One of the hardest parts of going on any vacation or packing for a music festival is, well, the packing itself. What do you wear? What do you bring? What do you need or not need? It can be frustrating. Luckily, I live here in Nashville which makes life during CMA Fest a little easier but that wasn’t always the case when attending the festival during the first couple years I started attending. More often than not the week of the festival has been very sunny and HOT. Jean shorts and light, flowy tops or tank tops will be your best bet for clothes. However, I remember a couple years ago I brought a hoodie with me for the nightly shows. Also, Nashville’s weather can change at any moment. One minute your weather app will tell you there will be sunny skies and it can change just a few minutes later to show a rain shower or thunderstorm in the forecast later in the day. Be prepared for all kinds of weather.

Packing Checklist:

  • Tickets! Tickets! Tickets!
    • Print tickets out – just in case you have poor cell service or if your phone battery dies.
  • Rain poncho
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Travel sized Advil
  • Battery powered fan
  • Camera
  • Sharpie
  • Batteries (phone and camera)
  • Chargers/Cables
  • A cooler
    • Side note: if you are driving in to Nashville and staying at a hotel, bringing a cooler can help you save some money if you don’t have a mini fridge in your room. You can always stop at a grocery store and pick up some waters, yogurt, cheese slices and other simple things that allow for better option for breakfast on the go or a snack while you are in your room in between events. Coolers aren’t allowed in the stadium or at most events.
  • A clear stadium bag
  • Sunscreen
  • Baseball Cap
  • Sunglasses – bring a couple pairs actually – they are one of the easiest things to lose!
  • At least one pair of jeans
  • At least one sweatshirt
  • Comfy shoes for walking
  • A reusable bottle for water
  • Blanket or Beach towel (for those of you who want to sit at the Riverfront shows all day)
  • If you flew in to Nashville be sure to bring an empty carry-on or leave some room in your suitcase to allow for all the extra goodies you will be bringing home from your trip.

If you are a first-time visitor be prepared to leave a little piece of your heart in this city when you leave because you will be back again and again for many years to come. Enjoy your country-music filled week!

More helpful links:

Things to do 

Places to Eat

Where to Shop

All things Nashville 

CMA Fest: What to know

CMA Fest: Pro tips