The day started promisingly with some cloudiness, but that did not last long. Soon the day was as hot, if not even hotter, than the day before. A refreshing and much needed water fountain station was provided for, sponsored by Ban. Much to everyone's delight - everyone's except the water bottle vendors' that is. You could clearly see a pattern: people tending to walk on the shady side of the streets. Under the tent by the Chevrolet Roadhouse Stage, they were kind and thoughtful enough to provide a water misting fan.
On the street we spoke to the fans Shelby and Amber, who are from Nashville and have been coming to the CMA Music Fest for nine years, to ask what the single best thing about the CMA Music Fest is, and they almost in unison said "The artists and the crowd it brings." Down Broadway there were tents, fans, music, food, yes, everything that keep festival goers happy and coming back for more. In one tent, Martin Guitars had a special cause going in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy: they asked people to draw a doodle of an elephant, which they called an "Elegram", and when they reach 20,000 Elegrams, they are through generous donors giving $150,000 to The Nature Conservancy's project to save the elephants. When speaking to Ben that was working at the Elegram-table, he said that Friday they had 14,000 Elegrams and were sure to reach to goal of 20,000. Mother Nature and the African Elephant say "Thank you".
With the performance stages placed and designed in such a way that the music from each one does not reach the ears of the audience of the next, and just enough space between each one to make room for crowd pleasing vendors, the CMA Music Fest is keeping its appeal to the music fans. That plus the unique interactions that take place when appreciative music lovers and supporters have the chance of coming up close to the artists they love is what creates that intangible "it".
Shelley Ridge for Country Music News International
A Crowd In Every Corner
Aaron Watson gathered quite a crowd around the AT&T U-verse Showcase stage at Fan Fair X
Chris Young has a new single out!
Dailey & Vincent's Tour Bus
David Ball on the Durango Music Spot at Fan Fair X
Elvis fanatic Jamie
Ronnie McDowell at Fan Far X on the Durango Music Spot
Ryan Griffin on the Chevrolet RoadHouse Stage