NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The ultimate country music experience is coming back to Nashville and none too soon. CMA Fest returns and with it, an economic boost.

The festival has produced the highest level of direct visitor spending of any other annual tourism event held in Music City.

“I can’t say enough positive about it, and I can’t say enough thank you to the CMA,” said Burch Spyridon, CEO of Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. (NCVC)

He also said thanks to everyone for their patience, as the COVID-19 pandemic has put a halt to the festival the last two years.

“I think the biggest thing that CMA is going to do this year is give us another step toward where we used to be,” said Barrett Hobbs, bar owner.

Spyridon said the NCVC isn’t just looking at recovery from the pandemic, but also the future, which holds a lot of fun, financial impact, and global public relations.

“$60 million is what it’s been in the past in direct spending. I expect it to be a record week as well. $65 to 70 million wouldn’t surprise me,” said Spryidon.

He also expects hotel room sales to break records.

“Out of town visitors will be in the 50,000 range, so it’s a big number.” He continued, “They start arriving the Saturday before; it swells to Thursday; and levels into the weekend. And it’s money.”

Millions of dollars pouring into Metro and Davidson County.

“CMA Fest spreads far and wide throughout the county, and that’s fantastic,” said Hobbs.

Spyridon added, “People are staying throughout the county. They’re not just staying downtown. They’re not just at Airbnbs. They’re out by the airport. They’re hitting all of the neighborhoods. The restaurants will benefit, so it’s a bigger spend.”

CMA Fest has been partnering with the CMA Foundation since 2006. Thanks to more than 300 country music artists who donate their time, CMA has been able to invest more than $27 million into the enrichment of music education programs across the United States.

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