In regards to country music, CMA Fest has taken our top spot for the best country music festival in the country! If you’ve been, you know what we mean… there is musically happening literally EVERYWHERE! From the Grand Ole Opry to Hall of Fame Park and the Honky Tonk bars, if you want music you can certaintly find it during CMA Fesr!

Couldn’t attend CMA Fest this year? Catch all the action when it airs on ABC on Wednesday, August 8th at 8/7c pm, hosted by Kelsea Ballerini and Thomas Rhett.

This year was our second time attending CMA Fest – the first time was back in 2014. Check out the recap and tips from our first time at CMA Fest. A lot has changed in the four years that have passed – Nashville has grown significantly and more venues have been built, which CMA Fest has incorporated into the festival. Keep reading as we share some new tips with you about how to get the most out of your experience at this unforgettable country music festival in Nashville, Tennessee!

2018’s lineup featured just about everyone in country music… seriously. Don’t believe us, look at the official lineup poster below.

First time to Music City? Check out our Nashville travel tips.

2018 CMA Fest Artist Lineup


Tips for Attending CMA Fest in Nashville

Uber / Lyft- Specific drop off points for ride sharing are designated throughout the lower Broadway area. With so many streets being closed and a massive crowd, this is truly the best way to keep things organized so, keep that in mind when you’re requesting a ride. Also, DO NOT ask your Uber/Lyft driver to drop you off outside of a designated drop off area because your driver will be ticketed. We saw this happen several times to drivers.

Clear Purses – Avoid the hassle of having to go back to your car or hotel by purchasing a clear bag. Now the clear bag policy applies to all indoor and outdoor venues and areas that you can watch live music at, including the Music City Center.

Download the App – The app is truly a lifesaver for CMA Fest. There is so much happening all week long that it’s hard to keep track. The app is like having a personal assistant for the duration of CMA Fest! You can set your schedule, check the times of when your favorite country artists are playing, set alerts for specific artists. Best of all, it’s completely free and you can delete it from your phone after the festival ends.

Ascend Ampitheatre – Looking for free concerts? Look no further than Ascend Ampitheater! All CMA Fest long, there are free concerts at this new river-side music venue. Get there early to grab a great seat in the lawn or in a chair.

Cowboy Boots – People frequently ask us if they should wear their boots to certain concerts and festivals. Because CMA Fest takes places in downtown, Nashville in the middle of June, we do not recommend wearing your boots. Don’t get us wrong, we love our Corral boots and wear them any chance we can, but this is not the festival for cowboy boots. Instead, opt for some cute, comfortable shoes or sandals that you can do a lot of walking in. We wore comfortable sandals all week and were thankful our feet weren’t in hot boots during the high 80 temperatures.

Fan Fair X – There were so many great artists signing autographs, making appearances, and performing inside the Music City Center. For only $10 it’s a great place to cool off, buy CMA Fest merchandise and pickup other items from country-inspired boutiques. This year, while we were walking around the Music City Center, we got to see Garth Brooks play!

HGTV Lodge – This was by far one of our favorite places to hang out during CMA Fest. This wooden structure is constructed every year during CMA Fest, just for intimate performances. This year, we got to see Lindsay Ell, Jon Pardi, and Dustin Lynch, just to name a few. You can only win access to the HGTV Lodge, so be sure to enter on for next year!

Broadway Bars – With all the new bars opening up like Luke’s 32 Bridge, Ole Red, Jason Aldean’s Kitchen and Rooftop Bar, FGL House, and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, there is so much more room for more music! Be sure to check out the lineups at the bars, grab a drink or a bite to eat, and watch performances by some of Nashville’s rising stars.

Nissan Stadium – The “big” headlining acts play at the stadium across the river. You need to purchase tickets in order to get in. It’s worth it. This year, we got a surprise treat from Sam Hunt when he played his latest single, Downtown’s Dead.

Don’t forget to tune into ABC on Wednesday, August 8th at 8/7c pm.

Photos from CMA Fest 2018