Every year, thousands of country music fans put on their Lucchese boots and go to Nashville to see artists perform at CMA Fest.The fans have the opportunity to see their favorite artists up close and visit Nashville, Tennessee and if they’re lucky, they have the chance to meet them and request an autograph (Garth Brooks signed autographs for 23 hours straight at the 1991 CMA Fest).
This four day music festival first started in 1972 but was originally called Fan Fair—the name changed in 2004 to CMA Fest—attracting over five thousand fans that year. The CMA Fest grew in popularity and attracted a larger crowd over time, quickly becoming a country music tradition. Today, over 400 artists from around the world attend to sing and sign autographs for fans.
Since its inception, CMA Fest has made history with the artists who performed on stage. Former Beatle, Paul McCartney was the first rock artist to play at the CMA Fest in 1974, singing his number one single Wings. That same year, country duo Dolly Parton and Porter Wagnor last performed together—one of the most unforgettable moments in country music. Dolly Parton and Porter Wagnor parted ways to focus on their solo careers. While this famous duo came to an end at CMA Fest, others got their start. Years later, Leanne Rhimes was a rising star in the country world, but finally made her big break at the 1996 CMA Fest and performed in front of thousands of fans. Young performers, like Leanne Rhimes, continue to head down to Nashville to play at CMA Fest, hoping to make it in the country music world.
The numerous acts, big and small, enrich the festival’s experience and allow spectators to see the wide range of country music. CMA Fest’s rich history has made it one of the most remarkable and entertaining music festivals, bringing together artists and fans to the country music capitol of the world.
If you’re going to CMA Fest, be sure to stop by the Lucchese Nashville store in Gulch and watch country singers perform and to maybe pick up a new pair of Lucchese boots.