CMA Fest Hacks from a Pro Festival Attendee

CMA Fest Fans

Sue Falls and Donna Vissman contributed to this article

Today is the official beginning of CMA Fest 2016. For some, the fun began on Saturday with pre-CMA Fest events leading up to the official day. Over 87,000 fans, from over 20 counties, converge on Nashville to listen, hear and meet country music artists.

Here are some insider tips for those heading to downtown Nashville to experience CMA Music Fest.

Where to Park?
Parking is available at the Music City Center as well as Omni Hotel and Hilton Hotel. There is also a new parking app called Park Me. With this app, you can see the cost and availability of parking in the area. After a long day of walking, you might give Joyride Nashville a try for a quick golf cart ride back to your car or your next destination.

Where to Listen to Free Music?
Located throughout the downtown area are seven stages. Concerts take place at all seven stages every morning and run all day long until early evening. A sampling of some of the artists on the schedule this year include Jake Owen, Cassadee Pope with Pitbull, Charles Kelley, and many more. Download the CMA Music Fest app to see the entire lineup.

Meet Your Favorite Artist at Fan Fair X
Fan Fair X is held in the Music City Center and is a ticketed venue where you can meet and learn more about your favorite artist. Within Fan Fair X, you must have a ticket to meet the artist. Artists announce, through their social media, how to obtain tickets. If you don’t get a ticket, there is a line at Fan Fair X section called “Hopeful” where you can see if there will be any additional tickets available for your favorite artist’s meet and greets.

What should I  wear, carry or bring to CMA Fest?
The essentials for CMA Fest are sunglasses, sunscreen, phone charger or extra battery, water, sharpie, book for autographs, your ID and cash. While a lot of vendors take debit cards, there are even more that only take cash. Wear comfortable shoes. Although cowboy boots may seem to be the shoe of choice; don’t try to break in new cowboy boats during CMA Fest!

How do I attend a Fan Club Party?
Typically to attend a fan club party, you have to join the artist fan club. However, you can attend some artist parties without being a member and often the party will be free or just a nominal fee. Visit the CMA meet and greet website for a list of the Fan Club parties taking place this week.

Hope that helps you decide to take advantage of an amazing event that takes place just up the road. See you at Nissan Stadium!!

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