NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — CMA Fest debuted 50 years ago, and after a two year hiatus due to the pandemic, the festival is back.

From Nissan Stadium, to Music City Center, to the Riverfront, and to Ascend Amphitheater, stages are set for the four-day music festival.

“Even the people who don’t have tickets to the evening shows at the stadium, there are plenty of opportunities to engage with music,” said Sarah Trahern, CEO of County Music Association. “I mean locally we’re doing two shows Friday and Saturday night at Ascend Amphitheater, so that hopefully, local fans who don’t want to go to the stadium for four nights can come access that.”

The majority of CMA Fest attendees are from out of town. More options for local fans are in place this year, including free ones.

“We’re actually doing some single night tickets to the stadium, so folks can come for one day or two days. And then four of our stages of the river and west are free.” Trahern continued, “Anybody who wants to come down and take in the music, they can do so.”

Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line will perform at Music City Center with the band The Castaways.

He sees the evolution of Nashville and CMA Fest going hand-in hand. “Everything is always evolving. This is just one of the phases of Nashville evolving. So, of course people just want to come and visit it.”

Kelley added, “It’s a fun place to be. It’s a beautiful place. It’s the Volunteer State. It’s a great place to be.”

As for future festivals, look for some new venues, especially, as plans for Nissan Stadium renovations unfold.

Trahern said a documentary is in the works to celebrate the 50th anniversary of CMA Fest.

CMA Fest is back! News 2 crews are giving you a front row seat to all the action as country artists and fans flood Music City for the first time in two years. Follow our continuing coverage right here on