7 Not to Miss Events During 2018 CMA Fest

All eyes are on Nashville as this is country music’s biggest week of the year. Fans from all over the world will visit Nashville for CMA Fest. As locals, you may not know about CMA Fest or even what it has to offer. We’ve put together a list of must-sees and events for the week.

1. Garth Brooks at CMA Spotlight Stage


Music City Center, 201 Fifth Avenue South

On Facebook Live from Studio G, Garth Brooks surprised fans by sharing big news that he would take to the CMA Spotlight Stage on Saturday, June 9 inside Fan Fair X from 12:15 until 1 p. Garth will participate in a Q&A hosted by SiriusXM’s Storme Warren and answer questions from fans in the audience and maybe we can learn more about the upcoming tour he teased during his Facebook Live announcement.


2. City of Hope Celebrity Softball

NASHVILLE, TN – JUNE 07: (L-R) Recording artists Jessie James Decker, Raelynn, and Cassadee Pope attend the 26th Annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game at First Tennessee Park on June 7, 2016 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for City Of Hope)

City of Hope’s 28th annual Celebrity Softball Game continues to announce talent for the Saturday, June 9, event at First Tennessee Park. Bobby Bones, Brandi CyrusLauren Alaina, Tegan MarieTrent Harmon, Lucas Hoge, Jay Cutler and Marc Mariani have been added to the list of talent participating in the event. Teams iHeart Radio and Grand Ole Opry will meet at the field for a friendly competition for a great cause. CLICK HERE for tickets ranging $15 – $35.

3. Dierks Bentley Late Night Show at the Ryman Auditorium

Dierks Bentley will entertain fans at his late night album release party with a start time of 10 p at the Ryman on Thursday evening, June 7. It will be the eve of the release of his ninth studio album. Bentley will perform on Thursday, June 7th with all money raised from ticket sales benefitting the Opry Trust Fund. During this rare one-night-only event, Bentley will perform all thirteen tracks from THE MOUNTAIN.  Bentley’s 2018 tour opener LANCO will also join the lineup. Just a few tickets remain purchase online here. 


4. TSA Precheck Enrollment

125 4th Ave S, Nashville

So this might be unusual but you could save yourself a trip to the airport. IdentoGO®, the provider of TSA Pre✓®, is bringing its mobile RV to Nashville and CMA Music Festival, to enroll attendees and local residents in TSA Pre✓®, June 7-10. The TSA Pre✓® RV will be located on Broadway and First Ave. Mobile RV will be parked near Acme Feed and Seed and open to the public from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m Thursday-Saturday and 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

TSA Pre✓® keeps travelers moving quickly through airport security by eliminating the need to remove light jackets, shoes, belts, laptops and compliant liquids during the airport screening process. To enroll, present a government-issued photo ID with proof of U.S. citizenship (i.e. a passport or birth certificate) and complete a 10-minute fingerprinting process. Once approved, enrollees will receive a KTN (Known Traveler Number) and gain access to dedicated TSA Pre✓® expedited airport security lines for five years at a cost of $85 ($17 per year).

For a full list of acceptable documentation for enrollment click here. Festival attendees and residents are welcome to walk-up or schedule an appointment in advance here.

5. MuttNation Adoptions at Fan Fair X

For the third consecutive year, Miranda Lambert’s MuttNation Foundation will be entertaining CMA Fest fans with Music City’s cutest canines, all available for adoption to caring, qualified families. Partnering with Nashville Humane Association, MuttNation will have adorable adoptables available each day from 11-3pm at the MuttNation rig located inside the Music City Center. Bev Lambert, Miranda’s mom and co-founder of MuttNation Foundation, will be on-site to have photos taken with each adopting family. With MuttNation’s support, more than 100 shelter dogs have been rescued by country music fans at CMA Fest over the past two years.


6. CMA Music Streaming Lounge


New this year, CMA will host the Music Streaming Lounge at Xfinity Fan Fair X, a place for fans to have hands-on involvement with music streaming platforms, offering charging stations and a lounge for fans to enjoy each day. On Thursday, the lounge will be transformed into an iHeartRadio recording studio where fans will have the opportunity to become an on-air radio host interviewing some of the biggest names in Country Music for broadcast on a special iHeartRadio Fan Fair X station. Fans will also get a photo with the artist to commemorate their first radio gig inside the iHeartRadio pop-up studio. On Friday, Spotify will debut a new digital experience where fans can find their “Country Music Match” and create collaborative playlists live with Country artists, while also offering updated free product and assisting listeners in personalizing their listening experiences. On Saturday, guests will be able to interact with tens of millions of songs on Amazon Music while using Alexa, requesting music in brand new ways based on mood, era, genre, city, lyrics, and much more. Guests will also be able to meet various Country Music artists stopping by the Amazon Music space, some featured on the brand-new global playlist Country Heat.


7. Free Music Outside on 6 Stages

You can listen to free music from morning to night in downtown Nashville. There are seven stages with artists performing around the clock. We’ve listed the stages and linked to the lineups.


The Chevrolet Riverfront Stage is the epicenter of daytime music with must-see lineups featuring the newest faces of Country Music and the legends you know and love. Located on the Cumberland Riverbank, the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage is completely FREE! Check out the full lineup.

CHEVROLET Breakout Stage

Located in Walk of Fame Park across from the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum, the Chevrolet Park Stage is home for more free music! This packed lineup features a variety of new artists with performances beginning every day at 10:30 AM. Check out the full lineup. 


Back again for a second year to the CMA Music Festival is the highly-anticipated Budweiser Forever Country Park Stage located in the park area behind Ascend Amphitheater. The stage opens each morning at 11AM and features a lineup full of some of the biggest names in Country Music from the ‘80s, ‘90s and ‘00s. Check out the full lineup.


A top destination to discover new artists, the Gildan Broadway Stage can be found in the parking lot of Hard Rock Café. Stop by to hear new music and maybe even find your new favorite artist! View the full lineup.


HGTV returns this year with its 3,500 sq. ft. structure located in Fan Alley. The HGTV Lodge will include exclusive musical performances and meet and greets with their usual star-studded lineup.


The free activities don’t end when the sun goes down! Back again this year, the CMA Music Festival now offers nighttime music experiences for fans without a 4-day CMA Fest pass to the Stadium concerts. Cracker Barrel Country Roads Stage is FREE to the public and will hold nightly performances Thursday – Saturday at Ascend Amphitheater. Doors open to Nash Pass ticket holders at 5PM and to the public at 6PM. These themed concerts will start each night at 7PM. See the full lineup.