With help from CMA Award winner Hunter Hayes, the Country Music Association announced during a press conference several enhancements to CMA Music Festival, which will be held Thursday through Sunday, June 11-14, in Nashville.
“This event started in 1972 as Fan Fair, and we have succeeded for more than four decades because we constantly challenge ourselves to make improvements and enhance the experience for our fans, the industry, and the artists,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer.
The central fixture of the Festival is the relationship between the artists and their fans, but the real beneficiary are the tens of thousands of students who now have access to music education programs thanks to CMA Music Festival.
Since 2006, CMA and the CMA Foundation have donated more than $11 million to support music education initiatives across the country. In 2014, Hayes participated in one of those programs in Roanoke, Va. in partnership with the CMA Foundation and VH1’s Save the Music. In June, Hayes will be one of four Artists of the Day at AT&T U-verse Fan Fair X in the Music City Center.
“I’ve been coming to CMA Fest since I was a kid and to be Artist of the Day this year is just beyond words,” said Hayes. “At times, music wasn’t just a friend, it was my only friend – so supporting music education programs with my friends at CMA is such an honor.”
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean was on hand to talk about the city’s longstanding support of the event and express his gratitude for the CMA Foundation’s support of music education initiatives in Metro Nashville Public Schools.
“CMA Music Festival is so much more than a week-long celebration of Country Music each June. The CMA is an enormous economic engine for Nashville and an incredible asset to our identity as Music City,” said Dean. “One important area where CMA and the CMA Foundation play a huge role for Nashville is in our public schools. For the last several years the CMA Foundation has donated millions of dollars to purchase music instruments for students in Nashville. This is possible because of the incredible generosity of the artists who perform at CMA Music Fest for free. Artists like Hunter Hayes and many others do this because it’s the right thing to do for the community. As Mayor, on behalf of the citizens of Nashville, thank you so much for all that you have done and all that you continue to do.”
A shining example of the donations at work was a performance by the Nashville School of the Arts Guitar Quartet under the direction of Dr. James Satterwhite, and Hume-Fogg Academic High School senior Dana Gipson, who talked about the personal impact of the CMA Foundation grants on her life and future goals.
“My music experience would not have been the same without the CMA Foundation. Playing on sub-par instruments makes learning and developing as a musician very difficult. Also from a teachers’ standpoint, it is difficult to teach students who have the drive and the willingness to learn on instruments that won’t allow them to play at their best. I would not be the player I am today without the CMA Foundation’s impact on the music programs I attend. The auditions I’ve had, the concerts I’ve performed, they would not have been executed as well with me not sounding my best. I’ve always strived to perform at the highest level and I would not be able to do it without the help of the CMA Foundation,” said Gipson, who has made all-state jazz band every year since 10th grade. She plays a baritone and alto saxophone purchased by the CMA Foundation.
“CMA Music Festival has a rich history and enjoys a terrific reputation as the Ultimate Country Music Fan Experience, but the future is in these students and the advantages that quality music education provides in creating a richer life experience through music,” Trahern said. “We are inspired by the children we serve. We applaud their progress and celebrate their success.”
2014 was a great year for CMA Music Festival. The event drew a daily attendance of more than 80,000 fans from every state and more than two dozen foreign countries. The direct visitor spending generated by those visitors was $39.3 million, according the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. (NCVC), which estimated the number of hotel room nights at 150,000. The average length of stay was 5.6 days compared to 5.2 in 2013.
“Nashville wouldn’t be enjoying the success today without CMA and Music Fest leading the way,” said Butch Spyridon, President of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. “This event is enormous on every level – tens of millions in visitor spending, millions of viewers watching a prime time network special, millions of dollars to music education, a platform for the stars in our city and a tremendous showcase for the rising talent. I can’t say thank you loud or long enough!”
So, how do you top that?
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The 2015 CMA fest LP Field lineup has been announced and it looks AWESOME!!!
Little Big Town
Florida Georgia Line
Oak Ridge Boys
The Band Perry
Zac Brown Band
Is there anyone missing that you wish were gonna be there?? I will miss Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert for sure.
Chris Young’s 14th Annual Fan Club Party has been set for Wednesday, June 10th at 9:30am from the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee. Tickets for the exclusive event are open to current and new fan club members only and include a live performance by Young, followed by a meet & greet with photo opportunity and a guided Opry backstage tour. Tickets are only $50 (plus service fees) and will go on sale Monday, February 23rd at ChrisYoungCountry.com. Click HERE to join Chris Young’s fan club and buy tickets to this year’s party!
Get tickets to catch him on tour at www.chrisyoungcountry.com.