Day One of the 2012 CMA Music FestivalBy William Simpson • Jun 7th, 2012 • Category: Festivals, Live Show Reviews
Review by Lori Simpson
It’s June again and that means a lot of great music in middle Tennessee. While serious partiers and campers head south to Manchester, Tenn. and Bonnaroo Music festival, the diehard country music fans invaded downtown Nashville for the 2012 CMA Music Festival. Fan Fair Hall was located inside the Nashville Convention Center and had a large floor where fans could meet their idols and new up and coming stars and get their autographs as well as visit vendors and buy their wares. Chris Young would have won the award for lonest autograph line. I think every girl at CMA Fest was in his line. The Fan Fair Hall also contained one of the many stages at the CMA Fest, the Durango Acoustic Corner Stage presented by 650 WSM and Durango boots. Along with the Durango Acoustic Corner stage, CMA Fest had many stages for fans to catch their favorite artists perform. For new acts there was the Bic Soleil Bella Beach stage, Hard Rock Acoustic stage, the Chevrolet Roadhouse stage, and the Buckle stage. To that you add the Bud Light stage outside of the Bridgestone Arena, the Chevrolet Riverfront stage, and the grand finally each night at LP Field.
There were a few pre-CMA activities such as Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam and the 8th annual CMA Music Festival Kick-off Parade but the CMA Music Festival started in earnest on June 7 with Montgomery Gentry on the Chevrolet Riverfront stage at 10:00 in the morning. The stands at the Chevrolet Riverfront stage were full all day no matter who was on the stage. What a great way to start off the 2012 CMA Fest. Following Montgomery Gentry was the Randy Rogers Band, Craig Morgan, Josh Thompson, Jerrod Niemann, Lee Brice, and Neal McCoy, who climbed up to the top the scaffolding to sing to his fans. The day at the Chevrolet Riverfront stage ended with Dustin Lynch, a change of pace with Uncle Kracker, then Colt Ford and finally a great performance from Tracy Lawrence.
A couple of the highlights form the Bud Light stage were Julie Roberts, Trent Tomlinson, Miss Willie Brown and country funny man Cletus T. Judd, who has lost a lot of weight. Inside the Fan Fair Hall, the Durango Acoustic Corner stage started off with legend Gene Watson, Georgette Jones, Lulu Roman, Jesse Keith Whitley, and Amber Hayes were highlights form the day. Billy Dean closed the stage out for day one of 2012 CMA Fest.
After the sun went down didn’t mean the fans had to go back to their hotel, the superstars of Country Music then took the stage at LP Field. Taking the stage on the first day of 2012 CMA Fest was Glen Campbell, Miranda Lambert Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown Band, and Brad Paisley. There were also acoustic performances by Kellie Pickler and Lauren Alaina from American Idol fame.
The weather was beautiful for the first day of CMA Fest. Sunny, no rain and about 20 degrees cooler than the first day of last year’s CMA Fest. The fans came from all over the country and even from foreign countries. They wait all year to come to Nashville to watch and meet their idols. With the crowd that was in the streets on this first day, CMA Fest will be a booming success by the end of the fourth day.