CMA Fest in Nashville cancelled for second consecutive year

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — For the second consecutive year, the County Music Association has decided to cancel CMA Fest.

CMA Fest 2021

The CMA released a statement on the cancellation, which reads:

“After thoughtful deliberation, we are saddened to share that CMA Fest will not take place in 2021. We know our fans near and far have hoped that the festival could safely return this summer, and while we are encouraged to see COVID-19 vaccines becoming more widely available, we still face several challenges that prevent us from bringing our fans around the world the CMA Fest experience they have come to expect. But rest assured, we have already started planning what will be the most EPIC celebration of Country Music next summer. Mark your calendars for CMA Fest June 9-12, 2022!”

If you purchased four-day passes for CMA Fest 2020 and chose the rollover option, the passes will still be honored for CMA Fest 2022. Those who purchased passes through Ticketmaster or the CMA Fest Box Office will receive an email with further information about retaining passes or requesting a full refund. Answers to frequently asked questions are also available on CMAfest.com.

CMA said it appreciated potential attendees patience, understanding and ongoing support of CMA Fest and Country Music as it looks forward to the days when we can come together again.

MORE: When will big events return to Music City?

Butch Spyridon, President and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation told News 2 last month he was optimistic Nashville’s biggest events will return soon in some form.

The second half of 2021 has a number of conventions booked starting in June, which will help more Middle Tennesseans get back to work as Nashville’s hospitality industry thrives on visitors.

“Part of our job is to pick ourselves up and look toward the future and figure out the fastest and best recovery. We’re obligated to be a little more optimistic, but in this case, I truly am optimistic that when we get to June, we’ll start to see real recovery and get everyone back on their feet and that even comes with a little more time, but that will feel like Christmas Day,” said Spyridon.

One issue with events like CMA Fest and the Fourth of July is the difficulty to maintain COVID-19 protocols within large crowds.

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MORE: ‘The industry is crippled; it’s hurting’: Nashville entertainment industry hopes for recovery soon

The NCVC told News 2 it moved a couple of big conventions, one from February and one from April, into June 2021.

Spyridon is eyeing June as the month to see some improvement.

“Now, that doesn’t mean we pop back to massive attendance numbers, and we have to start somewhere,” he continued, “Just by every measure measurement, every research, every conversation, June continues to feel like the right month that we really feel significant improvement.”

“One of the question marks – especially with conventions – is do people have the economic where with all to attend? So we anticipate the meetings happening, but attendance being down a bit, certainly, for the second half of 2021,” explained Spyridon.

Additionally, Spyridon he’s had weekly conversations with CMA and he felt confident CMA Fest would happen in 2021.

“Logically, it will be smaller than normal, but we hope it’s significant enough to make a difference,” He added, “Then, we have the NASCAR Cup race in June at the Superspeedway. So, there are some good things on the horizon, and we need to keep them all in play.”

“We’re optimistic about our recovery. Our research tell us summer should be much better than last year,” Spyridon emphasized.

CMA Fest began in 1972 as Fan Fair®, which drew thousands fans to Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium. In 2019, CMA Fest featured more than 300 performances on 11 official stages – all to benefit music education. Since 2006, a portion of proceeds from CMA Fest has been given to music education initiatives supporting students K-12 across the U.S. through the CMA Foundation.

CMA Fest is filmed for an ABC Television Network special. For 15 consecutive years, the event has been filmed for a network television special, a feat CMA said no other music festival has achieved.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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