CMAFest Recap

Our trip to Nashville was easily one of the most anticipated trips we’ve booked – we bought our tickets almost 11 months ago as Stampede was wrapping up. Going to Nashville for this festival was a huge bucket list item for us, and it did not did disappoint.

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Highlights

  • Florida Georgia Line. Pretty sure we reached peak happiness levels during their performance. They have so many fun, awesome songs (Cruise, Dirt, Shine On, Round Here, This is How We Roll, etc.).
  • Steven Tyler. Goddamn. He is a true rockstar. He started off with country songs, but also played classic Aerosmith hits like Crazy, plus a cover of Take Another Little Piece of My Heart. We ended up loving his performance!
  • Rascal Flatts. There’s a reason they’ve been around forever – they are incredible talented and put on a great performance.
  • Keith Urban & Luke Bryan. Um, did not realize what a skilled guitar player Keith Urban is! Luke challenged him to a guitar-off, and those several minutes watching them rock out were unreal. So much talent.
  • Cole Swindell. We weren’t overly familiar with his songs, but he was a fantastic performer. So much energy, and he really made the crowd come alive
  • Chris Young. Swoon-worthy voice. And he looked like he was having the best time.

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Low-lights (Realistically, there were very few lows during CMAs)

  • Eric Church. Normally one of our faves, he has a great voice, but we were disappointed he didn’t play ANY of his classic songs that we love (Talladega, Springsteen, Drink in My Hand,  The Outsiders, Wrecking Ball), in favour of his new stuff. Some of it was okay, but meh.
  • Sam Hunt. Not *really* a lowlight, but his voice wasn’t that great during his performance. We love so many of his songs, and he played them all, but something didn’t really translate from the radio to live performance.
  • Hank Williams, Jr. Meh – didn’t know any of his songs, and he wasn’t the greatest.

Key learnings

  • Tickets were surprisingly cheap (and SO worth it)
    • We bought four-day passes for $250 Canadian. With 5 acts per night x 4 nights (and we’re talking, the biggest names in country) this was actually a great deal, and our seats were great
  • Getting in and out of the stadium was a breeze
    • We were concerned that 60,000+ attendees would make everything incredibly slow, but staff were pretty efficient. There was one day we missed the opening act (Chris Stapleton) because of a security situation/no access to the elevator, but it was mostly smooth sailing
  • Be prepared to be ID’d – MULTIPLE times
    • They did not mess around. Not only did you have to show your ID to get a drink, you had to show it again to get a wristband, and each time you purchased a beverage
  • The CMAFest app is super helpful
    • With so many performances happening from 10 a.m. onwards, this helped us stay organized

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xo, late & lovely

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