Big & Rich, Cowboy Troy and Two Foot Fred made the MuzikMafia's presence known when the second annual CMA Music Festival kick-off parade cruised through downtown Nashville. The Wednesday afternoon (June 7) parade also featured Erika Jo, Danielle Peck, Michael Peterson, Kevin Sharp, Taylor Swift, Keni Thomas and Jimmy Wayne.
Photo Credit: Brian Tipton
The brief procession called additional attention to the four-day festival that officially begins Thursday morning (June 8) on the Riverfront Stage on the Cumberland River and ends Sunday with a major concert at LP Field, the Tennessee Titans' stadium home previously known as the Coliseum. The venue's name changed this week after an agreement was struck with Louisiana-Pacific Corp., a building materials manufacturer whose corporate offices are located in Nashville.
Following the parade, a block party began at the plaza in front of the Gaylord Entertainment Center where throngs gathered to hear performances from Cowboy Troy, Little Big Town, Emerson Drive, the Grascals, LoCash Cowboys, Pinmonkey and the PovertyNeck Hillbillies.
The Riverfront Stage begins delivering nonstop music throughout the day beginning Thursday with a 10 a.m. show featuring the Charlie Daniels Band, Blaine Larsen, Shannon Brown, Eric Church and Jace Everett. Four concerts will take place daily on the Riverfront Stage with performances by Tracy Byrd, the Bellamy Brothers, Mark Wills, Trick Pony, Jeff Bates, Neal McCoy, Darryl Worley and many other established acts and an impressive list of newcomers, including Ashley Monroe, Jamey Johnson, the Lost Trailers, Megan Mullins, Ray Scott and Nashville Star winner Chris Young.
The evening concerts at LP Field begin Thursday with Gary Allan, Brooks & Dunn, Sara Evans, Pat Green, Little Big Town, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blake Shelton and Hank Williams Jr. Friday's offering features Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, Terri Clark, Billy Currington, Montgomery Gentry, Wynonna and Trisha Yearwood. The Saturday show gets its star power from Billy Ray Cyrus, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Craig Morgan, Brad Paisley, Josh Turner and Carrie Underwood. Sunday's closer features Keith Anderson, Clint Black, Joe Nichols, LeAnn Rimes, SHeDAISY, Sugarland and a special performance by Los Lonely Boys with Ronnie Milsap.
Even before Wednesday's parade, artists were getting together with their most devoted followers during fan club parties throughout town. Carrie Underwood was among those making a guest appearance Monday at Lonestar's bowling party to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Diamond Rio and Joe Nichols were among those hosting parties Tuesday, and Wednesday's party schedule included events hosted by Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Little Big Town and Dierks Bentley.
Martina McBride gets together with fans Saturday at her annual auction to benefit the YWCA. Others hosting fan club parties include Montgomery Gentry, Keith Anderson, Josh Gracin, Miranda Lambert and Sara Evans.