CMA Fest 2022 made its triumphant return to the streets of Music City through this past weekend, bringing with it a handful of surprises, special guests, and plenty of music along the way. Ringing in the 49th edition of the festival, Nashville saw more than 80,000 estimated attendees from all 50 states and 39 foreign countries to see more than 260 acts take part in the festivities.
Among some of the highlights from across the weekend were sets at the Chevy Riverfront Stage from rising stars, such as Priscilla Block, Callista Clark, Ernest, Breland and Niko Moon, as well as some more familiar faces like Lauren Alaina, Ingrid Andress, Morgan Evans, Scotty McCreery, Michael Ray, and Tenille Townes.
Elsewhere in the city, the Chevy Vibes Stage in the heart of the party saw a wide variety of artists take the stage, including Uncle Kracker, Frankie Ballard, Alana Springsteen, Cooper Alan, Josh Gracin, Nate Smith, Ty Herndon and Chrissy Metz, to name a few.
A slew of some of Nashville’s rising artists also took over the Dr Pepper Amp and Maui Jim Reverb Stages, such as Kidd G, Conner Smith, Spencer Crandall, Allie Colleen, Bexar, Abby Anderson, Jackson Dean, Andrew Jannakos, Trea Landon, Temecula Road, MacKenzie Porter, Ashley Cooke, Filmore, Brittney Spencer, and Adam Doleac.
Fans were also able to enjoy more than 173,000 square feet of air-conditioned fun at Fan Fair X inside Music City Center where artists participated in meet-and-greets and programming on two indoor stages, including the CMA Close Up Stage, which hosted the popular Artist of the Day sessions featuring Russell Dickerson, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Bryan and Chris Tomlin on Sunday.
Other programming highlights included a She Is the Music songwriters round led by Hillary Scott with Catie Offerman, Sacha, and Caitlyn Smith; a round of acoustic performances curated by the Black Opry featuring Tylar Bryant, Roberta Lea, The Kentucky Gentlemen and Julie Williams; a fashion show featuring Jessie James Decker’s Kittenish line; and a discussion hosted by Black Music Month co-founder Dyana Williams, featuring Breland, Blanco Brown, Shy Carter and Frankie Staton highlighting Amazon Music’s For Love & Country.
At Spotify House at Blake Shelton’s Ole Red, a range of artists including Nelly, Kelsea Ballerini, Tyler Hubbard, Russell Dickerson, Jessie James Decker, Bailey Zimmerman, Madeline Edwards, Corey Kent, Carter Faith, Georgia Webster, Hailey Whitters, Dylan Scott, and more took the stage.
Hubbard revealed to fans that Spotify House was his first time performing as a solo artist. Celebrity friends Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson jammed out to Hubbard’s new single “5 Foot 9” and were later seen hanging out backstage with Nelly.
Next year’s CMA Fest marks the festival’s 50th anniversary and will take place from June 8 – June 11, 2023. CMA Fest, the three-hour primetime television special hosted by Dierks Bentley and Elle King, will air Wednesday, Aug. 3 at 7 p.m. CT on ABC.
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