Tag Archives: fan fair

CMA Fest wrap

Country Music FansSunday night, a co-worker and I walked up to Starbucks to grab a coffee before we started our last night of CMA Fest work. We met a couple of young women also going for coffee before heading to LP Field for the final night of concerts. The girls asked us if we hated the week and all the people converging on the city. Without missing a beat, we both went, “No! We love it!”

And its true. We do.

Oh I stress over parking and the fact that so many roads are closed downtown. I worry we’ll get overwhelmed and not be able to handle the volume of drinkers. I grumble a bit that I have to leave a minimum of 10 minutes early to get anywhere on time. But deep down, I love it.

I love showing off my city. I love music, and I love seeing others love music. Tourists in town for CMA Fest are also some of the most amusing to people watch. Oh, don’t think of us as mean for that! You, too, you chuckle if people came to your town and tried to “dress the part” and overshot in their mission. Think Marty McFly in Back to the Future III only with glitter. Lots and lots of glitter.

The money brought in from out of town is also wonderful. The music is what keeps this city alive. (And its too bad many don’t realize that. Its a rant for another day.) Country music fans coming in from all around the world in that one week keep this city afloat year-to-year. And for that, I am forever grateful.

But more than all of that… ALL of that… I love the people. I have people I consider dear friends all over the country — all over the world! — that I may only see once a year, but who are still dear souls to me in my heart. I look forward to see them year after year, getting to catch up and laugh and hug tightly. I joked I’ve been doing this a long time when I can tell you what a bunch of Australians I see once a year drink without hesitation. But I could! And let me tell you, Australians are some of my favorite “tourists” ever.

Another year is in the books, and I am already looking forward to next year!

Five on Friday: CMA Fest memories

This is my sixth Fan Fair as a Nashvillian, but I also attended the festival in 1997 as a fan. So I have a lot of fun memories from this yearly week of madness.

1. In 1997 I stood in line for hours on end (no really, hours in the sun… I’ve done it so I get it) to see my favorite artist at that time. I can’t find my hard copy of the picture I took with him, but I have a sad little scanned image that has degraded over the years after being copied from one computer to another to another to another. (By the way, this is how much I love my readers… sharing a picture of me at 16.)


2. In 2009, a friend gave us tickets to one of the night’s shows at LP Field. As my husband and I sat waiting for the show to start, a gentleman sat down beside my husband. My husband leans over and goes, “Is this who I think it is?” It was Peter Noone from Herman’s Hemits! SUPER nice guy and he was happy to take a picture with my husband.

Peter Noone and Craig

3. FREE BLUE BELL ICE CREAM! A taste of home…

CMA Fest 2010

4. In 1997, the last thing on mine and my parents’ itinerary for Fan Fair was to attend the Grand Ole Opry. Among the many acts we saw, I ran up and took close-up shots of Porter Wagoner, Little Jimmy Dickens and Ricky Van Shelton. I had seen the Opry on TV, and I knew its history. This was a big deal to be there!! Get this! 10 years later, I returned to the Opry with my parents. This time, though, it was to see my husband play with the artist he was playing for at that time. It was a surreal moment, that’s for sure! I’ve since then been blessed to go to the Opry dozens of times, watching from side-stage. But that first trip? That first one remains one of my favorites.


5. Last night, I got to have a new favorite memory. Walking in to the bar where I work, and standing right there was Mel Tillis. I am not one to ask anyone for pictures, content just meeting them and knowing for myself I met a legend. But a friend goes, “Hey, you need a picture with him. Hey Mel, take a picture with her.” I was ready for just a side-by-side shot. Instead, he gave me this amazing big hug… I’m still grinning from it!


Ahhh… CMA Fest, aka Fan Fair, I do kinda love you.