Between the CMT Music Awards, Tuesday’s (June 6) CMT Crossroads concert taping with Earth, Wind & Fire and friends and Nashville Predators’ Stanley Cup finals, it’s been a party all week long in downtown Nashville leading up to the 2017 CMA Music Festival.
The four-day festival officially kicks off Thursday (June 8) with several hours of free live music throughout Lower Broadway and the SoBro neighborhood. Those who are coming in town for the festival should anticipate heavy traffic with street closures for daytime stages and official Nashville Predators viewing parties for the finals of the Stanley Cup on Wednesday and Saturday.
The biggest country stars will be performing Thursday through Sunday at Nissan Stadium during the nightly concert series which sold out many months in advance. Returning to the stadium this year are Trace Adkins, Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Brett Eldredge, Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Tracy Lawrence, Little Big Town, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Rogers, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Cole Swindell, Thomas Rhett, Keith Urban and Chris Young.
Maren Morris will play her first headlining set at the stadium on Saturday following last year’s debut performance of “My Church” during Rascal Flatts’ set. Veteran hitmaker John Anderson also makes his debut at the nightly concert series on Saturday. At Sunday’s show, Brothers Osborne will fill in for the Chris Stapleton, who has postponed his entire performance schedule through June 22 because of an injured finger. His rescheduled shows start Aug. 31.
Fan club parties and other events are taking place throughout the week, including Thursday’s GLAAD Concert for Love and Acceptance at the Wildhorse Saloon. Co-hosted by Ty Herndon and CMT’s Cody Alan, the concert will include performances by Anita Cochran, Billy Gilman, Dana Golberg, Kree Harrison, Michael Ray, Mickey Guyton, Noah Guthrie, Runaway June, Ryan Kinder, Street Corner Symphony, Thompson Square, Trent Harmon and Trey Pearson.