CMA Fest By The Numbers

The Country Music Association released its preliminary statistics on its 40th annual fan festival on Monday, and the results are impressive.

There is no official estimate on how much economic impact this year’s festival had on downtown, but it is a safe bet that it surpassed last year’s $24 million. Here is what we do know.

  • 65,000 was the average daily attendance. For the second year in a row, every night was a sell-out at LP Field.
  • 25,000 attended the concerts at the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage on Saturday, setting a new record.
  • 16,000 jammed Lower Broadway for the CMA Music Festival Parade last Wednesday, setting a new record.
  • 14,000 was the average daily attendance at the Fan Fair booths in the Convention Center.
  • More than 770 media credentials were issued, representing more than 210 domestic and international media.
  • 30,000 unique fans texted comments to the Jumbotrons in LP Field.
  • 30,000 downloads of the CMA app for Android and iPhone took place during the festival, a 566% increase over 2010.
  • 27 nations sent fans to the fest. In addition to the U.S., these were Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K. All 50 states were also represented.
  • 80% of the four-day ticket holders were from outside of Tennessee.
  • More than 45 different brands participated, including Chevrolet, Gildan, Jack Daniels, Bud Light, Blue Bell, Ocean Spray, American Airlines, Roper, Waggin’ Train and Field & Stream.
  • More than 400 people volunteered to help run the various festival activities.
  • 51 Nashville music teachers volunteered to drive the press vans. For every Chevy test drive, the company donated $25 to the “Keep the Music Playing” music-education charity. To date, the fest has donated $4.7 million to this fund.
  • 43 artists performed at LP Field. An additional 35 acts played 26 hours of shows on the Lay’s Stage at Bridgestone Arena; 45 acts performed 31 hours of concerts at the Riverfront stage; 46 artists played 20 hours of music at the Durango Acoustic Corner. In addition, 443 artists and celebrities appeared at the Exhibit Hall in the Convention Center.
  • Fans camped out on the street to get into the Hall starting at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, in anticipation of the building opening at 10:00 a.m. the following day. This set a record.
  • More than 70 artists participated in radio remotes, reaching 13.5 million listeners.
  • $154,000 in bids was raised at the YWCA Celebrity Auction, an increase of 50% over last year. In addition, the Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund guitars auction raised $23,000.
  • The CMA’s 2011 survey indicated that the average fan age was 38.6, that 69% of the fans are college educated, and 85% are active on Facebook. The average travel party size was 3.2.
  • 94% of the respondents said they plan to return next year.

Fans watch Daily Concerts at the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage during the 2011 CMA Music Festival in Downtown Nashville. Photo: Donn Jones/CMA


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Robert K. Oermann is a longtime contributor to MusicRow. He is a respected music critic, author and historian.

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