Five tips for CMA Fest goers

-Logo-Badge-4CSo, after a brief hiatus, time to recover from the full-on CMAFest, I’m hopefully back on track and will pick-up the pace with postings. starting with some, hopefully, useful tips for those already planning a trip next year.

As first timers at the festival we did find it a bit overwhelming. We had expected it to be a crazy four days, but that doesn’t even begin to describe the actual experience.

Temperatures in the high 90s impacted on our day-to-day activity. We figured that the idea of staying out all day and then heading to the stadium for the evening concerts probably wasn’t going to work. So we paced ourselves a bit more.

imageSo here are a few tips for anyone heading to Nashville next year.

  1. Arrive in town a few days early. Nashville isn’t a big city, but it’s worth getting a feel for the place, pick out the bars you like (there’s plenty to choose from).
  2. Book a hotel within walking distance of the centre. The day time action takes over the Broadway, city centre area and we found that being able to walk back to our hotel, we stayed at the Indigo, in late afternoon to freshen up before heading out in the evening was a great bonus.
  3. Make time for the other attractions, the Grand Ole Opry, Ryman, Country Music Hall of Fame.
  4. Plan the acts you want to see around town on the various stages in advance, rather than making it up on the hoof.
  5. The indoor Fan Fare X is well worth a look.

Things actually are what they used to be

I recently commented on a post on a Facebook group for country music fans from someone saying “country music isn’t what it used to be.”

so it was good to see how this genre has changed and adapted over the decades when we visited the country music museum and hall of fame in Nashville.

From its roots in people playing basic instruments, sometimes home made, through the influence of cowboy tunes, Western swing and the impact of mass media. Through its history country has regularly found a new voice without losing sight of the debt it owes to previous generations.

And last night at the Grand Ole Oprey we saw a live example of how acts from other genres work with country acts when Little Big Town introduced Pharrell Williams as there surprise guest. Williams joined LBT to perform their new single, which he has co-written. You can view the action here.

I know we are just two days in to the trip but the visit to the GOO is a highlight. For a country fan in the UK the GOO is one of those legendary venues and it didn’t disappoint.

Larger than I thought, the concert is a radio broadcast, so it keeps moving along, with acts performing four songs each, interspersed with promos read out by the on stage announcer.

The line we saw included Darius Rucker, LBT and Miranda Lambert.

A great night out and a great experience.