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2016 CMA Music Festival Day 1

By • Jun 10th, 2016 • Category: Festivals, Live Show Reviews

Article by William Simpson and Lori Simpson

The 2016 CMA Music Festival kicked off yesterday, June 9th, in downtown Nashville to the excitement of 10’s of thousands of hard core country music fans.  The CMA Music Festival had a new look this year with the night time shows in the newly renamed Nissan Stadium.  There was a new stage this year at the AT&T Skyview Stage at the Ascend Amphitheater.  The Chevrolet Cruze Park Stage took over the Hall of Fame Park this year and unfortunately one of my favorite stages, the Bud Light Stage outside of Bridgestone Arena, did not return.  A lot of the “clutter” in Fan Fair X and the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage was removed to handle the mass of people and allow for better movement at those areas, that was a great improvement over last year.

The festival kicked off on the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage with Jake Owen.  Other artists performing on the Chevrolet Riverfront stage was A Thousand Horses, Brothers Osbourne, The Cadillac Three, Maddie & Tae, Chris Janson, Maren Morris, former American Idol winner Scotty McCreery, and the day at Riverfront ended with Terri Clark.

Other stages and artists that all the country music fans got to enjoy included Sister Hazel and Ashley Monroe at the AT&T Skyview Stage at Ascend Amphitheater, the Gildan Broadway Stage at Hard Rock Café which opened with former The Voice winner Craig Wayne Boyd and had a full day of good new artists ending with Waterloo Revival.  The Chevrolet Cruze Park Stage hosts such acts as The Swon Brothers, Josh Thompson, one half of Sugarland Kristian Bush, Clare Dunn and ended with new sensation Brett Young.

Everyone wanting to take a break from the heat could heat to Fan Fair X inside the Music City Center for some cool air conditioning and good music and goods.  The fans could also meet some of the stars of country music and get their autograph or picture with the stars.  The music and entertainment inside Fan Fair X was centered around three stages, The Durango Music Spot that has all of its performances live on the radio station 650 AM, the CMA Close Up Stage, and Radio Disney Country Stage.  On the Durango Music Spot new comer Payton Taylor opened up followed by legends such as Jeannie Seely, Moe Bandy, Collin Raye, and Shenandoah.  The highlight of the Radio Disney Country Stage was a Kelsea Ballerini Q&A and a performance by Lauren Alaina.  On the other side of the building was the CMA Close Up Stage which had discussions and performances by such artists as Artist of the day Hillary Scott, Marie Osmond, and Hall of Fame inductee Charlie Daniels, to name a few.

For the nighttime shows at Nissan Stadium the National Anthem was sung by The Oak Ridge Boys.  Opening the show was the Charlie Daniels Band followed by Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, and Miranda Lambert, before closing the show with Rascal Flatts and Jason Aldean.

Day one was a definite success with what appeared to be more people than Day one of last year brought in.  The weather was very hot but the rest of the weekend is supposed to be hotter.  It was a very fun day of great music from one end of Broadway to the other.

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