Country's biggest party began Thursday with a kickoff concert in downtown Nashville.The 2013 CMA Music Festival began at 10 a.m. and kicked off with a concert featuring Sara Evans on the waterfront. Nashville's News 2's Neil Orne was on hand to host the event. Joe Nichols, Gloriana, Craig Morgan, Love and Theft, Mark Chestnutt, Blackberry Smoke, Dustin Lynch and Phil Vassar also all took to the stage at Riverfront.Lady Antebellum cut the ribbon at Fan Fair X at the Music City Center at 10 a.m. followed by a short question and answer session and performance. The CMA Music Festival continues on the big stage at LP Field with The Oak Ridge Boys, Tracy Lawrence, Luke Bryan, Taylor Swift, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert and the Zac Brown Band.Fans were surprised when country crooners Tim McGraw and Keith Urban joined Swift on stage for a performance. Country legend Kenny Rogers and Kid Rock were also guest performers with the Zac Brown Band. The 42nd CMA Music Fest continues in downtown Nashville through Sunday.
For a full list of Thursday's CMA Fest events, click here.