CMA Music Festival set a new attendance record in 2012 with daily attendance topping 71,000 fans, a 9.2 percent increase over the 65,000 fans who attended last year. It was a sell out for the third consecutive year at LP Field.
The increase was attributed to expanded seating at LP Field for the nightly concerts, and mild temperatures that drove increased attendance in the free event and concert areas downtown.
“Third time’s the charm and to achieve a sell out for a third straight year and increase attendance says a lot about the strength of this event, the dedication of our fans, the support of our industry and local community, and the popularity of our music and artists,” said Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer.
Attendance figures for 2012 include four-day ticket packages, promotional and single night tickets, as well as attendance in non-ticketed free areas and events. In all, more than 450 artists performed more than 200 hours of concerts.
Week-long mild temperatures in Nashville resulted in increased attendance in the numerous free areas including The Buckle, Fan Alley, public events, and concert venues. In fact, there was record attendance on Friday and Saturday at Chevrolet Riverfront Park with more than 25,000 fans attending the free concerts throughout each day.
“Eighty percent of our four-day ticket holders come from outside of Tennessee,” said Moore. “What we are seeing is gains with our locals who are coming out to support our free areas in increasing numbers.”
According to the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, the direct visitor spending generated by CMA Music Festival in 2011 was $30 million, a $6 million increase over 2010 making the Festival the top annual generator of tourist income in Nashville. And it appears that 2012 was a boon to business again. Figures for 2012 will be released by the NCVB at a later date.
CMA Music Festival benefits downtown businesses, but it also supports music education in Music City. The artists and celebrities participating in CMA Music Festival donate their time. They are not compensated for the hours they spend signing autographs and performing. In appreciation of their exhaustive efforts, The CMA Foundation donates proceeds from the event to music education on the artists’ behalf through CMA’s Keep the Music Playing program. To date, CMA has donated more than $6.1 million to the cause.
Corporate brand partnerships are a key element to the marketing, fan experience, and financial support of the Festival. Nearly 50 different brands, including longtime partner Chevrolet, participated in the CMA Music Festival generating a combined activation and consumer engagements of more than 1.25 million – an increase of nearly 40 percent over numbers for 2011 (900,000). These various engagement elements included product sampling, dedicated registrations and sales leads, as well as brand impressions.
“This year more than 15 new brands—including AT&T, BIC, Hunt Brothers Pizza, Emerald Coast Vacations, Jelly Belly, Jack in the Box, Cracker Barrel, Bad Boy Buggies, and Cabot Cheese—participated at the Festival with dynamic consumer activities,” said Sheri Warnke, CMA Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications.
Festival attendees came from all 50 states and two dozen countries.
The ABC television special CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock will air Mon., Sept. 17 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET).
Tickets for 2013 CMA Music Festival, which will be held Thursday through Sunday, June 6-9, are available now.