The Country Music Association has announced Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini will return to host “CMA Fest,” the Music Event of Summer, with multi-media personality Bobby Bone s tapped as special guest host. “CMA Fest,” the three-hour primetime concert special, which brings Country Music’s Ultimate Fan Experience to a national television audience, airs Sunday, Aug. 4 at 8/7c on the ABC Television Network.
“This year’s CMA Fest offers something for every music fan,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “From surprise collaborations to some of Country Music’s most exciting emerging and legendary talent, we’re excited to bring the festival to millions of fans around the world later this summer.”
“‘CMA Fest’ is always the summer’s must-see music event with the biggest names in Country Music,” says Rob Mills, ABC Entertainment Senior Vice President, Alternative Series, Specials & Late-Night Programming. “With Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini returning for their third year and Bobby Bones joining them as special guest host, we know this summer’s festival will knock it out of the park.”
Filmed during Nashville’s annual four-day CMA Fest Thursday through Sunday, June 6-9, the television special features more than 30 performances and surprise collaborations on stage at Nissan Stadium. 2019 marks the 16th consecutive year of the broadcast, a feat no other U.S. music festival has achieved. Last year’s broadcast generated ABC’s top summertime non-sports ratings, leading ABC to the most-watched network that night (source: Nielsen Media Research).
Thomas Rhett returns to host “CMA Fest” for a fourth year, first co-hosting the special in 2016, while Ballerini returns for a third year. Ballerini takes the Nissan Stadium stage to perform this Thursday, June 6, while Thomas Rhett performs Friday, June 7.