Some 2012 CMA Fest Highlights
By John Matthews
Country Stars Central were blessed to be able to cover some events during the 2012 CMA Fest. The 41st Annual CMA Music Festival set a new attendance record this year with daily attendance topping 71,000 fans. Country Stars Central covered some events both in The CMA Fan Fair Exhibit Hall and various stages throughout the day including the Bud Light and Hard Rock Cafe Stages.
Fans were treated to free concerts during the day, with big names such as Julie Roberts, Mark Wills and Mandy Barnett (all appearing on The Bud Light Stage, right outside the Bridgestone Arena).
Other country stars to grace the stage included, Bucky Covington, Sonia Leigh, Trailer Choir and Eric Paslay.
Mandy Barnett / Mark Wills
The CMA Fans crowded the Fan Fair Exhibit Hall and many of the top country acts were signing autographs. Fans lined up in dozens to meet their favorite stars. Big names there included Scotty McCreery, Montgomery Gentry, Sunny Sweeney, Hunter Hayes and Kellie Pickler.
Fans were treated to live music from some of the biggest names in country music on the "Durango Stage." Durango's Acoustic Corner ran daily from 11am - 4pm and was broadcast on 650AM WSM Radio.
Acts included Gene Watson, Sarah Darling, The Grascals, Lynn Anderson and Bucky Covington. I had to pleasure to see several shows and the spectators really appreciated the talent on display.
Sarah Darling / Scotty McCreery
The Hard Rock Cafe stage featured many rising country stars including Casey Weston (The Voice Season 1 Finalist). Other acts included Chris Cavanaugh, Payton Taylor and Lauren Elise. It was great to experience the wealth of talent on stage. The engergy and musuc was top class and enjoyed by all.
To sum this years CMA Fest into words I would say it was both a enjoyable and memorable experience. Great music and atmosphere, I am already looking forward to next year's festival.