CMA Music Fest Starts (Unofficially) Monday

This appeared on Country Standard Time - June 2, 2008

The CMA Music Festival officially begins Thursday in Nashville, but the music really starts tonight and continues through Sunday with parades, hundreds celebrities and artists, 100 hours of concerts, 30 hours of autograph signings, family activities, sporting competitions, grilling and barbequing contests, interactive exhibits, giveaways games and more.

The fest goes international with the CMA Global Artist Party tonight on lower Broadway. Hosted by Jace Everett, the party features Troy Cassar-Daley (Australia), Jessie Farrell (Canada), Shea Fisher (Australia), Kat'Lee Jones (Belgium), The Murphy Band (Ireland), Jasmine Rae (Australia), Johnny Reid (Canada), and Wim van de Vliert (Netherlands).

On Tuesday afternoon on Lower Broadway, ex-Mavericks member Robert Reynolds hosts the AristoMedia Global Showcase with Victoria Banks (Canada), Jason Blaine (Canada), Adam Harvey (Australia), Jetty Road (Australia), Tracy Killeen (Australia), Amber Nicholson (Canada), Felicity Urquhart (Australia), and Mark Wells (Australia).

Both of these events are free and open to the public.

The Fourth Annual CMA Music Festival Kick-Off Parade will be held Wednesday afternoon with James Otto as the grand marshal. Other participants include Deborah Allen, Katie Armiger, riders from Championship Bull Riding, Erika Jo, Crystal Gayle, The Grascals, Jeff Griffith, Indian Rodeo, Lonestar, Jason Meadows, Mountain Heart, Michael Martin Murphey, several of NASCAR's top drivers, One Flew South, The Roys, Phil Stacey, Keni Thomas, Trent Tomlinson, Rhonda Towns, Kyle Wyley, and Chris Young.

Immediately following the parade, the Third Annual CMA Block Party will take place with Keith Anderson, Zac Brown Band, Luke Bryan, Joe Nichols, James Otto, Phil Stacey and Chris Young.

An official part of CMA Music Festival this year is "Marty Stuart's Late Night Jam" on Wednesday night at the Ryman Auditorium. Stuart's seventh annual event, benefitting MusicCares and CMA's Keep the Music Playing education campaign, features performances by Charlie Daniels, Mike Farris, Dallas Frazier, Kostas, Kathy Mattea, Old Crow Medicine Show, John Rich, Connie Smith, The SteelDrivers, Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives, Sunny Sweeney, Gretchen Wilson and surprise guests. A separate ticket is required for the Late Night Jam and can be purchased at

"CMA Music Festival is the ultimate destination for music lovers," said CMA Chief Executive Officer Tammy Genovese. "Fans come back year after year to experience all of the fun and excitement that the Festival and the City of Nashville have to offer. From our daily concerts on the Greased Lightning Riverfront Daytime Stages, to the truTV Exhibit Hall, our free stages in the Zones, the After Hours parties, and, of course, the nightly concerts on the VAULT(tm) Concert Stage at LP Field, our lineup is amazing. CMA Music Festival is a music lover's dream."

Phil Vassar and Jo Dee Messina will kick off four the fest at the Greased Lightning Riverfront Daytime Stages on Thursday morning. Joining them will be Deborah Allen, Luke Bryan, Jason Michael Carroll and Chuck Wicks.

Artists include Charlie Allen, Bill Anderson, Keith Anderson, Katie Armiger, Jeff Bates, Bellamy Brothers, John Berry, Bo Bice, Lee Brice, Dean Brody, Lane Brody, T. Graham Brown, Zac Brown, Laura Bryna, Tracy Byrd, Carolina Rain, Carters Chord, Mark Chesnutt, Eric Church, Stephen Cochran, Cowboy Crush, Crossin Dixon, Star DeAzlan, Drew Davis Band, Whitney Duncan, Eli Young Band, Emerson Drive, Erika Jo, Flynnville Train, Jimmy Fortune, Ashley Gearing, Billy Gilman, Josh Gracin, Adam Gregory, Joe Griffith with Joe Stampley, Andy Griggs, Greg Hanna, Jennifer Hanson, Heartland, Ty Herndon, The Honky Tonk Tailgate Party featuring Buddy Jewell, Ray Scott, Trent Willmon and Mark Wills, Randy Houser, Rick Huckaby, Con Hunley, Emma Mae Jacob, Sarah Johns, Jamey Johnson, Jypsi, James LeBlanc, LoCash Cowboys, Lonestar, Lost Trailers, Rockie Lynne, Raul Malo, Jeremy McComb, Neal McCoy, Mindy McCready, Jason Meadows, Justin Moore, Lorrie Morgan, Megan Mullins, Mel McDaniel, Richie McDonald, Michael Martin Murphey, Minnie Murphy, David Nail, Heidi Newfield, Joe Nichols, Oak Ridge Boys, Jamie O'Neal, Jake Owen, Rissi Palmer, Danielle Peck, Telstra winner Jasmine Rae, Eddy Raven, Rio Grand, The Road Hammers, Mica Roberts, The Roys, Crystal Shawanda, Ashton Shepherd, TG Sheppard, Phil Stacey, Jeffrey Steele, Fisher Stevenson, Doug Stone, Sunny Sweeney, Mel Tillis, Aaron Tippin, Rhonda Towns, Trailer Choir, Jimmy Wayne, Emily West, Whiskey Falls, Bryan White, Darryl Worley, Billy Yates and Chris Young.

Single-day tickets for the Greased Lightning Riverfront Daytime Stages will be sold the day of each show at the gate for $16 each. Children 6 and younger are admitted free of charge with a paying adult.

LP Field will host nightly concerts. The schedule is:

Thursday - Jennifer Hanson, Montgomery Gentry, Kellie Pickler, Luke Bryan, Jewel, Taylor Swift and Sugarland.

Friday - Ashton Shepherd, Jack Ingram, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Josh Turner, Jake Owen and Faith Hill.

Saturday - Jason Michael Carroll, Craig Morgan, Little Big Town, Jamey Johnson, Rodney Atkins, Darryl Worley, Trace Adkins, Alan Jackson and Kenny Rogers.

Sunday - Chuck Wicks, James Otto, Bucky Covington, Randy Travis, John Stephan, Sara Evans, Billy Ray Cyrus, Phil Stacey, and Dwight Yoakam.

Tickets for each show can be purchased at a cost of $40 for reserved seating and $30 for general admission. Single night tickets can be purchased in advance through the CMA Music Festival Box Office at The Sommet Center Box Office, 501 Broadway, Nashville or toll free at 1-800 CMA-FEST (262-3378). Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster at (615) 255-9600, and all Ticketmaster outlets. Ticket price does not include applicable handling fees. Single night concert tickets will also be sold during CMA Music Festival at the LP Field ticket office beginning Wednesday. The single night concert ticket is only good for that night's performance at LP Field.

Slated to appear are Curtis Alan, Charlie Allen, Deborah Allen, Suzanne Alexander, Bill Anderson, Keith Anderson, Lynn Anderson, Katie Armiger, Sam Bass, Jeff Bates, Bo Bice, Bonnie Lou Bishop, Bluefield, Bonner Bolton, Lee Brice, Lane Brody, Jason Brown, Brownell & Richey, Luke Bryan, Laura Bryna, Sarah Buxton, Tracy Byrd, David Byrnes, Caitlin & Will, Don Campbell, Carolina Rain, Jason Michael Carroll, Cash Creek Band, Mark Chesnutt, Billy Childers, Eric Church, Steven Clawson, Will Clements, Stephen Cochran, Austin Cody, Bill Cody, Dan Colehour, Elizabeth Cook, Katie Cook, The Coppolas, Brad Cotter, Bucky Covington, Cowboy Troy, Timothy Craig, Candice Crain, Crook & Chase, Stephen Dale, Justin David, Star De Azlan, Deepstep, Diana DeGarmo, Kassie DePaiva, Drew Davis Band, Eric Durrance, Eli Young Band, Emerson Drive, Ralph Emery, Erika Jo, Jace Everett, Donna Fargo, Joey & Rory Feek, Flynnville Train, Crystal Gayle, Freddie Gill, Billy Gilman, Josh Gracin, The Grascals, Jack Greene, Ben Gregg, Adam Gregory, Jeff Griffith, Angela Hacker, Jennifer Hanson,Vince Hatfield, Heartland, Tuff Hedeman, Amanda Henkel, Ty Herndon, Katelyn Hobson, Lucas Hoge, Shelby Horner, Hot Apple Pie, Julianne Hough, James House, Randy Houser, Rick Huckaby, Con Hunley, Jack Ingram, Julie Ingram, Emma Mae Jacob, Buddy Jewell, Jamey Johnson, Ben "Cooter" Jones, Zona Jones, Jypsi, Christian Kane, Cooper Kanngiesser, Sage Keffer, Kentucky Headhunters, Johnny Knapp, Mikel Knight, David Kroll, Lady Antebellum, James LeBlanc, Ladden Ledbetter, Zane Lewis, Little Big Town, Little Texas, Jake Littlefield, Lonestar, The Lost Trailers, Sherry Lynn, Marshal Reign, Daniel Lee Martin, Joey Martin, Kim McAbee, Cody McCarver, Jeremy McComb, Neal McCoy, Rich McCready, Mel McDaniel, Steve McGranahan, Jason Meadows, Charlotte Medley, Jo Dee Messina, Barry Michael, Ronnie Milsap, Travis Moody, DeAnne Moore, Justin Moore, Moore & Moore, Lorrie Morgan, Brooke Morton , Mountain Heart, Michael Martin Murphey, Mustang Creek, David Nail, Josh Newcom, Heidi Newfield, Joe Nichols, Nick Nicholson, David Paul Nowlin, One Flew South, Jamie O'Neal, Todd O'Neil, James Otto, Jake Owen, Ashlee Page, Danielle Peck, Michael Peterson, Reunionaires, Amber Rhodes, Steve Richard, Riders In the Sky, Rio Grand, The Road Hammers, Julie Roberts, Mica Roberts, The Roys, Sammy Sadler, David St. Romain, Travis Sellers, Kevin Sharp, Crystal Shawanda, Ashton Shepherd, Thom Shepherd, TG Sheppard, Martha Sides, Wesley Silcox, Wade Sims, Damon Smith, Daniel Smith, Skyla Spencer, Phil Stacey, Fisher Stevenson, Paul Stout, Sunny Sweeney, Taylor Swift, Keni Thomas, Mel Tillis, Aaron Tippin, Trent Tomlinson, Rhonda Towns, Trailer Choir, Carrie Underwood, Jessica Cayne Urick, Rusty Van Sickle, Phil Vassar, Jenna von Oy, Taylor Ware, Darren Warren, Storme Warren, Jimmy Wayne, Well Hungarians, Emily West, Whiskey Falls, Bryan White, Jonalee White, White Acre, Chuck Wicks, Rachel Williams, Trent Willmon, Mark Wills, Gretchen Wilson, Blake Wise, Nicole Witt, Steven Woolsey, Darryl Worley, Wynnona, Billy Yates and Chris Young.

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