CMA Fest Announces Ascend Amphitheater Lineup > Get Tickets

51st CMAfest In The Books

Well that’s a wrap on the 51st CMAfest celebration in Nashville this past weekend, running from Thursday, June 6 through Sunday, June 9. “What an incredible four days and nights! This year’s CMA Fest has truly been a celebration of community and collaboration,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “From Country icons returning to the Fest stage, to emerging acts reaching new audiences for the first time, seeing the fans and the industry embrace our genre in such a meaningful way has been the perfect way to kick off our next 50 years. We can’t wait for 2025!”

Fans gathered from all 50 states and 46 countries to fill the festival footprint, which featured multiple stages hosting more than 300 performers, often for capacity crowds. Breakout moments during CMA Fest 2024 included a special conversation with global superstar Dolly Parton at Fan Fair X on Thursday morning to kick off the event. Featuring a Q&A and impromptu sing-alongs, the legendary entertainer attracted thousands of attendees, many of which lined up more than 12 hours in advance. Shaboozey shut down the streets of Nashville during his set as fans celebrated his debut at CMA Fest. So did Tucker Wetmore, with his performance on Lower Broadway spilling out into the streets. Throughout the entire weekend, artists performed on the Chevy Riverfront Stage, Dr Pepper Amp Stage, Chevy Vibes Stage, Good Molecules Reverb Stage, Hard Rock Stage, Ascend Amphitheater and, of course, Nissan Stadium. Fans also had the opportunity to connect with their favorite artists at the CMA Close Up Stage and Spotlight Stage at Fan Fair X inside Music City Center.

Nissan Stadium had fans rocking all weekend, including surprise moments and never-before-seen collaborations. Post Malone set off a stadium-sized roar Thursday night as he took the stage from the center of Nissan Stadium for an unannounced performance of “I Had Some Help” before also bringing out surprise collaborator, Blake Shelton for their brand-new song “Pour Me A Drink.” Ashley McBryde brought out the “Redneck Woman” herself, Gretchen Wilson, for a rousing performance in celebration of the song’s 20th anniversary. Southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd welcomed ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons during “Call Me The Breeze.” On Friday, Clint Black joined Jon Pardi during “Killin’ Time,” while Little Big Town surprised fans with a stunning rendition of their hit “Girl Crush.” Cody Johnson was joined by Jelly Roll for “Whiskey Bent.” On Saturday, Lainey Wilson welcomed Terri Clark to the stage for a rendition of “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me,” while Keith Urban brought Lainey Wilson back on stage for an electric performance of their new song “GO HOME W U.” Jelly Roll welcomed Keith Urban back for “Halfway to Hell” and later Lainey Wilson to perform their fan-favorite hit “Save Me.” And to wrap things up Sunday night, HARDY brought out a star-studded lineup of guests that included Lauren Alaina for “ONE BEER,” Carly Pearce for “wait in the truck” and Big & Rich for “Save A Horse (Ride A Cowboy).”

Additional acts took the Nissan Stadium stage throughout the weekend. On Thursday, Craig Morgan got the crowd started after performing songs including his “Redneck Yacht Club.” Jordan Davis shared emotional moments with fans during songs like “Next Thing You Know” and “Buy Dirt.” Ashley McBryde, one of the night’s hosts, played a heartfelt solo set that included “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” and “Light On In The Kitchen.” Nissan Stadium lit up when Shaboozey was introduced, as he performed his monster hit “A Bar Song (Tipsy)” from Nissan Stadium’s center stage. Thomas Rhett had the crowd on their feet throughout his set, performing several of his chart-topping hits including “Crash and Burn” and “Die A Happy Man.” Post Malone left fans ecstatic, performing viral hit “I Had Some Help,” while Lynyrd Skynyrd’s closing set included classic songs like “Simple Man” and “Sweet Home Alabama.”

On Friday, Gretchen Wilson returned to Nissan Stadium to open the night with fan favorites “Here For The Party” and “Redneck Woman.” Parker McCollum gave fans an electric performance including “Burn It Down” and his new single “Big Ole Fancy House,” while Jon Pardi took to the stage with songs including “Heartache On the Dance Floor” and “Dirt On My Boots.” Kelsea Ballerini had the audience singing every word to “Penthouse” before ending her set with the friendship anthem, “IF YOU GO DOWN (I’M GOIN’ DOWN TOO).” Cody Johnson had the crowd in his hands with songs like “The Painter” and “’Til You Can’t.” Luke Bryan brought his signature energy, closing the night with his latest single “Love You, Miss You, Mean It” as well as classics like “I Don’t Want This Night to End” and “Country Girl (Shake It For Me).”

Terri Clark kicked things off on Saturday, opening Nissan Stadium with “I Just Wanna Be Mad.” The War and Treaty followed with a powerful set that included a performance of “Stealing A Kiss,” to which the stadium thunderously applauded. Old Dominion’s set included songs like “Memory Lane” and “Hotel Key,” which left the audience on a high. Lainey Wilson lit up the stage with energetic performances of chart-topping hits and new releases including “Wildflowers and Wild Horses” and “Hang Tight Honey.” Brittney Spencer had fans dancing with her Nissan Stadium mainstage debut, performing her song “I Got Time” and leading a stadium sing-along. Keith Urban joined fans in the crowd for a lively performance of “Long Hot Summer.” And Jelly Roll closed out Saturday night with his smash hit “Son Of A Sinner,” before performing a mashup of songs by NWA, DMX, Eminem, Outkast and Biz Markie.

Josh Turner opened the last day of CMA Fest with hits including “Your Man.” Megan Moroney took to the mainstage with some of her newest songs including “Man on the Moon” and “Indifferent.” In addition to their Tom Petty tribute performance, Brothers Osborne ended their set with a mash up of “It Ain’t My Fault” and “Tulsa Time.” Shortly after, Carly Pearce took the stage, including a performance of her new song “truck on fire.” Jackson Dean moved the crowd from the stadium’s center stage with a compelling performance of “Fearless.” Bailey Zimmerman took to the mainstage with hits like “Where It Ends” and “Rock and A Hard Place.” HARDY closed out the 51st CMA Fest with his latest singles “SIX FEET UNDER (CALEIGH’S SONG)” and “PSYCHO.”

Tanner Adell, Chapel Hart, Dasha, Wyatt Flores, Dylan Gossett, Dylan Marlowe, Puddin (K. Michelle) and Zach Top performed at Nissan Stadium on the Platform Stage, while Reyna Roberts performed the national anthem on Thursday night during Nissan Stadium’s opening ceremony.

Ascend Amphitheater hosted nightly performances once again with three packed shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Thursday, “Celebrating 60 Years of Curb Records” offered performances from Rodney Atkins, Lee Brice, Sawyer Brown, Tim Dugger, Hannah Ellis, Harper Grace, Kelsey Hart, Pitney Meyer and Dylan Scott. Friday night kicked off with “Brett Young and Friends,” hosted by Danae Hayes and saw the Country star bringing artists to the stage including Colbie Caillat, Gavin DeGraw, Sam Fischer, Charles Kelley, NEEDTOBREATHE, Restless Road, Lily Rose and Shaylen. And on Saturday, Tracy Lawrence hosted a night with friends, welcoming several artists including Priscilla Block, Charles Esten, Riley Green, Lee Greenwood, Randy Houser, Maddie & Tae, RaeLynn and Chris Young.

Fans escaped the heat each day inside Fan Fair X at Music City Center, an air-conditioned venue featuring 170,000-plus square feet of meet and greets, music, merch and more. Fan Fair X saw one of its biggest openings ever, welcoming Dolly Parton on Thursday for a special conversation on the CMA Close Up Stage. In addition, Parton’s ALL ACCESS! Pop Up Experience was open daily and featured many of the superstar’s global branding and merchandise items as well as sampling and demonstrations from Good Lookin’ Cookin’, the forthcoming cookbook written by Parton and her sister, Rachel Parton George. Always a fan favorite, the CMA Close Up Stage also hosted Artist of the Day sessions throughout the weekend, with Cody Johnson on Friday, Thomas Rhett on Saturday and Lainey Wilson on Sunday.

Other Fan Fair X highlights included “Enlisted: Where Music Meets Military” hosted by Craig Morgan and Gary Sinise, as well as “Good Times, Great Odies” with Old Dominion, both on Thursday. On Friday, “Latin Roots: The ‘Equis’ Factor in Country Music” featured a panel with Angie K, Sammy Arriaga, Louie TheSinger, Frank Ray and Leah Turner, while Saturday included “50 Years at The Opry House,” which was hosted by Mark Willis and fellow Opry members including T. Graham Brown, Chapel Hart, and Jeannie Seely. “Idol Hour” followed, with Chayce Beckham, HunterGirl, Colin Stough, and recent “American Idol” contestants Will Moseley and Jack Blocker. “Soulcial Hour with Mickey Guyton and Friends” took place midday on Sunday with Abbey Cone, Denitia and Tenille Townes.

Fan Fair X also hosted the Spotlight Stage where artists had the opportunity to connect with fans in a closer setting. Nearly 50 artists performed and engaged with fans through meet and greets, including Kezia Gill, Dillon James, Adam Mac, Zach McPhee, O.N.E the Duo, Camille Parker and Wardel.

CMA Fest performers donate their time so that a portion of ticket proceeds can directly benefit music education initiatives across the country through the CMA Foundation, which was front and center throughout the festival all weekend long. Four marching bands serenaded fans each morning across the footprint. Antioch High School was the first marching band to appear, performing outside Music City Center on Thursday. From Friday until Sunday, students from Stratford Stem Magnet High School, Cane Ridge High School and nonprofit music education organization BandWith Chicago entertained fans while marching through Fan Fair X each morning. Additionally, on Saturday night at Nissan Stadium, eight middle and high school music students from Cane Ridge High School and William Henry Oliver Middle School joined Ashley McBryde and Jelly Roll as the hosting duo spoke about the CMA Foundation’s efforts before helping introduce The War and Treaty. The students’ teachers are two of the CMA Foundation’s 2024 Music Teachers of Excellence—Johnny Croft (Cane Ridge High School) and Samantha Reid (William Henry Oliver Middle School).

Thanks to the generosity of CMA Foundation partners, a portion of proceeds from various activations throughout CMA Fest will further benefit the nonprofit’s unique model of giving. CMA Foundation partners during CMA Fest 2024 included Dolly Parton’s ALL ACCESS! Pop Up Experience, Carly Pearce’s Carly’s Closet, Inherit the Music, Empower Campaign, The Archives Nashville, SOLID, Friendly Arctic, and Strung. Additional CMA Foundation partners during CMA Fest included Altar’d State and the Louisiana Office of Tourism.

CMA Fest again hosted “Fitness at Fest,” a high-intensity workout that fans attended in the presence of some of their favorite artists and celebrities Friday through Sunday. The first two events were presented by CELSIUS® and Sunday’s event was presented by Barry’s. Trainers and special celebrity guests included Tia Booth Mock, Tyler Cameron, Wirth Campbell, Spencer Crandall, Harper Grace, Erin Oprea, MacKenzie Porter, Alana Springsteen and Tommy Stracke.

Musically Fed, an organization that fights to end hunger by working with the music industry to distribute excess food from touring shows and events, donated food from various catering locations during CMA Fest, ultimately delivering the excess to Nashville Rescue Mission, Room In The Inn, Safe Haven Family Shelter, Operation Stand Down Tennessee, and Matthew 25. 

The 52nd CMA Fest will take place in Nashville from Thursday, June 5 through Sunday, June 8, 2025. Tickets will be available for purchase on Tuesday, June 25 at Ticketmaster. Sign up for CMA’s Country Connection emails at CMAfest.com for more updates. 

“CMA Fest,” the three-hour primetime television special hosted by Jelly Roll and Ashley McBryde, airs Tuesday, June 25 at 8/7c on ABC and streams next day on Hulu.

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About Jerry Holthouse

Music editor for Nashville.com. Jerry Holthouse is a content writer, songwriter and a graphic designer. He owns and runs Holthouse Creative, a full service creative agency. He is an avid outdoorsman and a lover of everything music. You can contact him at JerryHolthouse@Nashville.com

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