Whether a fan of country or hip-hop, underground or good ol’ rock-n-roll, it is clear that for the festival goer, there is no better place to be than Tennessee in June.
Previously called Fan Fair, CMA Fest hit downtown Nashville in a tornado of cowboy hats and country slang. Brought to you by the Country Music Association and begun in 1972, CMA Fest is estimated to bring in around 200,000 (about 65,000 people a day) to events both ticketed and free throughout the weekend. Visitors descend from 41 different nations and all 50 states as fans choose from over 150 hours of concerts offered on larger stages at Riverfront Park and LP Field and smaller venues throughout the downtown district.
This year’s festival exceeded the star power attendees have come to know and expect. Taylor Swift brought out Tim McGraw and Keith Urban, the Zac Brown Band were joined by Kenny Rogers for “The Gambler,” Nashville resident Sheryl Crow came out to thrill fans and Lenny Kravitz shocked us all with surprise set.
CMA Music Festival is and has been a big part of the phenomenal economic recovery Nashville has seen in the past 18 months.
“The weekend is huge,” Mike Duguay of Mike’s Ice Cream Fountain has said. “The CMA Music Festival really provides revenues to keep a place going through the winter and throughout the year.”
Elsewhere in Middle Tennessee…
How do you Bonnaroo?
Bonnaroo, a word popularized by New Orleans superstar Dr. John with this 1974 album Desitively Bonnaroo, is meant in concept as “a really good time.” Taken from the French words for “best” (or Bon) and “street” (or Rue), Bonnaroo is a Ninth Word slang and was chosen as an homage to the literal meaning as well as a way of honoring the Louisiana music tradition.
It’s hard to believe that Bonnaroo turns 12 this year. Since the inaugural year in 2002, the festival has continued to grow in both size and demographic. No surprise, given the headliners that continue to attract tens of thousands of people from all corners of the globe. They travel in couples and groups, by car, RV, plane or bus. They come to see headliners like Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen and lesser known acts about to make it big (example: Mumford and Sons were in the noon spot just two years ago).
As with CMA Music Festival, Bonnaroo brings valuable revenue to Coffee County and surrounding areas. The festival leases about 250 acres and brings in over $20 million dollars. Some of that income comes directly from Superfly Presents, the organizers of the festival, while most of it is direct spending from the fans.
2013 is seeing some firsts for the massive festival. This year, Bonnaroo and CMA Music Festival are on differing weekends, allowing attendees and tourism professionals to move the party from Downtown Nashville almost directly to the farm that hosts Bonnaroo.
This is also the first year fans can buy one day passes. This new feature allows Nashville to capitalize on all of the It City coverage we have been receiving as fans can now stay in town and shuttle to the fest daily. You can now see your favorite bands and stay in the country’s hottest city. The only thing better is adding a shuttle to get you there!
For Bonnaroo ticketing, visit our friends at the NCVB: http://www.visitmusiccity.com/visitors/events/bonnaroo
Heading to the fest? Be Driven: http://www.grandavenueworldwide.com/Tags: artists, bonnaroo, cma, country, Country Music, downtown Nashville, fan fair, festival, keith urban, lenny kravitz, music city center, music festival, musicians, sheryl crow, taylor swift, tim mcgraw, zac brown