More Room Means More Attractions Just When Country Music Festival Needs Them

The expanded indoor events will be called Fan Fair X, a play on the festival's original name.

The expanded indoor events will be called Fan Fair X, a play on the festival’s original name.

Organizers of the CMA Music Fest say Nashville’s new convention hall has given them room to grow. This year, the Music City Center will house not only the festival’s traditional autograph booths, but also four indoor stages.

The much larger space allows for new offerings like panel discussions with musicians, small acoustic sets, even a fashion show featuring rhinestone-spangled concert attire and a red carpet where artists will pose for snapshots. That variety of offerings isn’t just good for entertaining the crowds. It also gives musicians more options for how-and how long-they’ll interact with the fans. And that’s helped entice some of the bigger names to participate in more parts of the festival than the stadium concerts each evening.

CMA Vice President Sheri Warnke says that’s important as attendance numbers rise.

“We sold out of tickets at LP Field this year much earlier than we ever did, so we wanted to really build up the content that if you couldn’t get an LP Field ticket, there’s so much more to do, you know, on this side of the river, if you will.”

As usual, there will be an extra-large block party of sorts downtown, with streets closed to traffic and six stages of music. But while those outdoor performances are free, getting inside the Music City Center will require a ticket.

Please keep your community civil. Comments will be moderated prior to posting, and Nashville Public Radio reserves the right to approve them at its discretion. Comments containing links promoting goods, services - even noble organizations - will not be published. Your comments may include external links, but all comments with links will be delayed as they are reviewed. Comments containing profanity will be rejected.