2015 CMA Music Festival 75
Percent of the Way to Another Sell Out!
NASHVILLE – CMA Music Festival sold out a record
15 weeks in advance prompting large, enthusiastic crowds at the Festival’s numerous
free stages and event areas including AT&T U-verse® Fan Fair X at the Music
City Center matching 2013’s attendance record of 80,000 fans per day.
“The advance sell out
speaks to the strength of the event with our fans,” said CMA Chief Executive
Officer Sarah Trahern. “The popularity of our artists and the
entertainment value of this Festival is what drove attendance and filled the streets
of downtown Nashville.”
Attendance figures for 2014 include four-day ticket
packages and promotional tickets, as well as attendance in Fan Fair X, and free
areas downtown. In all, more than 450 artists participated in more than 150 hours
of concerts on 11 different stages.
Fans obviously liked what they saw: tickets for 2015 CMA Music
Festival, which will be held Thursday
through Sunday, June 11-14, are selling quicker than ever. Ticket sales
are 28 percent ahead of last year with 75 percent of available tickets already
sold. Fans can order tickets by calling the CMA Box Office at 1-800-CMA-FEST (262-3378).
To purchase tickets online, visit CMAfest.com.
Intermittent rain on Thursday and severe thunderstorms
Saturday impacted attendance in the free areas and delayed the start of the Nightly
Concert Saturday, but fans in rain ponchos were undeterred, waiting out the weather
to see their favorite stars perform.
Attendance in the numerous free areas including The Buckle,
Fan Alley, public events, and concert venues was brisk and attendance at many
stages showed significant growth year-to-year. Opening day at Chevrolet Riverfront
Stage saw tens of thousands of fans pass through the gates for the free concerts.
Crowds for the new Samsung Galaxy Stage in Walk of Fame Park were strong, and
attendance at the Bud Light Stage on the Bridgestone Arena Plaza increased over
2013. The BMI Tailgate Party stage at LP Field, which debuted in 2012, was a hit
with fans entering the stadium for the nightly concerts.
Corporate brand partnerships are a key element to the
marketing, fan experience, and support of the Festival. Nearly 60 different brands
participated in the CMA Music Festival – a 39 percent increase from 2013.
“This year’s Festival
featured sold-out shows at LP Field in record-setting time, so we knew our corporate
partners were going to benefit from the excitement and attendance generated by
this event,” said Damon Whiteside, CMA Senior Vice President
of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships. “The strategy for our partnerships
is to develop innovative experiential and marketing opportunities that will engage
our passionate fans not only during the June Music Festival, but throughout the
summer season leading into our ABC Network TV special, ‘CMA Music Festival:
Country’s Night to Rock.’ Along with the amazing lineup of talent and fan experiences
at all of our stages and AT&T U-verse® Fan Fair X, our brand partners
are creating some of the best activations the Festival has seen to date, which
is essential for CMA to keep the fans excited to come back year after year.”
Keep The Music
Playing Changes LivesCMA Music Festival supports music education. The artists and celebrities
participating in CMA Music Festival donate their time. They are not compensated
for the hours they spend signing autographs and performing. In appreciation of
their exhaustive efforts, The CMA Foundation donates proceeds from the event to
music education on the artists’ behalf through CMA’s Keep the Music Playing
program. Since 2006, CMA has donated more than $9 million to this worthy cause.
On Thursday, there was
an official presentation of a $10,000 check to The CMA Foundation for Keep the
Music Playing programs as part of “Chicken of the Sea: 100 Years of Good.”
As a way of thanking Americans for its first 100 years, the brand is investing
$1 million in 100 charitable individuals and nonprofits with $10,000 “Great
American Gratitude” awards to aid them in continuing their grassroots community
service and goodwill efforts.
CMA’s fans are contributing to this worthy and important initiative,
too, by bidding on one-of-a-kind experiences and signed items in the Fifth Annual
CMA Celebrity Auction, which was held in AT&T U-verse® Fan Fair X and benefited
Keep the Music Playing. The auction raised more than $100,000 ($80,000 in 2013)
and included more than 100 items including meet and greets, guitars, autographed
merchandise and more from stars and celebrities including Jason Aldean,
Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney, KISS, Brad Paisley, and The Beach Boys.
CMA Music Festival, which
started as Fan Fair® in 1972, is about the fans and their relationship with the
artists and the music. The theme is universal and in 2014, Festival attendees
came from all 50 states and 24 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada,
Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland,
Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, South Korea,
Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K.
Fans Connect DigitallyCMA continued its
practice of interacting with fans through digital and social channels at the 2014
CMA Music Festival, to both inform and reward loyal Festival attendees.
once again hosted the live stream from the CMA Close Up Stage at AT&T U-verse®
Fan Fair X. Fans all over the world were treated to performances and Q&A sessions
from hugely popular Artists of the Day.
The free CMA Music Festival app presented by ATT U-verse® for
iPhone and Android saw more than 38,000 downloads – a 67 percent uptick year-to-year.
App features included event maps, schedules of activities and performance lineups
with the option for users to create their own personalized, custom schedule. Additionally,
CMA social media streams and news bulletins were integrated, and the CMA Music
Festival app offered push notifications to update attendees on weather alerts and schedule changes.
At LP Field, fans were
invited to post their Festival photos to Instagram throughout the weekend using
#CMAFEST, and photos were also featured nightly on the LP Field screens. New in
2014, CMA partnered with Spotify to create the CMA Music Festival Spotify Jukebox. The
jukebox powered the in-house music that played in between acts. Fans were invited
to tweet their requests in to the jukebox using #SpotifyCMA.
CMA’s total aggregate digital audience
has reached 2.25 million fans, growth of 18 percent from the 1.9 million in June 2013.
2014 CMA Music
Festival Research RecapWith so many ardent Country Music fans in
one place, opportunities abound for CMA to conduct research with this important consumer group.
“Country Music is reaching
a broader and more diverse audience than ever and we believe these shifts have
an impact on our attendee base,” said Karen Stump, CMA’s
Senior Director of Market Research. “Our research among Festival attendees
about their motivations and experiences related to our event serves as a vital
tool for CMA to continuously deliver a memorable and relevant event for our fans.”
Findings from 2014:
- 50 percent of attendees were attending for the first time (48 percent in 2013)
- Among first time attendees, 52 percent were
visiting Nashville for the first time
- 17 percent of first time attendees reported they had become a fan of the
genre recently (within the past one to five years)
- 76 percent of attendees traveled more than 250 miles
- The average distance traveled to attend the festival is 665 miles
- 96 percent of attendees indicated plans or interest
in attending again next year
percent of attendees posted to social media about their daily experienceo 75 percent posted to Facebooko 37 percent tweeted on Twittero 46 percent posted to Instagram
- 62 percent stated they became a “new” fan
of an artist they discovered at the Festival
- 52 percent were under the age of 40 (slightly up from 50 percent last year)
- 48 percent have an annual household income of $75,000 or more
preliminary numbers are based on CMA’s onsite/in-person surveying of 437 attendees
over the four days. Additional research is being conducted and will result in
added insights about CMA Music Festival attendees based on input from more than 2,000 patrons.
PartyThe fun kicked into high gear with the expanded CMA Music Festival
Kick-Off Concert at the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage featuring eight acts including
four international artists Lindsay Ell, Tim Hicks,
and Small Town Pistols, from Canada; and Morgan Evans
from Australia. Rounding out the diverse lineup was honky-tonk traditionalists
Brazilbilly; Southern rock legends The Marshall Tucker
Band, who made their Festival debut in 2013, were joined on stage by
surprise guest Ricky Skaggs; and Shooter Jennings
who performed with Waymore’s Outlaws, his father Waylon Jennings’
touring and studio backing band. It was Jennings’ first CMA Music Festival appearance,
but he carried on a family legacy. His father Waylon performed at the first Fan
Fair in 1972, and continued performing at the annual event throughout the ‘90s.
Fan Fair XX marked the coolest daytime spot for Nashville’s “signature”
event in the AT&T U-verse® Fan Fair X with autograph signings, concerts,
lifestyle exhibits, marketplace, live broadcasts, and more in the Music City Center.
LeAnn Rimes kicked
it off on Thursday with an official ribbon cutting, acoustic performance, and
Q&A session with the fans, hosted by Great American Country’s Storme Warren.
“I’ve been coming here
since when I was really little, so it’s such an honor to be here now,” said
Rimes. “Good to see everybody!”
More than 63,000 visitors passed through the turnstiles into
Fan Fair X throughout the Festival. The number of artists signing autographs and
performing on the stages increased from less than 400 in 2013 to more than 500,
participating in more than 800 artist opportunities in 2014.
The number of artists signing
in CMA Central, CMA’s signature headquarters in the middle of all the Fan Fair
X action, led to some unique photo ops for fans, including surprise activities
and ticket giveaways at the red-carpeted fan area, where fans gathered for an
opportunity to meet the stars.
Dustin Lynch made a surprise appearance Saturday
to sign in the Field & Stream booth. Dan + Shay
had scheduled an hour-long signing on Saturday, but stayed an additional two hours
to meet their fans. The Oak Ridge Boys unofficially closed the
hall on Sunday singing a cappella on the AT&T Showcase Stage. The CMA Close
Up Stage doubled in size from 2013 and was packed with standing-room-only performances
from Craig Morgan, Lady Antebellum, Charles Esten, Sara Evans, Rimes,
and American Country Countdown with Kix Brooks.
Artists of note that signed autographs
or participated: Lauren Alaina, Bill Anderson, Rodney Atkins,
Big & Rich, Big Smo, Kix Brooks, Kristian Bush, Terri
Clark, Mark Collie, Billy Ray Cyrus, The Doobie Brothers, Duck Commander, Eli
Young Band, Crystal Gayle, Brantley Gilbert, Gloriana, Jana Kramer, Jim Lauderdale,
Brenda Lee, Little Big Town, Lonestar, Love and Theft, Neal McCoy, Scotty McCreery,
Jo Dee Messina, Justin Moore, Kip Moore, Sam Moore, Lorrie Morgan, David Nail,
Joe Nichols, Charley Pride, Sawyer Brown, Ashton Shepherd, Skaggs,
Jamie Lynn Spears, Alison Sweeney, The Band Perry, Thompson Square, Mel Tillis,
Chuck Wicks, Mark Wills, Wynonna, and many more.
This marks the third year that
AT&T has been title sponsor of the exhibit hall experience, first at the Nashville
Convention Center and now Fan Fair X at the Music City Center. The AT&T Showcase
Stage featured performances and interviews with 49 of Nashville’s great songwriters and artists.
“Whether it was during
a live performance, at an autograph signing or while checking out the Country
Deep app, AT&T U-verse Fan Fair X gave Country Music fans unparalleled access
to the artists and music they love,” said Brian Collins, Vice
President of Wireline Consumer Marketing, AT&T Home Solutions. “We’re
proud to participate in another successful CMA Music Festival, and we look forward to next year.”
Durango® returned to present
the Durango Music Spot, which launched in 2004 as a showcase for independent artists,
and featured nearly 50 performers. The Music Spot was extremely popular with fans
and the area stayed packed throughout nearly 15 hours of music in Fan Fair X.
All performances were broadcast and streamed live by 650 WSM-AM Nashville.
StageArriving via the Budweiser wagon pulled by the world-famous
Clydesdale horses, Big & Rich opened four days of music at the popular Chevrolet Riverfront Stage.
“Is everybody ready to
have the time of your life? Welcome to Music City!” said John Rich
of Big & Rich. “I don’t think there’s a better party in the world than
right here at CMA Fest in Nashville.”
“The CMA Fest provides a great opportunity to connect
with a passionate fan base in a very authentic manner,” said Michael
Weidman, National Promotions Manager, Chevrolet. “Our goal this year
was to have fans walk away with Chevy as a part of their memories of the experience.
Based on what I saw, this was accomplished.”
It was an auspicious start to a full slate of performances.
The stage bustled with a roster of outstanding artists delivering longer sets
for the appreciative crowd. In all, more than 50 artists performed 22 hours of
concerts over the four days. More than 143,000 fans passed through the gates to
watch the performances at Chevrolet Riverfront Stage over the course of the Festival.
Bud Light Stage
at Bridgestone Arena PlazaThe audiences at the Bud Light Stage at
the Bridgestone Arena Plaza were enthusiastic and didn’t hesitate to demonstrate
their appreciation for the 51 artists performing on the stage during 18 hours
of concerts. The exceptional lineup included up-and-comers, established stars, and legends.
“I have seen quite a
few music events in my 19-year career with Anheuser-Busch, but this was by far
the most inclusive and widespread music festival I have been part of,” said
David Spafford, Director Trade Marketing-Region 2 Anheuser-Busch,
Inc. “It is an honor to be part of the CMA Music Festival. We feel it is a wonderful
platform of events, parties, and activation elements to reach our core consumers
in a real and interactive way. Nashville is an incredible host city for this event
which offers big-city feel with down home hospitality. Bud Light is proud to be
part of the Festival and look forward to many years of this great partnership.”
Stage in Walk of Fame ParkThis year, Samsung hosted the Samsung Galaxy
Stage, where concertgoers had the chance to listen to music by the next big thing
in Country Music. In addition, the Samsung Galaxy Experience and Samsung
Galaxy Owner’s Lounge on the Festival grounds provided attendees with a place
to escape the heat and check out the brand’s latest offerings including Samsung’s
new, free music streaming service, Milk Music™, and the new Galaxy S® 5, Gear Fit, and Gear 2.
“We were thrilled to
have a premiere technology partner such as Samsung embrace the Country Music fan
base,” said Whiteside. “Their multiple activations brought engaging experiences
that enhanced the Festival for our artists and fans and allowed Samsung to build
a stronger relationship with the Country Music industry.”
Nightly Concerts at LP
FieldThe Nightly Concerts at LP Field featured more than 50 artists
spanning four nights of star-packed shows.
Pre-show activities Thursday included the national
anthem performed by young musicians from the W.O. Smith Nashville Community Music
School, which is a beneficiary of The CMA Foundation’s Keep the Music Playing
music education charitable campaign, CMA’s Trahern, and the Governor of Tennessee,
the honorable Bill Haslam.
“Country Music is the only genre where artists and
fans come so close together,” said Haslam. “You’re going to hear the best
music in the world tonight! How many of you are not from Tennessee? If
you’re not from Tennessee, let everyone hear it back home!”
Performing Thursday were Dierks
Bentley, Luke Bryan, Brantley Gilbert, Tim McGraw, and
Rascal Flatts. The audience also enjoyed a heritage performance from
Alabama, who hadn’t done a full band performance at the Festival
since 1995. To the delight of the crowd, Faith Hill joined McGraw
for a performance of “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s.”
Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert,
Blake Shelton, and The Band Perry performed on Friday.
Travis Tritt, who last performed at the Festival in 2005,was the heritage
act of the evening, and Danielle Bradbery performed the national
anthem. Special guest performances are a highlight of the Festival and there were
several: Lzzy Hale, lead singer of Halestorm,
joined Church for “That’s Damn Rock & Roll”; Tritt joined Aldean for
“Homesick”; and Carrie Underwood performed “Somethin’
Bad” with Lambert.
Severe storms Saturday delayed the start of the concert by an
hour, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the crowd who sat through showers
to see Florida Georgia Line, Little Big Town, Darius Rucker, and
Keith Urban. Chris Young had to cancel due to an injury to his left hand
that required surgery. Sara Evans, who opened the Festival at the Chevrolet Riverfront
Stage in 2013, delighted fans at LP Field. Winner of “The Sing Off,” a cappella
group Home Free sang the national anthem. Nashville Mayor Karl
Dean welcomed the rain-soaked crowd to Nashville. Urban had lot of company
during his set including Florida Georgia Line for “You Gonna Fly” and Karen
Fairchild from Little Big Town to perform “We Were Us.”
Hunter Hayes, Lady
Antebellum, Brad Paisley, Thomas Rhett, and Zac Brown Band performed
Sunday. Charlie Daniels Band, who joined Paisley for a performance
in 2013, was the legacy act. The Oak Ridge Boys performed
the national anthem. Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora joined
Zac Brown Band for “Wanted Dead or Alive.” Paisley closed the Festival and
capped the night by saying, “Be safe going home – wherever that is – we love you!”
BMI Tailgate PartyFor
the third year, the BMI Tailgate Party was located outside LP
Field with a strong selection of more than 25 BMI songwriters and artists warming
up the audience and providing a popular pre-show destination before fans entered
the stadium for the Nightly Concerts.
Press HereCMA granted access to
more than 600 journalists, photographers, producers, and videographers representing
more than 230 domestic and international media outlets including: ABC News, ABC
Radio Networks, “Access Hollywood,” Associated Press, BBC Radio 2 (U.K.),
Billboard, The Boston Globe, CMT, CNN Headline News, Country
Aircheck, Country Music Channel (Australia), Country Weekly, “Dr.
Phil,” Great American Country, “Good Morning America,” “Headline Country,”
“Late Night with Seth Meyers,” MusicRow, Nashville Business Journal,
NPR Music, OK! Magazine, People, People.com, Premiere Radio
Network, Rolling Stone, RTL (France), Sirius XM Satellite Radio, The
Tennessean, “Today,”’ United Stations Radio Network, UPI Newswire,
US Weekly, USA Today, The Weather Channel, and more. International
media outlets represented 12 countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany,
Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K.
always, CMA took numerous steps in 2014 to protect the safety of fans, artists,
volunteers, and staff, so everyone could fully enjoy the Ultimate Country Music
Fan Experience, including water stations and misting tents for quick relief from the heat.
CMA also utilized the “If
You See Something, Say Something” program from the Department of Homeland Security
(DHS). “If You See Something, Say Something” is a simple and effective program
to raise public awareness and to emphasize the importance of reporting suspicious
activity to the proper local law enforcement authorities.
Medical tents and roving medical
teams from Vanderbilt Medical Center, a nonprofit medical facility, were readily
available for Festival-goers needing attention for a variety of ailments including
falls and heat. Pre-planning by CMA and the medical crews resulted in lower than
average medical treatment for fans. In all, they logged 500 patient contacts with
18 ambulance transports – below numbers for previous years, which typically
exceeded 1,000 contacts and more than 20 transports
ABC Television Special
announced, the Festival was filmed for a three-hour television special “CMA
Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” airing Tuesday, Aug. 5 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) and hosted for the second
time by reigning CMA Vocal Group of the Year, Little Big Town.
The special debuted in
2004 and this is the 11th year the special will air on ABC. The primetime event
features stadium concerts and intimate club-like performances with beind-the-ropes access to the artists.
Fans can stay in the loop with
CMA Music Festival by visiting CMAfest.com,
the official website of CMA Music Festival, where they can sign up for the CMA
Exclusive enews. Fans can also connect with CMA at Facebook.com/CMA,
and by texting FESTIVAL to 66937 (message & data rates may apply).
CMA Music Festival –
the Ultimate Country Music Fan Experience – is a celebration of America’s
music. CMA Music Festival is a four-time winner of the International Entertainment
Buyers Association’s LIVE! Award for Festival of the Year (2004, 2006, 2008,
2010). According to Budget Travel Magazine, Nashville is one of the Top
10 Best Budget Destinations and CMA Music Festival is “the” time to visit.
Conde Nast Traveler selected Nashville as one of the Best Places to Go
in 2013 citing easy access to “incredible live music.” And CMA Music Festival
was named one of the Top 10 Summer Festivals of 2013 by Livability.com, a national
website that ranks quality of life and travel amenities of America’s small and mid-sized cities.
Don’t miss it June 11-14, 2015!