The CMA Music Festival is a four-day music festival centered around country music hosted each June by the Country Music Association at LP Field and Riverfront Park in Nashville, Tennessee.
This live stream is at the CMA Festival
During the festival, attendees can choose from over 150 hours of concerts that are offered on stages at Riverfront Park and LP Field. Until 2001, the evening concerts were organized by record labels, with each label choosing which of their artists would be able to perform, and for how long. Beginning with Fan Fair 2001, these main concerts were grouped instead by record distribution group. This allowed for four main concerts, for Sony, WEA/EMI, UNI, and BMG. Artists are held to very strict timeframes for their performances, with Martina McBride noting in 2007 that she was expected to be on stage for exactly 34 minutes, "not 30, not 35, but 34." The artists are not paid to attend the festival or for their performances during the festival.
Through 2000, the CMA Music Festival was considered a sell-out if 25,000 people attended. Attendees span all ages, from infants to the elderly and come from 41 different countries, including France, Australia, Germany, The United Kingdom, China, Japan, and Russia. After moving to its new, larger and air-conditioned home in 2001, attendance numbers soared, with the 2002 festival drawing 126,000 fans. Attendance slipped slightly the following year, partially because many of the more renowned country music stars declined to appear at the festival. However, in 2003, attendance was down only 1.7% over the year before, compared to a 25% decline in overall U.S. tourist travel for the same period. The attendance slippage was not permanent; in 2007, a record-breaking crowd of 191,000 people attended the festival.