Last week was the CMA Fest. There were so many concerts, events for charity, giveaways, and people in Nashville. What a crazy experience! This was my first time at CMA Fest and the only thing hotter than than the weather were the country acts. Here are my favorite moments at CMA Fest.
The highlight of my week was the City of Hope Celebrity Softball game. I had the opportunity to interview some amazing people including Bobby Bones, Scotty McCreery, and more. Standing on the red carpet at the softball game was a dream come true. The Grand Ole Opry and iHeart Radio were the teams and they included celebrities like Vince Gill, Jamie Lynn Spears, Cassadee Pope, David Nail, and McCreery.
Later that night Kelsea Ballerini had her fan club party. She invited all of her fans to the event and sang songs that people wanted to hear. She also answered fan questions. She is wise beyond her years. She knew most of the fans by name and even sang a duet with one of them. This girl on stage was so happy and Ballerini completely made her night. After the Q&A Ballerini stayed after to take pictures with every person there. She was completely committed to her fans and humbled by all of them. I was so impressed with her. No one that is 22 years old holds themselves up like she does.
The next day was the CMT Awards, which I also got to experience for the first time. I am still in shock at how breathtaking it was. It brought pop stars and country stars together for one amazing night. My favorite performance of the night was when Florida Georgia Line sang their new song “H.O.L.Y.” and had their wedding videos playing in the background. It was such a great moment for me and I sat there pinching myself trying to make sure it was even real.
After the awards I wanted to walk down Broadway just to take it all in. I stopped by some local bars and eventually made my way to Tootsies. It was such a beautiful night. The lights were mesmerizing and the people were so nice. I couldn’t believe that this was my life for the next week!
The after-party hosted by Nashville had some great names like Ryan Kinder, High Valley, and the newest member of the Warner family RaeLynn. This concert featured slow songs, party songs, and songs I want to put on repeat. Raelynn’s newest single “Love Triangle” melted our hearts and mesmerized our souls. She is what country music is and I can’t wait to see what she does next with Warner. The after-party brought people together from all different places. I met an amazing couple from the Midwest who come to CMA Fest each year to see the artists they love. One of their favorites was RaeLynn. Meeting some true fans of hers gave me the ability to dive into her songs.
“But some mommas and daddies
Let their heart strings tear and tangle
And some of us get stuck
In a love triangle”
Waking up the next morning I didn’t think CMA Fest could get any better, that is, until I met Elizabeth Lyons at Fan Fair X. She is a new country artist who is the definition of a rising star. She gave me her album and I listened to it the whole week and all the way home to Ohio. Be sure to get it and you honestly won’t regret it. She has the energy of Taylor Swift and the grace of Kelsea Ballerini. I can’t wait to see where she goes next! She’ll be opening for Hunter Hayes next month.
Later on that day Drew Baldridge put on a pop-up concert at French’s Boot Store to celebrate his new album Dirt On Us. He even had cupcakes (with Oreo crumbs to symbolize the dirt) made for the special event. His newest single “Dance With Ya” did well on iTunes and his personality shines through. I’m so lucky to call him a friend and I am also a total fan. He brings something unique to country music and I am totally impressed with his music. If you don’t know him yet you should because he is the real deal.
Bobby Bones and the Raging Idiots put on a show with the next women of country including acts like Maddie & Tae, Lindsay Ell, Danielle Bradbery, and more. Bones is a nationally known radio host and he can now add New York Times Best Selling Author to his resume. In between artists the Raging Idiots would play songs from their comedy album. They were so funny and it added to the energy of the crowd. Bones knows exactly how to entertain and I am so grateful for him because he has brought so many new artists to Nashville that I love. He is a wonderful guy and I can’t wait to see what he does next.
CMA Fest was completely packed with people going to concerts all around the Broadway area. The heat in Nashville didn’t stop anyone. That’s how you know these people were true country music fans. I have to say though, one of my favorite concerts all week was Mickey Guyton. I have always been a fan of hers and I would love to have her fashion sense. I mean come on this girl is always rocking something so cute. Guyton is also such a great person. She has been mentoring newcomer Tristan McIntosh ever since she sang Guyton’s song “Why Baby Why” on the last season of American Idol. They sang together at the Chevy Stage and it was even better than I could have imagined. I can’t believe how wonderful they sound together. I teared up listening to them belt out “Why Baby Why.” The emotion behind it and the beauty of both of them made the audience fall in love. Such angelic voices paired together doesn’t come around very often. I am so thankful that I was able to experience such a powerful performance.
Cam is definitely another act that I always enjoy. She puts on a tremendous show and she’s not afraid to say what she wants. She stays true to herself. Like Reba McEntire would say “be different, stand out, and work your butt off.” She is always herself and won’t apologize for it. Her music is also unique and her album Untamed is always playing on my phone. I am probably Cam’s No. 1 fan. You can tell it’s Cam just by her beautiful curly hair and the fact that she loves yellow. I love her for that and so does everyone else.
It’s been two days since CMA Fest ended and I am already planning out next year. This was the most amazing event I have ever been to and I am still wondering if it was all a dream. I met some incredible people, went to a city I am totally in love with, and I had the chance to see some of my favorite artists. Country music has completely changed my life.
What was your favorite part of CMA Fest? Tweet me @cassielynnwells!