The CMA Festival is back and the streets of Downtown Nashville will be filled with thousands of fans and country music for the next four days.
For locals who want to be reminded where all roads are closed, we’ve got it for you. For the fans who want to keep up with the artists they missed, we’re also here for you.
Who do you see at CMA Fest?Lainey Wilson and 8 others can’t miss the works to see on day one
Tune in here for live Tennessee coverage of artists, weather, costumes, and other highlights from the festival.
Wrapping up the Riverfront Playhouse on Thursday is 23-year-old breakout artist Billie Zimmerman, who rose to fame with two of last year’s top hit singles.
“My name is Billy Zimmerman and I sing about heartbreak, 24-7,” he said. “I wrote some love songs, but then found out that wasn’t really my thing.”
Zimmerman threw his hat to a fan before closing with “Rock and a Hard Place”. As the crowd sang, he took off his shoes, one by one, and threw them into the crowd—and even made fun of throwing his shirt into the crowd.
The Riverfront stage reached capacity as hundreds gathered to watch Bailey Zimmerman take the stage at 5:30 p.m.
At the stage of Dr.
After overcoming some sound system difficulties, Oklahoma-based band Ricochet performed some of their most popular numbers since their heyday.
“We’re going to do some of our songs from the ’90s — when most of you were little ladies in drag,” lead singer Heath Wright told the primarily young crowd.
Wright also surprised viewers with a new song from the band’s first album in over a decade, “Sweet Tea.”
Marcy and Jim Lindemann chatted with The Tennessean as they stood at Music City Center, and consulted a few maps of the festival Thursday afternoon. The Fort Lauderdale couple has attended every CMA festival over the past 10 years, and they were thrilled to be here for their 50th anniversary.
“We’re having so much fun!” Marcy said, while Jim nodded in agreement. “We are really excited to have four nights of partying.”
On the Reverb stage, crowds gathered to hear Pillbox Patti, the energetic Nashville singer-songwriter who wields a provocative stage presence as she rocks through her biggest hits. Among her hits, the Florida native sang her latest single “Low Life” in front of a huge crowd.
The medical tents, staffed by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center events team, received the fewest visits four hours into the festival.
As temperatures rise in the coming days, heat-related illnesses are sure to increase. For now, the cast plans to have fun on a slow day.
Biggest medical need yet? bandage.
The staff said the blisters would be the downfall of anyone wearing “the new fancy cowboy boots”.
“We gave a lot of dressing for that,” said the staff.
Appalachian folk band The 49ers Winchester lead singer Isaac Gibson ushered in two genres of music—that traditional, indigenous and western—that were meant to prevail during their early afternoon CMA Fest shows at Ole Red’s Spotify House.
Perhaps motivated by being in Nashville, this year’s Americana Music Association Group nominee began with “Damn Darlin’,” a sad story told with “Rock Block” EXIT/IN as a backdrop. “Russell County Line,” another heartwarming country song, highlights how close the band is between the intersections of country, rock, and roots music.
The band’s inclusion in Spotify House’s CMA Fest lineup is a massive display of real-time interaction between a band that fans are discovering on streaming services (joint mentions from ERNEST and Luke Combs help with that) and a group whose performance skills are so strong that they’ll also gain fans just from presenting. Great first-hand experience.
Staff at the official liquor stations say alcohol sales on the Riverfront stage are “countless,” making at least a thousand drinks sold by noon, and thousands more expected to be sold by this evening.
Singer Lauren Alaina took to the stage at Riverfront Park to excited fans who sang along to some of her biggest hits.
After leading the crowd in unison to her song “Road Less Traveled,” the excitement ran high as Alaina reminded the audience of her latest album, “Unlocked,” which is out tomorrow, June 9.
Standing on Riverfront Park, Camden Kane looked out at the massive assembled crowd of artists like Lainey Wilson, Elvie Shane, and Alaina. Kane traveled with her family from North Carolina after planning this trip for over a year.
“We’re so excited to finally be here,” she said. “We’ve had fun with every artist we’ve seen so far, especially Lauren Alaina. Another weekend is about to go!”
Jillian Barnett traveled with her family from Toronto, Ontario for her first trip to the CMA Festival. She’s very much looking forward to seeing Luke Combs at Nissan Stadium tonight.
Riverfront Stage capacity will be managed throughout the day with gates closing and reopening as necessary, according to the festival’s Twitter account.
Queues on Broadway between 1st and 2nd Avenues, then up 2nd Avenue North.
CMA Fest 2023 kicked off with a Grammy Award-winning marching band from Tennessee State University playing brass performances of hip-hop classics, followed by Country Music Association Artist of the Year Lainey Wilson opening the proceedings.
If you’re wondering what the next four days on Lower Broadway are like, the Baskins of Louisiana mention country music, western culture, love, “Watermelon Moon” (their current radio hit), and coffee-infused whiskey in the first ten minutes of hitting the stage.
The jam-packed Riverfront scene is well-versed in the two albums and four singles of material Wilson has released in the past three years. She followed it up, as she often does now in concert, with a solo version of her HARDY collaboration “Wait in the Truck” and another hit, “Heart Like A Truck”.
The crowd seemed excited, yet infatuated with the temperatures, with the humidity, as if it had risen 20 degrees in the half hour that she appeared onstage.
The gates at the Riverfront Stage are temporarily closed as venue capacity has been reached, according to the festival.
The gates will be opened as soon as possible. Check with https://cmafest.com/app/ for other free stages.
From the Grammy stage to the Riverfront stage at CMA Fest, the Tennessee Marching Band, better known as the Aristocrat of Bands, prepare the Thursday morning crowd for a day of entertainment.
CMA Fest requires clear bags to enter. According to their website, security will allow one clear bag no larger than 12 x 12 x 6 inches per person.
Festival-goers are allowed to bring one refillable bottle of water and will have access to several water refill stations. Websites for those can be found at cmafest.com or on the CMA Fest mobile app.
All vendors and venues are cashless. Make sure you carry a debit or credit card, or set up Apple or Google pay on your phone ahead of time. And for those hoping to enjoy an adult beverage, don’t forget a valid photo ID.
more:CMA Fest 2023: A guide for first-time festival-goers and seasoned veterans
CMA road closures
Several streets in the city center were closed at least through Sunday. Others around Nissan Stadium will be closed until Monday.
The closures center around Broadway and areas where the CMA Festival stages will be held.
Detailed list of closures It can be found at this link.
CMA weather forecast
National Weather forecasts sunny skies during the majority of the festival with temperatures starting in the low 80s and rising steadily as the days go by.
There may be widespread fog across the region on Thursday as a remnant Wildfire smoke from Canada lingers through the area there.
On Sunday there is an 80% chance of rain and thunderstorms after 1 pm
more:CMA Fest 2023: Here’s what kind of weather to expect in Nashville
Who’s on the lineup for Thursday
The music will begin at 10am on Thursdays and the biggest artists will take to stage around 7:45pm at Nissan Stadium.
for assortment The whole weekend click here.
- 10 a.m.: Lenny Wilson
- 10:45 a.m.: Elvie Shane
- 11:30 a.m.: Lauren Alaina
- 12:15 p.m.: Ian Monsik
- 1 p.m.: Mackenzie Porter
- 1:45 p.m.: Chase Beckham
- 2:30 p.m.: Corey Kent
- 3:15 p.m.: Warren Zaiders
- 4 p.m.: Lily-Rose
- 4:45 p.m.: Travis Denning
- 5:30 p.m.: Billy Zimmerman
- 10:15 a.m.: Jerrod Neiman
- 11 a.m.: Megan Patrick
- 11:45 a.m.: Shane Profet
- 12:30 p.m.: Tierra Kennedy
- 1:15 p.m.: Kanan Smith
- 2 p.m.: Ryan Griffin
- 2:45 pm: Hal Cairns
- 3:30 p.m.: Adam Dooliak
- 4:15 PM: Dillon Carmichael
- 10:15 a.m.: Raylene
- 11 a.m.: Frankie Ballard
- 11:45 a.m.: Logan Michael
- 12:30 p.m.: Caitlin Smith
- 1:15 p.m.: The Red Clay Strays
- 2 p.m.: David Neil
- 2:45 p.m.: Seaforth
- 3:30 p.m.: Shenandoah
- 4:15 p.m.: Kid G
Hard Rock stage
- 10:15 a.m.: Texas Hill
- 10:55 a.m.: Emily Ann Roberts
- 11:35 a.m.: Matt Roy
- 12:15 p.m.: Fancy Hajoud
- 12:55 p.m.: Roman Alexander
- 1:35 p.m.: Skylor Anderson
- 2:15 p.m.: Jordan Harvey
- 2:55 p.m.: Shelby Darrall
- 3:35 p.m.: Walker Montgomery
- 4:15 PM: CJ Solar
- 10:15 a.m.: John Morgan
- 10:55 a.m.: Drew Green
- 11:35 a.m.: Abby Kuhn
- 12:15 p.m.: Casey Barnes
- 12:55 PM: Riley Roth
- 1:35 p.m.: Brian Martin
- 2:15 p.m.: Thomas Mack
- 2:55 p.m.: Bell Box Patty
- 3:35 p.m.: Griffin Palmer
- 4:15 PM: Lathan Warlick
- 11 a.m.: Julie Williams
- 11:30 a.m.: Lauren Ryan
- 12 noon: Nat Barnes
- 12:30 p.m.: Carly Scott Collins
- 1 p.m.: Flat River Band
- 1:30 p.m.: Grace Lear
- 2 p.m.: Charlie Reynolds
- 2:30 p.m.: Maren Taylor
- 3 p.m.: Prior Bird
- 3:30 p.m.: Sarah Alison Turner
- 4 p.m.: CB30
- 4:30 pm: Alexandra Kay
- 7:45 p.m.: King Callaway
- 8 p.m.: Joe de Messina
- 8:30 p.m.: Jordan Davis
- 8:55 p.m.: RVSHVD*
- 9:05 PM: Luke Combs
- 9:45 p.m.: Ashley Cook*
- 9:55 p.m.: Carly Pearce
- 10:40 p.m.: Tyler Hubbard
- 11:25 p.m.: Dan + Shay
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