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Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder at CMA FEST 2022

by Rich and Laura Lynch

More than 80,000 fans from all 50 states and a record-breaking 39 foreign countries descended on Music City for the 49th action-packed edition of CMA Fest - the longest-running Country Music festival in the world. The gigantic celebration of this region's favorite genre returned to Nashville during the week of June 9 through 12 following a two-year postponement due to the pandemic.

Sister Hazel at CMA Fest 2022.

The absolute singular fact that remains true for CMA Fest is that every one of the attendees each had a unique experience based on the number of activities they were able to participate in or the quantity of artists that they were able to see (or, not see!) CMA Fest has so many simultaneous showcases happening at once throughout the downtown that it is virtually impossible to do a large percentage of the festival in any given year. Plus, throw in the numerous unofficial happenings and parties that dot the landscape for the whole week and you will quickly understand that having a plan is paramount.

Mark Wills at CMA Fest 2022.

Our route for Friday included camping out at the Dr. Pepper AMP Stage to check out 90's hitmakers Sister Hazel play their big song "All For You" where they also caught their fans up on their recent forays into country music. From there we hiked to Walk of Fame park and the Chevy Vibes Stage where we "discovered" Grand Ole Opry member Mark Wills and his amazing catalog of songs rooted in faith and family.

Anna Avery at CMA Fest 2022.

Next up, we had the honor of watching the young and bubbly Avery Anna take charge in front of the Bridgestone Arena to confidently deliver some choice cuts from her catalog and Tik Tok account that has helped make her an emerging star on the rise. Another young female with a similar back story was California's Brennley Brown who came to national attention with her 6th place showing on the twelfth season of The Voice. A live radio interview and showcase revealed her to be as cool as the air conditioned confines of the Glen Campbell Museum and Rhinestone Stage that hosted the special four day inaugural event two floors up just off of Broadway.

Brennley Brown at CMA Fest 2022.

While the music was tasty so were the samples that were being offered and we had some mashed potatoes, bar-b-cue chicken cooked over flavored charcoal and washed it all down with a few thirst quenching Monster Energy drinks. You can see what you missed or relive your memories during a Three-Hour Primetime Special "CMA Fest," Hosted by Dierks Bentley and Elle King, Airs Wednesday, August 3 on ABC. And, you can start making plans for the 50th Anniversary of CMA Fest that will take place in Nashville June 8-11, 2023. You know that one is sure to be an affair to remember, y'all!

The Monster Energy Drinks girls at CMA Fest 2022.

Related Links: For more information on CMA FEST and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - CMA Fest | Sister Hazel | Mark Wills | Avery Anna | Brennley Brown


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