CMA Music Fest Draws Near: Chesney To Close Week, Street Closures

cma-festWith CMA Music Festival opening this week, the big announcements just keep coming.

A set by Kenny Chesney will be the grand finale of the 2009 CMA Music Festival on Sunday when he closes out the Nightly Concerts at LP Field. In addition to Chesney, Jason Michael Carroll, Heidi Newfield, and Jimmy Wayne will be performing acoustic sets during the Nightly Concerts.

Festival related events start tonight (6/8) with the “CMA Global Artist Party,” at 6:15 PM at The Stage, hosted by Jace Everett and featuring performances from a variety of international Country Music artists. The celebration of the genre’s worldwide appeal continues Tuesday at 3:30 PM at The Second Fiddle, when Robert Reynolds hosts the AristoMedia Global Showcase.

Also Tuesday night, Darryl Worley and friends will perform at the 103 WKDF Country Beach Party benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The event will be at The Stage, and tickets can be purchased here.

Getting things started on Wednesday is the GAC Fan Breakfast and this year’s sold-out event at the Country Music Hall of Fame will feature performances by Darius Rucker, Eric Church, Emily West, Lane Turner and Jesse Lee as well as autograph sessions and museum tour.

On Wednesday, beginning at 2:00 PM, “The Fifth Annual CMA Music Festival Kick-Off Parade” will feature Country Music artists and other celebrities riding in Chevy vehicles, with Rodney Atkins as Grand Marshal.

Now in its second year as an official CMA Music Festival event, Marty Stuart‘s Late Night Jam” takes place Wednesday (10:00 PM) at the Ryman. Benefitting MusicCares and CMA’s “Keep the Music Playing” music education campaign, this event will feature Cherryholmes, The Oak Ridge Boys, Connie Smith, Tanya Tucker, Stuart and more. A separate ticket is required via www.ticketmaster.com.

For the first time, the Daytime Riverfront Stage will be free to the community and Gretchen Wilson will kick off four days of concerts beginning Thursday (10:00 AM).

The lifestyle exhibits and autograph booths in the Greased Lightning Fan Fair Hall at the Nashville Convention Center are a traditional favorite. For the first time in 13 years, Reba McEntire will be among the artists meeting fans and signing autographs. Taylor Swift will also be signing all day Sunday.

Other happenings include the Sommet Center Plaza Stage, the Hard Rock Outdoor stage, and the Dr Pepper®-McDonald’s® Family Zone Mainstage featuring shows geared toward kids and families such as storytelling. The Music City Zone will have the GAC Stage, a Guitar Hero competition, the NowPlayingNashville.com autograph booth and more. And the Sports Zone will host the Field & Stream magazine Total Outdoorsman Challenge, the New Holland Celebrity Tractor Race, and 20 PlayStation®3 gaming stations with Jason Michael Carroll stopping by to game with fans.

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Downtown Nashville will experience some changes in traffic flow to accommodate the numerous events and activities that are part of the Festival.

On Tuesday, June 9, one lane of Fifth Avenue from Demonbreun to Broadway will be closed until early morning on Monday, June 15.

On Wednesday, June 10, Fifth Avenue from Demonbreun to Broadway will close as well as First Avenue from Demonbreun to Church Street. Broadway from First and Third Avenues will also close on this day. Second Avenue will remain open; however, vehicles will be prohibited from turning at the Broadway and Second Avenue intersection. These closures will all be cleared by early morning on Monday, June 15.

During the afternoon of Wednesday, June 10, there will also be temporary road closures for “The Fifth Annual CMA Music Festival Kick-Off Parade” and “The Fouth Annual CMA Music Festival Block Party.” Beginning at 2:00 PM/CT, Broadway will close from Third to Seventh Avenues, Demonbreun will close from Third to Sixth Avenues and Third, Fourth and Sixth Avenues will close from Broadway to Demonbreun. These road closures are scheduled to be re-opened at the end of the Kick-Off Parade (approximately 4:00 PM/CT).

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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