Brantley Gilbert, Vince Gill, Carrie Underwood and many others.
Also on Saturday, the sixth annual CMA Music Festival
Fan Social Presented by CMT will feature acoustic performances by Kix Brooks,
Casey James, Aaron Lewis, Love and Theft and Sunny Sweeney. Doors open
at 2 p.m. for the free event taking place at an as-yet-undisclosed location. Fans can follow CMT, CMA and Fan Social artists
for clues to the hidden location. Find out more about
how to attend the Fan Social.