During a press conference held Friday morning (March 13) at Nashville’s Hard Rock Cafe, The Country Music Association’s CEO Sarah Trahern revealed several enhancements to the upcoming CMA Music Festival for 2015.
In 2014, the event drew daily attendance of more than 80,000 fans, bringing in attendees from every state, as well as more than two dozen foreign countries. According to the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp., the direct visitor spending generated by the event was $39.3 million, and an estimated 150,000 hotel room nights. The average length of stay for attendees was up to 5.6 days in 2014, vs. 5.2 days in 2013.
“Three months from today, we will be in the middle of CMA Music Festival,” said Trahern. “It will be our 15th Music Fest downtown. The event celebrates the undeniable between the artists and their fans, and this year looks to be better than ever.”
Artist Hunter Hayes was on hand to discuss the role that music has played in his life. “For me, one of the coolest things that CMA does is artists getting to connect with fans, that one-on-one connection that you really don’t have anything quite like anywhere else,” said Hayes. Hayes will be one of four Artists of the Day at the AT&T U-Verse Fan Fair X, located the Music City Center. Hayes will make an appearance on Friday, June 12.
Also on hand for the announcements were Nashville mayor Karl Dean, and Butch Spyridon, President of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp.
CMA Music Festival aids the work of the CMA Foundation; since 2006, CMA and CMA Foundation have donated more than $11 million to support music education initiatives across the country. Highlighted during the press conference was the musical talent of several Nashville students, by way of a performance from the Nashville School of the Arts Guitar Quartet, under the direction of Dr. James Satterwhite. Additionally, Hume-Fogg Academic High School senior Dana Gipson discussed the personal impact that the CMA Foundation has made in her life, by allowing her to attain a solid musical education on top-quality instruments.
Updates for the 2015 CMA Music Festival include:
- An expanded apparel line created by Nashville-based A3 Merchandise. Items can be pre-ordered at cmafest.com.
- Updated CMA Music Fest app for iPhone and Android, offering schedules, maps, parking information, artist performance lineups and more. Last year, more than 38,000 users downloaded the CMA Music Festival mobile app.
- Returning for its fifth year as a CMA Music Festival partner, Gildan will sponsor The Gildan Broadway Stage at the Hard Rock Cafe, with daily music performances.
- The Belk Park Stage at Walk of Fame Park will feature the addition of video walls.
- The CMA Music Festival Kick Of Concert will be held on the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage on Wednesday, June 10 from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. This is a free stage.
- Given the popularity of the international showcase, known as CMA World GlobaLive!, the annual free concert will move venues to Walk of Fame Park, and will feature international food and beverage vendors. GlobaLive! will take place Monday, June 8 from 4 p.m.-11 p.m.
- The popular CMA Close Up Stage, housed at Fan Fair X in the Music City Center, will grow from 600 to 800 seats (with additional standing room), due to the popularity of the stage last year. Programming will again be streamed on CMAfest.com. Last year, more than 27,000 fans watched the shows online.
Tickets for the nightly concerts at LP Field sold out in November, months before the talent lineup was revealed. However, there are abundant opportunities for music fans to hear new music from their favorite artists, with the CMA Music Festival boasting 11 music stages, including seven stages that will offer free music around downtown Nashville.
Performance lineups will soon be announced for the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage, Bridgestone Arena Plaza Stage, Belk Park Stage, HGTV Lodge, Gildan Broadway Stage at Hard Rock Cafe, Chevrolet Roadhouse Stage, and BMI Tailgate Party in coming weeks.
The Nightly Concerts will be taped for a three-hour prime time special airing later this summer on the ABC Television Network.
CMA Music Festival will be held Thursday-Sunday, June 11-14 in downtown Nashville.
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