‘Disappointed’: Downtown employees, tourists react to CMA Music fest cancellation

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Downtown businesses and tourists are disappointed that for the second year in a row the CMA Music Festival is cancelled.

Employees downtown tell News 2 they were hopeful the festival would give them a much-needed boost in business and be the beginning of some sort of normalcy to come.

Inside one of the sweetest spots in downtown Nashville, Savannah’s Candy Kitchen has felt the struggle just like its neighbors.

“It has been hard on us,” explained manager of the store Candice Johnson.

From the tornado and the pandemic, to the riots and the Christmas Day bombing. For a year, the blows seem to keep coming. And now today, Nashville’s biggest annual tourism event is cancelled for the second year in a row.

“I am surprised, you know, because we are going to have other events. I guess it’s to everybody’s discretion, and we will just be looking for them next year,” explained Johnson.

The festival draws tourists like Priscilla Crossgrove from all over the world.

“I’m a huge country music fan, and it’s just disappointing,” she said.

The festival brings with it big business to the entire city from hotels and restaurants to the souvenir shops.

“I’m a businesswoman back in Mississippi, and it is a huge disappointment for businesses that look forward to this type of entertainment to not have that revenue generated for their city this year,” said Crossgrove.

Johnson says she has faith they will persevere, “Just like anything Nashville strong and we will all work together and we will get through this like anything.”

Barrett Hobbs, Chairman of the Downtown Business Merchants Association released the following statement to News 2:

“It is a disappointment that we will lose another year of The Best Music Festival in The World. We needed a spring board towards normalcy, but we understand the decision. We are lucky we have the best Live Music on Earth free here daily, so we will roll on and see them next year.”

The CMA Music Festival generated a record $65 million in direct visitor spending in 2019.

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