CMA Festival Fan Club Parties
By Hannah Compton
I have only been to CMA Fest twice, but both times the fan club parties have been one of the best parts of the whole trip. I would highly recommend that you go to at least one. The experience, the intimacy and the perks are all worth it. So many of the artists that play at CMA Fest have one – and even those who aren’t playing anywhere else during the festival do, too. Don’t assume that because an artist is not on the line up, that they won’t have a party, because more often than not, they are around the Festival somewhere.
A lot of people are put off the fan club fee plus ticket fee. I personally think they are worth it, considering what you get and especially when you often get an intimate up close and personal performance and in most cases a ‘meet and greet’.
I am going to list a few I have been to and what they involved, when I went and how good they are.
Carrie Underwood –
Carrie Underwood’s fan club fee is always very reasonable – you get merchandise, which is usually a fan club t–shirt, pre sale and ‘meet and greet’opportunities, fan club forum and many other things. Her fan club party is entry only and you do not have to buy a ticket, it is run in a lottery system. Saying that, again, do not be put off as usually everyone who enters gets in. It’s been held at the Grand Ole Opry most years and whilst it does not include a ‘meet and greet’, you usually get a signed item and one hell of a performance of at least eight songs. This fan club party is one you should not miss as she puts on such a special show and really interacts with her fans. Sometimes she does games on stage where fans get to go on stage and ask questions or she will start one of her song lyrics and a fan on stage has to finish it to win prizes.
Wherever you sit in the Grand Ole Opry is a great view but people do queue for hours to be at the front. Mostly, that’s because if you sit at the front row right hand far side, she tends to sign a few items at the end. The fan club is usually held on the Tuesday of CMA Fest week before the LP Field dates. She also often plays both shows at the Opry that night so it’s worth getting tickets for that early.
Zac Brown Band – Zamily Reunion
This is also by far one of the best fan club parties I have been to. Tickets for this are like gold dust. I have only been to this once but it was worth every penny. Now it is quite pricey joining Zac Brown Band’s fan club and ticket prices to the fan club party on top of that make it a little bit more. When I went, I believe it was $40 plus about $35 for Zamily Reunion ticket (fan club party). If you are a massive fan and want to go, make sure you do your research and find out when they go on sale. You must be on line – I would say get set up and ready way before sale time, perhaps half an hour. To be honest, I always go on an hour early and check the hour before in case they’re released early. Mistakes for other shows have enabled me to get tix early by doing this. These tickets will sell out in minutes if not seconds.
The Zamily Reunion is worth it for:
Acoustic set, usually about six songs, not always what they usually sing either so it’s a nice treat.
Chef Rustys food – Chef Rusty does the food for the ‘Eat and Greets’ and it is soooooo tasty. The party hosts about 275 fans and the food is given out by staff at a buffet type table.
Sometimes there are guests – last year we had Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi who also went on stage with them that night on the LP Field. The Zamily Reunion is usually held the afternoon of when they are on the LP Field and is held at The Limelight, which is just opposite LP Field.
At last year’s Zamily Reunion, we were treated with a limited edition signed Zamily Reunion poster, which was signed by all members and it was numbered out of 275. We were also treated with a ‘meet and greet’ photo.
Also they do raffles and both my husband and I won, which was amazing. The Zamily Reunion was definitely one of my highlights of the whole Festival.
I have only been to one of his fan club parties and I think they used to be a lot different, however I really enjoyed it. Last year being 2014, it was held at The Country Music Hall Of Fame, which only held around 100 people. Josh did an acoustic set and answered questions between songs. We were provided with a sandwich and drink and were also given a copy of his book ‘Man Stuff’.
Also with this you got a ‘meet and greet’, a photo and a signed item. Price for fan club members is from just $10 for online only – and fan club party I think was about $25.
I went to this in 2010 but for the last three years she hasn’t held one. I am unsure if she will again, which is a shame. When I went Revolution had just come out. It was held at The Nashville Palace and held only about 100 people. She did an intimate gig of about six songs and it was amazing to be up so close. You also get a photo with her, but with your table and not individually. I was lucky enough to be next to her so that I could crop my pic.
The only thing I don’t like about the fan club party is that you have to go in teams and in those teams is how your photo is sorted. If you are not in a team then you are put in one on the day.
You do not get a signed item, but this party is worth it alone, just to see her live, up close.
The Band Perry
I think this changes every year, too. In 2014 it was held in The Music City Centre. It held a lot of people and was called A Back Stage Experience. You were given a T–Shirt and lunch and got to look at some of the band’s guitars and tour outfits. You were also put in groups and taken on stage where you could ask some of the band (not Band Perry) some questions and look at the instruments.
You then got a photo with The Band Perry and were given a signed item. You then had to wait till everyone got through the ‘meet and greet’ till they did a set of three or four songs.
We sadly missed the live set, as straight after the ‘meet and greet’ we had to get to Danielle Bradbery’s Fan Club Party.
Considering how big The Band Perry are getting, it is worth going to and they are so lovely.
I really liked this fan club party. It was free to the first few who signed up. I cannot remember where it was held though.
As soon as you arrived, you got a ‘meet and greet’ which was a photo with Danielle and a signed item of your choice. She had a theme for the party which was Young In America and had fancy dress for us to dress in for the pic. I wish I had, as my photo was awful and she is so short I looked like her mum. My husband wore some of the glasses and hat she provided and their photo was so cute.
We were also provided with free mini GiGi’s cupcakes and free soft drinks.
Danielle then came on and did an acoustic set of about six songs, which was amazing – she has a fantastic voice.
This was her first ever Fan Club party and was worth it. I recommend going to hers if she does one this year.
I am a massive fan of Gloriana so going to their party was a must. Like a lot of fan club parties, the tickets and info were held on WarnerMusic.com and I recommend keeping a regular eye on that, as so many artists hold events that are on sale there that people are not even aware of. Last year Charlie Worsham, Dan and Shay, Brett Elderidge and Hunter Hayes were all on sale on that site.
Gloriana only had a VIP pack for about 50 people. It included front of stage for their fan club party concert, a ‘meet and greet’, a $50 dollar gift card to a clothes store, a Gloriana best fans ever plastic cup, best fans ever poster, Gloriana poster, 5 track EP , Gloriana tote bag, free soft drinks and pop corn.
They performed some new songs which no one had heard, some well known songs and answered questions. The ‘meet and greet’ was lovely and I got two posters signed, as well as Mike Gossin’s shirt from the Celebrity Softball Challenge for City of Hope back in 2010. He was really chuffed with it and amazed I had it.
I recommend their fan club party – Gloriana are so underrated and I think they are one of the best Country bands out there. However, Rachel has now left the band, as far as I am aware the brothers Gossin will still keep the band going so should still be good.
So overall, keep an eye out for artists updates and at least go to one party, so worth it. Even bigger names such as Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean and Martina McBride have them, don’t miss out!