Fan Fair X celebrates what CMA Music Festival is most well-known for: creating unique experiences Country fans won’t find anywhere else. Since the very first Fan Fair took place in Nashville in 1972, personal interaction with artists continues to be the heart of CMA Music Festival as it marks its 45th year. Fan Fair X is the center of the Ultimate Country Music Fan Experience with autograph signings, concerts, celebrity panels, and more inside Music City Center.
“Fan Fair X continues to be the uniting thread between the original Fan Fair and what we now know as CMA Music Festival 45 years later,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “Creating opportunities for fans to interact with a favorite artist or meet a new rising star is what has distinguished our Festival throughout the years. The ongoing tradition of Fan Fair takes place each day inside Fan Fair X and creates memories our attendees will treasure for years to come.”
Fan Fair X takes over Music City Center with 353,000 square feet of fun and entertainment including artist booths, a marketplace, exciting interactive experiences, lifestyle exhibits, and three indoor stages. Fans can enjoy activities Thursday through Sunday, June 9-12 (9:30 AM-5:00 PM). Venue doors open at 9:30 AM/CT each day.
Artist of the Day
Each morning (11:00 AM-12:00 PM/CT) inside Fan Fair X, an Artist of the Day will kick off the daily festivities in style. Hillary Scott will take to the CMA Close Up Stage opening day in Fan Fair X, Thursday, June 9. Scott, along with members of her family, will celebrate their brand new gospel album with performances and Q&A with fans.
Friday’s Artist of the Day will be Charles Esten, star of ABC’s “Nashville,” followed by the legendary vocalist Martina McBride who will discuss her brand new album Restless (Nash Icon Records) and career on Saturday, and Charles Kelley will give fans an up close and personal look into his new album The Driver (Capitol Records Nashville) on Sunday.
Fan Fair X once again offers THREE indoor stages: the CMA Close Up Stage with superstar panels and more; the Durango Music Spot, which features performances programmed by storied, radio powerhouse station WSM-AM; and the Radio Disney Country Stage, featuring rising artists and familiar favorites hosted by Radio Disney Country personalities.
CMA Close Up Stage
The most highly anticipated experience inside Fan Fair X is the CMA Close Up Stage where fans can get up close and personal with their favorite artists.
The CMA Close Up Stage has an all-new look and is growing from 800 to more than 1,000 seats (with additional standing room) due to the enormous popularity of the stage in 2015, with intimate performances, interactive panels, informative presentations, and more.
“The CMA Close Up Stage continues to grow in popularity with the fans every year because it is precisely the type of setting so unique to Fan Fair X and CMA Music Festival,” said Trahern. “This is where fans can hear directly from the artist about aspects of their career or life and gives fans a unique opportunity to dive deeper into an artist’s story.”
A complete list of panels and performances is available at CMAfest.com, but in addition to the Artist of the Day programs each morning, other highlights include (subject to change):
• Country Music Hall of Fame inductee Charlie Daniels discusses his career with WSM-AM host Bill Cody
• “Music is Medicine” with Marie Osmond
• Behind the Scenes of “I Saw the Light”: Hank Williams’ Legacy with Marc Abraham, Holly Williams, and Jett Williams
• USO Tour Veterans: An Inside Look with Rod Essig, Craig Morgan, and Kellie Pickler
• Stars of the Grand Old Opry – “Girl Talk” featuring Lorrie Morgan, Jeannie Seely, and friends
• CMA Game Show with Bill Anderson, Kristian Bush, JT Hodges, Olivia Lane, Lorrie Morgan, and Mark Wills
• Eric Paslay gives exclusive preview of his new album, Dressed in Black (EMI Nashville)
• Panel discussion with the cast of CMT’s new original comedy “Still The King” – Billy Ray Cyrus, Joey Lauren Adams, and Madison Iseman
• Finale Screening and Fan Q&A for USA Network’s “Chrisley Knows Best” – hosted by Country star Sara Evans, who appears in the show, and Todd Chrisley
• SESAC songwriters
• “The 50th Annual CMA Awards” anniversary panel with Robert Deaton, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Ray Stevens, and The Gatlin Brothers
• Not So Newlywed Game featuring Thompson Square
Durango Music Spot
Another stage where fans can kick up their boots, the Durango Music Spot will showcase Festival favorites all four days including (in alphabetical order and subject to change): Deborah Allen, Katie Armiger, Baillie & the Boys, Moe Bandy, Jeff Bates, John Berry, Marty Brown, T. Graham Brown, Confederate Railroad, Bucky Covington, Sarah Darling, Jimmy Fortune, Janie Fricke, Marty Haggard, Wade Hayes, Lucas Hoge, Lorraine Jordan, Jamie Kent, Kelly Lang, Johnny Lee, Bobby Marquez, Lila McCann, Ronnie McDowell, Moore & Moore, Jamie O’Neal, Shane Owens, Stella Parton, Presley & Taylor, Stephanie Quayle, Collin Raye, Sarah Dunn Band, Seely, Shenandoah, Ashton Shepherd, T.G. Sheppard, Sweethearts of the Rodeo, Sylvia, Payton Taylor, The Bellamy Brothers, The Willis Clan, Aaron Tippin, and James Robert Webb.
Following their performances, Durango Music Spot artists will sign autographs and meet and greet with fans in the Durango booth.
The Durango Music Spot operates Thursday through Sunday, June 9-12 (10:30 AM-4:00 PM/CT). The stage is hosted by and broadcast live on 650 AM WSM, WSMonline.com, and the 650 AM WSM Official Mobile App.
Radio Disney Country Stage
Brand new to Fan Fair X this year is the Radio Disney Country Stage, where fans will discover some of the best up-and-coming talent alongside familiar favorites performing their hits and interacting with the audience. Radio Disney Country personalities will be hosting the stage and leading activities and prize giveaways throughout the four days. Appearances include Lauren Alaina, Drew Baldridge, Kelsea Ballerini, Lacy Cavalier, Liddy Clark, Dan + Shay, Lindsay Ell, Farewell Angelina, Matt Gary, Mickey Guyton, Jana Kramer, Olivia Lane, Maddie & Tae, Tegan Marie, Megan & Liz, Cassadee Pope, Kalie Shorr, Granger Smith, and Temecula Road. Artists and schedule are subject to change.
Benefiting Music Education
The focus of CMA Music Festival is the relationship between the artists and their fans, but the true beneficiaries are the more than 1 million students who now have access to music education programs across the country thanks to the fans who attend CMA Music Festival and the artists who appear for free. Since 2006, CMA and the CMA Foundation have donated more than $13.6 million to support music education initiatives from New York City to Los Angeles, $10 million of which was donated to Metro Nashville Public Schools.
Nashville’s “Signature” Event
Love of music is the common thread for Festival attendees, so a new feature at the CMA booth this year is an interactive chalkboard activity where fans can share how music has changed their lives.
Fans flock to Nashville from near and far for the chance to meet-and-greet with their favorite artist. Those fan/artist interactions are the highlight of the Ultimate Country Music Fan Experience. CMA Music Festival offers that rare perk through a special drawing known as the Ultimate Fan Experience.
CMA’s online drawing system eliminates wasted time in long lines only to leave empty-handed and disappointed. The procedures for seeking meet and greets at CMA Music Festival improve safety and make the process of securing a treasured experience with the most popular artists equitable for all Festival-goers.
Of the numerous artists appearing in Fan Fair X over the four-day event, most of the meet-and-greets do not require tickets. In these instances, fans may freely join the line formations for non-ticketed signings.
For chances to win meet-and-greet sessions inside Fan Fair X and/or access special performances inside HGTV Lodge, fans must enter online at CMAfest.com from Thursday, May 26 (10:00 AM/CT) to Tuesday, May 31st (11:59 AM/CT).
Fans will be prompted to create an account and complete the online entry form by selecting the artist(s) they would like to meet from the list of ticketed meet-and-greet sessions. Please note: only one account per person is permitted and fans can only be selected once.
Once the form is complete, fans are automatically entered into the random ticket drawing for each artist selected. If drawn, the fan will receive two tickets to that session. Winners will be notified by email by Friday, June 3rd.
More than 60 artists are scheduled for meet-and-greets in the CMA Booth including: Alaina, Tucker Beathard, Kane Brown, Chase Bryant, Bush, Ashley Campbell, Clare Dunn, Guyton, Ty Herndon, Parmalee, Jamie Lynn Spears, Chuck Wicks, Darryl Worley, and more. Artist and schedule subject to change.
ABC Red Carpet Party
Get ready for games, prizes, and free giveaways as the ABC Television Network hosts its Red Carpet Party inside Fan Fair X. With appearances by Laura Wright and Robert Palmer of ABC’s daytime drama “General Hospital,” the weekend will be full of fun and surprises for the whole family, including advance screenings of some of ABC’s new fall programming and much more.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the CMA Awards in 2016, fans will enjoy exploring an interactive exhibit commemorating the most memorable moments of the first 49 years of Country Music’s Biggest Night™. The exhibit includes a photographic tour highlighting the birth of the CMA Awards in 1967, emerging trends in the ’70s, the mainstream rise of Country Music in the ’80s, prominent women of influence in the ’90s, and Country’s present day message of unity and strength that appeals to fans worldwide. Multimedia components will feature highlights of the biggest stars and pinnacle moments of the Awards’ history. Fans will also have the chance to take their photo with the coveted CMA Awards trophy.
Fan Fair X is bigger than ever, showcasing more than 120 exhibitor booths for fans to browse. MuttNation will offer dog adoptions; while Springer Mountain Farms will host corn hole and an “angry chickens” game. Hockey fans won’t want to miss the Nashville Predators booth featuring their big cat slide, meet-and-greets with GNASH, and more. This is just a taste of the wall-to-wall fun fans can enjoy inside Music City Center (9:30 AM-5:00 PM/CT) each day.
The Fan Fair X Marketplace is a unique shopping experience featuring 45 shops and artisans showcasing jewelry, clothing, boots, totes, and many local and regional vendors – the perfect spot for fans to find mementoes for themselves and gifts for a special someone.
I’m With the Brand
CMA and Nashville-based A3 Merchandise created an expanded product line of unique and trendy Festival apparel and accessories. Items are available for pre-order at http://countrymu.sc/u4bf for delivery to fans’ homes so they can come dressed and ready for fun. (The shipping cutoff for U.S. fans to receive orders in time for CMA Music Festival is Monday, May 23rd.)
On-site at FFX, fans can pick out and purchase their favorite Festival attire on Level 3 before entering the Fan Fair X exhibit hall. Merchandise locations will be nearly doubled across the Festival footprint compared to last year, giving fans more selection and greater access to the souvenirs they want for friends and family.
Entertainment Value: Fan Fair X is free to all CMA Music Festival Nissan Stadium ticket holders.
Fans who do not have a four-day Festival ticket may purchase a ticket to Fan Fair X at CMAfest.com. Fan Fair X tickets are $10 per day or $25 for a four-day pass. Tickets may also be purchased on-site inside the Music City Center.
For the second year, fans will be able to purchase a four-day pass to Fan Fair X that includes a general admission ticket to the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum and is good for use any day in 2016. The package deal is available through Friday, June 10 and costs $39.95. The combination Fan Fair X/Country Music Hall of Fame tickets are available at the Country Music Hall of Fame box office and via the website, http://www.countrymusichalloffame.org.
For upcoming talent announcements and all other info stay connected with CMA on CMAfest.com