CMA Songwriter Series Invades LA; Music Festival Unveils Photo Contest

The CMA Songwriters Series returned to Los Angeles on Feb. 15 with a stellar performance at Club Nokia. Backstage before their performance were (L-R): singer/songwriter/producer Victoria Shaw; songwriter/host Bob DiPiero; 2010 CMA New Artist of the Year nominee Chris Young; two-time CMA Award winner Gretchen Wilson; and singer/songwriter Brett James.

The Music Festival turns 40 this year and to help celebrate, the CMA is sponsoring a photo contest. Six of the submitted photos will be used as the artwork on the official event tickets. Past festival attendees can submit photographs online creating what will become an ongoing photo archive that documents the event’s history.

The contest will begin Feb. 17 and run through Mar. 7. Prizes will be awarded to submitting fans, including commemorative, framed 40th anniversary CMA Music Festival plaques with a ticket containing their photograph displayed for the top three photos; merchandise prize packs; and more. The Grand Prize winner will also receive two Gold Circle four-day tickets to the 2012 CMA Music Festival.

CMA Music Festival, which started as Fan Fair® in 1972 at Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium; moved to the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in 1982; moved to its current home, Downtown Nashville, in 2001; and changed its name to CMA Music Festival in 2004, the same year it was first filmed for a network television special. In addition to artist performances and artist/fan meetings, CMA is hopeful that photos will be submitted that capture images of fans interacting with each other; recent events like the parade and celebrity sporting events; former events such as the Chuck Wagon Gang serving meals at the Fairgrounds or the “CMA Celebrity Close Up” sessions at the Ryman Auditorium; or the unexpected.

For full contest rules and to submit photos, fans can visit CMAfest.com beginning Thursday, Feb. 17. CMA Music Festival 2011 will take place in Downtown Nashville, Thursday-Sunday, June 9-12.

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David M. Ross has been covering Nashville's music industry for over 25 years. [email protected]

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