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CMA Music Festival - Fan Fair 2005

It's A Wrap!


Tickets for 2006 CMA Music Festival Selling Fast

NASHVILLE - Persistent showers from tropical storm Arlene didn’t dampen the spirit of “Country Music’s Biggest Party™” with a record 145,355 people attending CMA Music Festival June 9-12 in Downtown Nashville.

“Our fans are the most dedicated fans in the world,” said CMA Executive Director Ed Benson. “They didn’t let the weather spoil the fun. They were on their feet singing in the rain and dancing in the aisles until the very end.”  

Attendance at the Festival hit an all-time high. Single concert tickets at the Greased Lightning® Daytime Stages at Riverfront Park and the Nightly Concerts at The Coliseum were up 38 percent. In fact, CMA opened the upper level of The Coliseum for the first time in four years to accommodate the demand for single concert tickets. 

"I see increased single concert ticket sales as an indication of increased local support and participation in the Music Festival,” Benson said. “Local companies and individuals are embracing this event as never before.”

All available four-day ticket packages sold out, which represent a 16 percent increase over 2004. “We were able to put a few additional four-days on sale, and as soon as these seats were made available, they were gone,” Benson said of the demand for four-day packages. “We certainly could have sold more.” And due to the increased demand, this year CMA is reallocating Coliseum seating to provide for more four-day ticket passes in 2006. 

And the fans want to come back. Tickets for CMA Music Festival 2006, June 8-11, went on sale Saturday and four-day ticket packages sold fast topping 2005’s first day sales by a robust 44 percent. And the popular Gold Circle seats are already sold out. “They are coming back based on the experience they had this year, and from what we heard during the event and what we are seeing at the box office, that experience was good,” Benson said.  

Police crowd estimates from the free areas including Bush’sâ Baked Beans Family Zone, the Fun Zone and Sports Zone stayed the same year-to-year. Attendance figures were very strong Thursday and Friday, but showers from Arlene caused the crowds to diminish over the weekend. 

Attendance has grown from 124,000 in 2003, to 132,000 in 2004 to more than 145,000 in 2005. “CMA’s goal has always been to grow this event into a world-class Festival for our fans, our artists, our industry and our city,” Benson said. “And working together with our key stakeholders and partners, we are beginning to accomplish that goal.”

Nightly Concerts at The Coliseum

35 acts participated in the star-studded Nightly Concerts at The Coliseum over the four days with continuous shows on the enormous dual stages.

Collaborations were the highlight of Thursday night with Dolly Parton performing with  The Grascals and recent “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood performing with Phil Vassar. The rest of the star-packed lineup included Dierks Bentley, Julie Roberts, Sugarland, Trick Pony, Keith Urban and Lee Ann Womack. 

Fans were treated to performances Friday by Sara Evans, Josh Gracin, Craig Morgan, Rascal Flatts, SHeDAISY, Blake Shelton and Travis Tritt. One of the highlights came during Alan Jackson’s performance. With characteristic calm, Jackson greeted the crowd who stood in the downpour and cheered. 

“I’m glad to be here tonight,” he said. “Thanks for hanging around in this bad weather. And thanks for coming out and supporting my music and seeing my shows over the years.” He dedicated “To Do What I Do” to them and when they roared their approval, Jackson humbly said, “Thank you so much. You make me proud.”

Saturday’s lineup included Trace Adkins, Miranda Lambert, Jo Dee Messina, Joe Nichols, Wynonna, Trisha Yearwood and the legendary Kenny Rogers. Sunday rocked the house with Jeff Bates, Big & Rich with special guest Cowboy Troy, Chris Cagle, Diamond Rio, Andy Griggs, Sawyer Brown and Gretchen Wilson - who capped the night and the Festival.

Greased Lightningâ Daytime Stages at Riverfront Park

Montgomery Gentry got the 2005 CMA Music Festival off to a rousing start when they arrived on a camouflage, all terrain four-wheeler complete with police escort to kick off the event. Fans were waiting well before dawn to see the pair - along with Dierks Bentley and Julie Roberts - interviewed on national television by ABC’s “Good Morning America” weatherman Tony Perkins.

Throughout the four days, the riverfront dual stages bustled with a rich array of more than 100 acts from both major and independent record labels performing nearly 30 hours of concerts - despite occasional rain delays.

CMA Music Festival Kick Off Parade

New in 2005 was the CMA Music Festival Kick Off Parade, which traversed four blocks on Broadway before ending at Riverfront Park for the launch of the Festival with Montgomery Gentry. Riding atop classic and contemporary Chevy vehicles were artists and celebrities including David Ball, Bush’sâ Baked Beans spokesduo Jay Bush and his dog Duke, Brad Cotter, Cowboy Crush, Cowboy Troy, Kassie DePaiva, Lila McCann, NASCAR Busch Series driver Boston Reid (driver of the No. 51 Lowe’s Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports), Forty5 South and Lane Turner. CMA’s Benson presided as the parade’s honorary Grand Marshal.

Wranglerâ Fan Fair

The state of continuous commotion that’s been the standard for the Wrangler® Fan Fair (Exhibit Hall) was back in force at the 2005 CMA Music Festival. A total of 373 acts and celebrities appeared in the Wrangler Fan Fair at the Nashville Convention Center for the autograph and photo sessions. Exhibit booths sold out with 117 exhibitors. Attendance over the four days was up from 37,000 in 2004 to 43,567 in 2005. In fact, several people camped overnight on the sidewalk outside the Convention Center to be the first in line.

Trace Adkins, Blue County, Bush’s Baked Beans spokesduo Jay Bush and his dog Duke, Rodney Carrington, “Nashville Star” winner Erika Jo, Buddy Jewell, Miranda Lambert, Jo Dee Messina, the stars of NBC Daytime, Oak Ridge Boys, Sawyer Brown, Blake Shelton, Aaron Tippin, Cowboy Troy “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood, Bryan White and Darryl Worley generated lots of excitement and strong lines of enthusiastic fans - as did many others.  

Firebrand Tanya Tucker signed 300+ autographs over the course of the event. Dierks Bentley spent three hours greeting fans, Big & Rich signed at least 100 autographs and Kix Brooks showed up unannounced at the Brooks & Dunn booth and spent nearly four hours meeting fans and signing autographs.

The Acoustic Corner, which launched in 2004, featured 28 performers.  The area on the second floor of the Convention Center was packed with fans who often ended up following the artists to their booths after their performance for autographs.  

MJI on the Air

CMA’s official CMA Music Festival radio partner, MJI Programming, a division of Premiere Radio Networks, brought 20 of Country radio’s top-rated stations (including Los Angeles , Philadelphia , Phoenix , Portland , Tampa , Washington , D.C. and Atlanta ) and the nationally syndicated “After MidNite with Blair Garner ” to Nashville for three days of remote broadcasts from the Convention Center. More than 70 major record label artists and celebrities participated in the remotes reaching millions of listeners.

Tower Record Sales

According to Tower Record s, which sold CDs at the Wranglerâ Fan Fair and other event locations, the Top 10 selling artists for CMA Music Festival were (in order) Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley, Big & Rich, Trace Adkins, Sugarland, Miranda Lambert, Cowboy Troy, Van Zant, Buddy Jewell and Gretchen Wilson. 

The Sports Zone

CMA’s Sports Zone, in its second year, was a hit with participants and fans in 2005. On Thursday, tournament host Andy Griggs was the surest shot at “The Fourth Annual Andy Griggs Celebrity Archery Tournament.” Last year’s winner, songwriter Neil Thrasher (formerly of the duo Thrasher Shiver), came in second place out of the 15 participants.

When Amber Dotson got her record deal at Capitol Record s Nashville, she treated herself to a Shimano Curado bay casting reel, a G-Loomis rod (with fast action) and a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses. Saturday her high-end gear paid off at the “Second Annual BASS Anglers and Artists Tournament” when Dotson and 1982 CITGO Bassmaster Classic Champion of the Year Paul Elias won the Festival tournament with the five fish limit - totaling 8.14 pounds.

What will she do when she has her first No. 1? “I’m getting a bass boat - a pink one!” Dotson said after the event.

Dotson and Elias bested the efforts of 10 teams of fishing pros who were paired with artists and songwriters including Barry Bales, Tresa Jordan, Lila McCann, last year’s champ Monty Powell, Jon Randall and Chalee Tennison.

The T.G.I. Friday’s® Sports Challenge took place Friday in the Sports Zone. Two-dozen celebrities faced off in friendly competitions including basketball, golf, hockey, football and baseball. One team reigned supreme. Country stars Steve Azar and Danni O’Neill, former NFL star Steve Cole and Nashville Kat Aaron McConnell won 2005 bragging rights.

The Chevy “All Access Music Tour” and Stage was a hit with fans and local attendees. In addition to free, live, evening concerts which preceded The Coliseum shows, fans enjoyed five interactive exhibits and more than 10 Chevrolet display cars, and got registered to win floor-seat ticket upgrades for The Coliseum.

Bush’s Baked Beans Family Zone

Growing in popularity each year, the Bush’sâ Baked Beans Family Zone was buzzing during CMA Music Festival with activities for youngsters and the young at heart.

CMA and The Tennessean’s Newspaper in Education program teamed up with Bush’s® Baked Beans, the Nashville Zoo and Office Depot to sponsor the “Second Annual Color Me Musical” Poster Contest. The contest encouraged children in kindergarten through 8th grade to design a poster around how music moved them, and then write an essay about it. Entries doubled to nearly 800 this year. The kindergarten through fourth grade winner was Aaron Wood, 10, of Mount Juliet , Tenn.   Jessica Crane, 13 of Franklin , Tenn. , won for the fifth through eighth grade category.

On Friday, Jay Bush and his dog Duke, spokesduo for Bush’s® Baked Beans, presented the winners with $500 savings bonds and tickets to CMA Music Festival. The winners also received a one-year family membership for the Nashville Zoo and prizes from Office Depot.

Five hundred Festival fans and local residents attending the Family Zone Sunday got a free lunch from CMA Music Festival partner Bush’s® Baked Beans and the opportunity to meet spokesduo Jay Bush and his dog Duke. At least 150 pounds of Bush’s® Baked Beans were served, along with 1,000 hamburgers and hot dogs.

CMA Celebrity Close Up

The inside track is what CMA Celebrity Close Up is all about with a lively question and answer format hosted by media personality Lorianne Crook . And she treated the audience of nearly 2,000 people to a bit of insider information Thursday when she disclosed to the fans first, that Brooks & Dunn would be hosting the 2005 CMA Awards.

Close Up guest Kix Brooks deadpanned that he and partner Ronnie Dunn must not have messed up too badly the first time and the crowd roared its approval. Other celebrity guests during the series at the Ryman Auditorium included Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry and Sugarland on Thursday and Travis Tritt and Trisha Yearwood on Friday.

CMA Music Festival After Hours™

Fourteen Downtown Nashville clubs participated in CMA Music Festival After Hours™. Each received official Music Festival T-shirts with a “Why Sleep?” motto that was a late night call to action for the party hardy attendees.

NBC Daytime

NBC Daytime and CMA continued their successful partnership for the fifth consecutive year with stars of “Days of our Lives” and “Passions” making several appearances.

Actors appearing at the Festival from “Days of our Lives” included Kyle Brandt (“Philip”); Martha Madison (“Belle”); Jason Cook (“Shawn”); Farah Fath (“Mimi”); Melissa Reeves (“Jennifer”); Matt Ashford (“Jack”); Brody Hutzler (“Patrick”); and Julie Pinson (“Billie”). From “Passions” attendees met Charles Divins (“ Chad ”); Justin Hartley (“Fox”); Lindsay Hartley (“Theresa”); Eric Martsolf (“Ethan”); Liza Huber (“Gwen”); and McKenzie Westmore (“ Sheridan ”).

NBC Daytime After Hours Party 

Soap opera fans had to summon yet another burst of energy to attend Saturday night’s sold-out NBC Daytime After Hours™ Party at the Wildhorse Saloon featuring stars from “Days of our Lives” and “Passions” plus a special performance by Blue County.

2006 CMA Music Festival Tickets

2006 CMA Music Festival will take place Thursday through Sunday, June 8-11, in Downtown Nashville and tickets are available now.

To order tickets for the 2006 CMA Music Festival call 1-800-CMA-FEST (262-3378); visit www.CMAfest.com to download an order form to fax or mail; visit www.ticketmaster.com to buy online or charge-by-phone at (615) 255-9600. Prices do not include applicable handling fees. Ticket prices are subject to change without notice. All sales are final and non-refundable.

Four-day ticket package categories correspond to a different level of reserved seating at The Coliseum. Children 3 years and younger are admitted free.

Packages are divided into four categories, based on the level of reserved seating at The Coliseum. Four-day ticket packages include the Nightly Concerts at The Coliseum; Daily Concerts at Daytime Stages; daily admittance to the Fan Fair (Exhibit Hall) featuring the Acoustic Corner; Family Zone; Fun Zone; Sports Zone and performance stage; CMA Music Festival After Hours™; free in-town shuttles; the CMA Music Festival Program Book; CMA Music Festival pin; special discounts to area attractions, restaurants, shops and more.  


LEVEL                                                ADULT           14 & YOUNGER

Gold Circle (Floor)                                 SOLD OUT                   n/a

Floor Level                                           $155                             $110

Lower Level                                         $135                             $ 95

Club Level                                            $125                             $ 86


Patty Grace of Tacoma , Wash. , already has hers. She was in line early when tickets went on sale Saturday for 2006 CMA Music Festival. “I got here early because we want to sit in the Gold Circle section next year,” she said. “We waited too long to get our tickets for this year, but come next year we are going to be front and center.”

Television Special

As previously announced, the CMA Music Festival was filmed for a two-hour network television special scheduled to air on the ABC Television Network on Tuesday, Aug. 2 (9:00-11:00 PM/ET). The special is produced by Robert Deaton and directed by Gary Halvorson.  

For up-to-the-minute information about tickets, travel information, schedules, artists appearing and more, visit www.CMAfest.com <http://www.CMAfest.com> and sign up for e-news.

2005 CMA Music Festival is organized and produced by the Country Music Association. CMA Board member Tony Conway is the Executive Producer of CMA Music Festival. MJI Programming, a division of Premiere Radio Networks, is the official radio broadcaster. Chevy, An American Revolution, is the official automotive sponsor of the CMA Music Festival. Promotional partners include Bush’s® Baked Beans, Carl Black Chevrolet, Chick-fil-A®,

Crčme Savers® candies, Coca-Cola®, Crisco®, Greased Lightning®, HCA/Tri-Star, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, NBC Daytime, Prilosec OTC, Purity Dairies, T.G.I. Friday’s, Tennessee Lottery and Wrangler®. Fan Fair is a registered trademark of CMA.

To see larger versions of the pictures below just click them.

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Dierks Bentley performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Thursday, June 9

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Dolly Parton & The Grascals performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Thursday

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Jamie O’Neal performs the national anthem at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Thursday

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Julie Roberts performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Thursday

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Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs and several student musicians perform at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Thursday

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Sugarland performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Thursday

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Trick Pony performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Thursday

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Phil Vassar and “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood perform at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Thursday

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Keith Urban performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Thursday

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Lee Ann Womack performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Thursday

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Sara Evans performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Friday

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Josh Gracin performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Friday

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Alan Jackson performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Friday

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Craig Morgan performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Friday

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Rascal Flatts performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Friday

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SHeDAISY performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Friday

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Blake Shelton performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Friday

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Travis Tritt performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Friday

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Trace Adkins performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Saturday

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Miranda Lambert performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Saturday

Jo Dee Messina performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Saturday

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Joe Nichols performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Saturday

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Kenny Rogers performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Saturday

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Wynonna performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Saturday

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Trisha Yearwood performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Saturday

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Jeff Bates performs at the 
Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Sunday, June 12

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Big & Rich performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Sunday

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Chris Cagle performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Sunday

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Cowboy Troy performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Sunday

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Diamond Rio performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Sunday

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Andy Griggs performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Sunday

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Sawyer Brown performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Sunday

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Gretchen Wilson performs at the Nightly Concert at The Coliseum on Sunday

All pictures provided by the 
Country Music Association.

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