The first Fan Fair brings 5,000 fans to Municipal Auditorium in Downtown Nashville. Performers include Roy Acuff, Lynn Anderson, Tom T. Hall, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Minnie Pearl, Marty Robbins, Ernest Tubb and more.
George Jones and Tammy Wynette appear together, while Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner bid farewell with their last performance together. And Beatle Paul McCartney makes an appearance.
Batter up! The Fan Fair Softball Tournament begins.
Hello, Darlin’. Conway Twitty keeps the ladies swooning. Fans swing their partners ‘round and ‘round at a square dance.
Celebrities love of Country Music! American television and radio host Larry King attends Fan Fair.
Bound for the Tennessee State Fairgrounds! Artists also show off their athletic abilities at the All-American Country Games.
Country Music royalty – the Man in Black, the King of Rockabilly and the Killer – wow the crowds by performing together. Newcomer Randy Travis commands long lines and huge crowds of autograph seekers.
No fans are left in the dark as George Strait signs autographs for seven hours despite a power failure.
Wayne Newton says “Danke Shoen” to Fan Fair. A Randy Travis fan suffering a mild heart attack refuses to leave her place in line to meet the star.
Back in the summer of ’93, Billy Ray Cyrus welcomes rocker Bryan Adams to the stage.
Trisha Yearwood invites fans to be her back-up singers in a make-shift recording booth. Actor Danny Glover attends some shows.
Garth Brooks signs autographs for 23 hours with no breaks. And, surf’s up! The Beach Boys make a special appearance.
Tim McGraw and Faith Hill make their first joint Fan Fair appearance as a married couple. Things get Grease-y when Olivia Newton-John tells Vince Gill, “You’re the One That I Want.”
Waylon Jennings takes his final Fan Fair bow performing with Andy Griggs.
Attendance swells to almost 22,000, and Fairgrounds facilities are bursting at the seams.
Fan Fair moves on up to Downtown Nashville.
The Judds reunite for their first Fan Fair performance in more than a decade. It’s a capacity crowd as Kenny Chesney rocks and rolls on the river. CMA introduces a charity element – “Cause for Celebration!” – giving half of the Festival proceeds to charities picked by participating artists.
What’s in a name? Fan Fair becomes CMA Music Festival and Willie Nelson performs for the first time in 10 years. Redneck Woman Gretchen Wilson thanks her fans in person during her first Festival performance. The Festival is taped for a major network prime time TV special.
Carrie Underwood debuts fresh off her win on “American Idol," performing with Phil Vassar. The annual Kick-Off Parade and Block Party debut.
Married to the Mafia? Big & Rich host a wedding for fans who got engaged the previous year at the MuzikMafia booth. CMA establishes Keep the Music Playing, where half the Festival proceeds go to music education in Metro Nashville Public Schools. The Festival gets Urban-ized when Keith Urban joins Brooks & Dunn for a surprise collaboration.
“Idol” meets idol when Kelly Clarkson takes the stage with Reba McEntire to perform "Because of You" from McEntire's Reba Duets release. ABC kicks off its annual ABC Block Party.
Fans are surprised when Alan Jackson pops into the Fan Fair Exhibit Hall to sign autographs with wife Denise. Taylor Swift almost pulls a Garth and signs 900 autographs in eight straight hours.
Severe thunderstorms don’t hamper the party, as Dierks Bentley and Brad Paisley wait out the storm with fans, ultimately playing for dedicated fans until 2 AM. Darius Rucker gets in the middle of the action when he jumps into the crowd. Kid Rock rocks the stadium with a high-octane, surprise performance and duet with Martina McBride.
The CMA Music Festival sells out LP Field each night for the first time. Tim McGraw, who hadn’t signed in the Fan Fair Hall since 2000, signs 3,000 autographs in two hours. The Judds, who hadn’t signed autographs together since the 1990s at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, sign in the CMA booth. NASCAR superstar Richard Petty makes an appearance.
Fans pack CMA Music Festival for the second sellout year in a row. Dolly Parton makes her first Fan Fair hall appearance in more than three decades. Taylor Swift runs through the crowd during her LP Field set to a stage at the other end of the field. Apparel company Gildan sets a Guinness World Record for largest T-shirt by creating a CMA Music Festival-themed shirt measuring 180.9' wide by 281.3' tall. Formal certificate presentation happened on stage at LP Field.
Glen Campbell serves as Grand Marshal of the Kick-Off Parade, which wraps with Little Big Town riding in pontoon boats down Broadway to launch their hit single "Pontoon." ABC screens premiere episodes of new series "Nashville" and "Malibu Country." Luke Bryan and The Band Perry's Kimberly Perry host ABC's broadcast of "CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock" Monday, Sept. 17, 2012.
The Ultimate Country Music Fan Experience rides again June 6-9, 2013, in Downtown Nashville. Sales trend toward a fourth-year sellout, pacing far ahead of past years. The year marks the 10th anniversary of a major network TV special for CMA Music Festival, which remains the only annually-televised music festival showcase.
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