Top 10 CMA Fest 2015 Shows You Should See
CMA Fest is just about to come into full swing, which means it’s time to start planning your schedules! Here is a rundown of the top 10 events/shows that you should definitely check out between Wednesday, June 10th, and Sunday, June 14th. Don’t forget to keep an eye on individual artist signings and shows happening throughout the festival. We can’t cover everything here!
- Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam | Wednesday, 10pm
Marty Stuart is here to mix a little of the old school with the new school in his 14th annual late night jam. For people who like twang!
Admission: $29.50-39.50 Where: Ryman Auditorium, 116 Fifth Avenue North, 37219 Line-up: Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, Eric Church, Tommy Emmanuel, Jimmy Webb, Charley Pride, Connie Smith & The Sundowners, EmiSunshine, Carl Jackson Orthophonic Orchestra, The Bads, Brothers Osborne, Grand Ole Opry Square Dancers
- A Night With The Legends | Wednesday, 6pm
Find yourself lost among the crop of country pop starlets and long for more of the acts of yesteryear? Well, luckily there is a show just for you that features a whole host of country music legends.
Admission: $25-120 Where: Wildhorse Saloon, 120 Second Avenue North, 37201 Line-up: The Oak Ridge Boys, Larry Gatlin, The Bellamy Brothers, Eddy Raven, T. Graham Brown, David Frizzell, Larry Stewart (Restless Heart), Tim Rushlow (Little Texas), Exile, Lisa Matassa
- Grand Ole Opry | Tuesday-Sunday
The Grand Ole Opry has a whole host of events and shows and stars frequenting it this year, as with every year, so be sure to stop by the legendary venue for something. It’s worth the long trip out of town for the shows at the Grand Ole Opry House, but if you want you can just walk over to the Ryman to catch some stuff there.
Tuesday: Opry Plaza Party @ Grand Ole Opry House – 5pm – Tyler Farr, Mo Pitney In-Store Appearance – 5:30pm – Mickey Guyton signing Main show – 7pm, 9:30pm – Carrie Underwood, Scotty McCreery, Easton Corbin, Del McCoury Band, Mickey Guyton, Billy Currington, Mo Pitney, Bill Anderson Friday: Grand Ole Opry House – 7pm – Charley Pride, Josh Turner, Mel Tillis, Mickey Gilley, Chuck Wicks, Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers, Vince Gill Saturday: Opry At The Ryman Matinee – 3pm – Chris Janson, Kristian Bush, Morgan Evans, Jamie Lynn Spears, Charles Esten, Mark Wills, JT Hodges Grand Ole Opry House – 7pm – Darius Rucker, Clare Bowen, Charley Pride, Mel Tillis, Phil Vassar, Clay Walker, Vince Gill Sunday: Sunday Mornin’ Country (Grand Ole Opry House) – 2:30pm – Brenda Lee, Connie Smith, Rylee Scott, Lynn Anderson, Charlie McCoy, Lulu Roman
- AT&T U-Verse Fan Fair X | Thursday-Sunday 10am-5pm
This is the ultimate fan experience. More than just performances, Fan Fair X includes Q&As with the stars, acoustic sessions, signings, shopping, games, crafts and more, so is perfect for the whole family! This also includes the CMA Close Up Stage, Durango Music Spot and AT&T U-Verse Showcase Stage. CMA Fest 4-day ticket holders get free access. Non-ticket holders can purchase a Fan Fair X 4-day pass for $25 or a 1-day pass for $10.
Thursday: Little Big Town, Sara Evans (CMA Songwriters Series), Aaron Tippin, Kristian Bush (with Canaan Smith and Michael Ray), Casey James Friday: Hunter Hayes, Jim Halsey Starmaker, Oak Ridge Boys, Grand Ole Opry: Stories From The Circle (Kristian Bush, Jeannie Seely, Josh Turner), My Darling June (SESAC Songwriters), American Young (SESAC Songwriters) Saturday: Chris Young, Kellie Pickler, Song Suffragettes (Deana Carter), Charles Esten Sunday: Darius Rucker, Jo Dee Messina, Songs Suffragettes (Jamie O’Neal), Scott Stevens (SESAC Songwriters)
- City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game | Saturday, 9am-12pm
This is not a music set, but it’s still just as entertaining, particularly for sports fans! This year’s has an added bonus of being the 25th anniversary of the first annual game (that benefits cancer research).
Admission: $25-55 Where: First Tennessee Park, 401 Jackson Street, 37219
Team Opry: Aaron Watson, Bucky Covington, Charles Esten, Chuck Wicks, Deana Carter, Eric Gunderson (Love And Theft), JT Hodges, Jimi Westbrook (Little Big Town), Kimberly Schlapman (Little Big Town), Phil Vassar, SaraBeth, Stu Grimson and Vince Gill. Team iHeart Radio: Angie Johnson, Bret Michaels, Doug McCormick, Karen Fairchild (Little Big Town), Lauren Alaina, Lindsay Ell, Perrish Cox, Phillip Sweet (Little Big Town), Seth Jones, Stephen Barker Liles (Love And Theft) plus The Bobby Bones Show’s Bobby Bones, Eddie and Lunchbox.
- CMT Music Awards | Wednesday, 7pm
A televised awards show, this is where you get to see some of the biggest stars of the current format perform to millions of people, and watch the winners accept their awards. Will you be on TV?
Admission: $50.50-$145.50 Where: Bridgestone Arena Line-up: Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Florida Georgia Line, Jake Owen, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Lady Antebellum (with Zedd), Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Zac Brown Band, Reba, Darius Rucker Nationwide Stage: Kelsea Ballerini, A Thousand Horses, Chris Janson, Frankie Ballard, Maddie & Tae, RaeLynn
- HGTV Lodge | Thursday-Sunday 11am-5pm (Thursday) 10am-4pm (Friday-Sunday)
Although a separate ticket is required for this show, it’s definitely worth it. Each line-up features a variety of mid-level stars (plus a couple of big guns) and is guaranteed to be a great show! Plus, each act is allowed a longer set, meaning there is more to enjoy from your favorites.
Thursday: Kip Moore, Jana Kramer, Eric Paslay, Charles Esten (Nashville), Thompson Square, Cole Swindell, Kelsea Ballerini Friday: Josh Turner, Brothers Osborne, Will Hoge, Casey James, Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown Band Saturday: EMI Sunshine, Ryan Kinder, Clare Bowen (Nashville), Tyler Farr, Randy Houser, Darius Rucker Sunday: Love and Theft, Kristian Bush, ASCAP Songwriters, Lauren Alaina, Dustin Lynch, Michael Ray
- Plaza Stage | Thursday-Sunday 10:45am-4:30pm
Featuring some promising up-and-comers plus a couple of well-known names with loyal fanbases, the Plaza Stage is a great place to check out some acts you may not have heard before.
Thursday: Gwen Sebastian, David Lee Murphy, Dallas Smith, Drake White & The Big Fire, A Thousand Horses, Jana Kramer, Trick Pony, Mo Pitney, Natalie Stovall & The Drive Friday: Love and Theft, Brooke Eden, David Fanning, Kelsea Ballerini, Native Run, Cam, Clare Dunn, Brothers Osborne, Deana Carter Saturday: Jamie Lynn Spears, Dean Alexander, Kelleigh Bannen, Ashley Campbell, JT Hodges, Chris Janson, William Michael Morgan, Steven Lee Olsen, Bucky Covington Sunday: The Grascals, Keith Anderson, Michael Ray, Ruthie Collins, Marshall Tucker Band, Striking Matches, The Lacs, Casey Donahew Band, LoCash
- Riverfront Stage | Thursday-Sunday 10am-5:30pm
The biggest free stage at the festival, and only second to LP Field which requires a ticket, the Riverfront Stage boasts the best of the current crop of stars (and some past ones) who weren’t quite big enough to help fill a stadium.
Thursday: Gary Allan, Montgomery Gentry, The Cadillac Three, Ashley Monroe, Maddie & Tae, Craig Campbell, Dan + Shay, Scotty McCreery, Rodney Atkins Friday: Clay Walker, Darryl Worley, Restless Heart, Kellie Pickler, Eric Paslay, RaeLynn, Charles Esten (Nashville), Chase Rice, Lorrie Morgan Saturday: Kristian Bush, Maggie Rose, Cassadee Pope, Aaron Watson, Jason Michael Carroll, The Swon Brothers, Parmalee, Corey Smith, Tanya Tucker Sunday: Jack Ingram, Lonestar, Big Smo, Dustin Lynch, Thompson Square, Canaan Smith, Craig Wayne Boyd, Phil Vassar, Diamond Rio
1.LP Field | Thursday-Sunday 7:55pm-11:45pm
Although the LP Field shows require a ticket, they command the biggest stars in the format and also come with the bonus of filming for the Country’s Night To Rock TV special, due to air later in the year. If you love mainstream country (and a few big acts from the 90s) this is the one for you!
Thursday: Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers (National Anthem), Alan Jackson, Sam Hunt, Rascal Flatts, Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean Friday: Restless Heart (National Anthem), The Oak Ridge Boys, The Band Perry, Maddie & Tae, Lee Brice, Randy Houser, Zac Brown Band, Lady Antebellum, Luke Bryan Saturday: Kellie Pickler (National Anthem), Wynonna & The Big Noise, Chris Young, Thomas Rhett, Brett Eldredge, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood Sunday: Lee Greenwood (National Anthem), Neal McCoy, Cole Swindell, Darius Rucker, Eric Church, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley