We’re less than 48 hours away until the annual CMA Fest TV special hits ABC this summer, and to be quite honest, we can’t WAIT for what’s in store.
The longest-running country music festival broke records this year, as it commemorated its milestone 50th anniversary in Downtown Nashville, Tennessee from June 8-11, 2023.
Hosted by Dierks Bentley, Elle King and Lainey Wilson, the festival brought in over 90,000 daily attendants from over 50 countries, reaching the largest stadium audience in country music history. The four-day weekend was also home to unnumbered can’t-miss performances and can’t-miss mash-overs from neighboring genres.
To make sure you are fully prepared for the three-hour celebration, The Celeb Secrets Country gals have rounded up everything you need to know about it before pressing play.
Keep scrolling to learn more and don’t forget to tune in TONIGHT, July 19th @ 8/7c on ABC, with streaming available tomorrow on Hulu.
Want more from our CMA Fest coverage? Click here.
Who is performing?
Fans jam-packed Nashville’s illustrious Nissan Stadium and just like every year, your living room will transform into a stage as you’ll get to see performances by Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Jordan Davis, Cody Johnson, Luke Combs, Eric Church, Jason Aldean, Jelly Roll, Dan + Shay, Little Big Town, Ashley McBryde, Tim McGraw, Carly Pearce, HARDY, Tyler Hubbard, Darius Rucker, Jon Pardi, Keith Urban, and more.
There are a number of surprise, never-before seen duets this year, including Lambert bringing out pop rocker Avril Lavigne for a mash-up of “Kerosene” and Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi;” Carly Pearce and Jo Dee Messina for “I’m Alright;” King and Tanya Tucker with Wilson for “Texas (When I Die);” Combs and Vince Gill for “One More Last Chance;” and Reba McEntire with Cody Johnson for “Whoever’s In New England.”
The setlist is brimming with No. 1 singles and fan favorites, including performances of Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem” and “She’s Country,” Dan + Shay’s “Tequila,” Tim McGraw’s “Something Like That” and “Real Good Man” and Luke Bryan “Country Girl (Shake It For Me) and “Rain Is A Good Thing.”
Who is hosting?
This year’s special is full of firsts as Lainey Wilson joins returning hosts Bentley and King for a can’t-miss moment.
CMA Chief Executive Officer Sarah Trahern says, “I could not be more excited to welcome Dierks, Elle and Lainey as our ‘CMA Fest’ hosts this year. As fans experienced last year, the energy Dierks and Elle bring to the stage is palpable and will only be amplified with the addition of Lainey this year. Each of these artists have a deep passion for CMA Fest and the Country Music fans from around the globe who travel to Nashville for the event. We are thrilled to have all three of them together to help us celebrate 50 years.”
Where Can I Watch CMA Fest?
You can watch CMA Fest on Wednesday, July 19th at 8/7c on ABC and Hulu beginning Thursday, July 20th.
In addition, you can catch Hulu’s newest documentary CMA Fest: 50 Years of Fan Fair that premiered earlier this month to get you hyped for the three-hour TV special. The documentary showcases CMA Fest’s beginnings through interviews, archival content, and performances. This work includes interviews with many artists including Chris Young, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Kelsea Ballerini, Brooks & Dunn, Dierks Bentley, Brothers Osborne, Luke Bryan, Frankie Staton, Thomas Rhett, Lainey Wilson, Trisha Yearwood, Valierie Ellis Hawkins, BRELAND, Luke Combs, Vince Gill, Miranda Lambert, Wynonna Judd, Dolly Parton, Carly Pearce, Lorrie Morgan, Craig Morgan, Mark Miller, Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Jeannie Seely, Patty Loveless, Shy Carter and Bill Anderson.
What else do I need to know?
CMA Fest will return to downtown Nashville in 2024, beginning Thursday, June 6 through Sunday, June 9, with tickets available for purchase at CMAfest.com/tickets.
You can also relive CS Country’s favorite CMA Fest moments by reading through our archives here.