CMA fest will be taking over the city of Nashville June 7-10 and if this is your first visit for the music festival, Welcome! You are about to have one of the best week’s of your life. If this is not your first time visiting for the music festival then you already know what you are in store for.
This is one week most of the local’s dread due to complicated commutes with blocked roads and higher than normal traffic. Although, I live here and those things due get under my skin a bit too, I absolutely love this week every year. I get to see friends I haven’t seen since the festival a year prior. I get to listen to some great country music. Most importantly, I get to have a great time making memories with those that share similar interests that will last us for the rest of our lives. There is one downfall you will need to be prepared for – it can also be one of the HOTTEST weeks of your life.
I have attended CMA Fest every year since 2009. This may be my TENTH festival I am still finding new things to see, do, love and enjoy. I wanted to compile a list of things that you need to know before you visit that will help you. Things that I have taken note of that have helped me and that I still use to keep the week running as smooth as possible.
Welcome to Nashville where you will need to be prepared for all kinds of weather. I have sat in the stadium with a hoodie on some nights and others you are drinking water like its your job and some nights you might even be wearing a poncho to stay dry. Be sure to pack smart, check the weather before you leave but don’t ever bank on it. The weather changes fairly quickly around here. It won’t hurt to pack a pair of jeans or two, a hoodie and definitely pick up a few of the $1 ponchos at Wal-Mart!
MEET & GREET’s
Ahhh…. The biggest question of CMA Fest. How do I meet my favorite artist? Well, sometimes you can meet them if they offer a meet and greet during a fan club party (see your favorite artist’s site or social media for details on if they are having one) or you can enter to win a meet and greet at Fan Fair X. Fan Fair X is held in the Music City Center in downtown, Nashville and inside you will find various shopping/food vendors, small stages, games/activities and of course meet and greet booths. There are two ways you can meet an artist at CMA Fest. You can win your way in, and you can do this by following CMA on social media and they will announce the details of how to enter. If you don’t win a meet and greet, don’t worry! There is always a hopeful line – however, you are not guaranteed to meet the artist. It is worth the chance of getting in line as I have met quite a few artists this way.
- Darius and Friends – Monday, June 4
- Song Suffragettes – Monday, June 4
- CMT Awards – Wednesday, June 6
- Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam – Wednesday, June 6
- City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge – Saturday, June 9
- Nissan Stadium/CMA Fest – Thursday June 7 – Sunday June 10
- Your four day pass will gets you all four nights of shows at Nissan Stadium, entry in to Fan Fair X Hall (meet/greets & vendors) as well as early entry into the Riverfront shows and a few other perks…like $4 off at the Country Music Hall of Fame, $3 off Opry Tour, $3 off Ryman tour and saves you 20% on celebrity softball tickets.
- Ascend Nightly Shows – Thursday June 7 – Sunday June 10
- Riverfront shows – Thursday June 7- Sunday June 10
- These shows are FREE!
- Fan Fair X – Thursday June 7- Sunday June 10
- If you win a meet and greet with an artist during CMA Fest this is where you will go. There are also hopeful lines – If you don’t win a meet/greet ticket you can get in a hopeful line if the artist has more time available and can stay longer they will to meet those in the hopeful line.
This is my least favorite part about anything in Nashville. I absolutely hate to pay to park my car. But paying to park your car is better, cheaper and whole lot less stressful than having it towed.
Be aware that parking prices can be fairly costly. Some lots may cost you around $50 for only a few hours! One of the best investments you can make is purchasing a parking pass for Nissan Stadium. Parking will be available from 9a-2hours after the show. However, you can not park, leave and re-enter multiple times throughout the day.
If you have never visited Nashville before and you are looking for something to do outside of the regular CMA Fest activities then visit my Nashville page or check out these blogs:
Above all else, remember to have fun! It will be hot, stay hydrated. There will be late nights and early mornings, get your rest. There will be scrambles to make it to fan club parties and shows and attempting to be in numerous places all at the same time. Know that there may be some things you just can’t make and that it’s ok. These things can be frustrating, but you are in Nashville, TN for one of the best weeks country music has to offer. Have the time of your life!