This year’s CMA Music Festival, June 7-10 in downtown Nashville, will offer many fun, exciting and family-friendly activities. And they’re all FREE!

“CMA Music Festival is Nashville’s festival,” said Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “That’s why we provide so many free concerts and activities for the citizens of Music City to enjoy.”

The Buckle
This year The Buckle is where it all comes together. Situated along Broadway between First and Fourth Avenues, The Buckle is where fans come to enjoy activities, games, live entertainment, demonstrations, free samples, autograph signings, and more!

The Buckle Stage will host a variety of performances and activities beginning with concerts presented by ASCAP on Thursday, June 7. Artists scheduled to perform include Hannah Dasher, Kalisa Ewing, JJ Lawhorn, Emily Lynch, Summerlin Road, Brent Wesley, and Channing Wilson.

On Friday, June 8, and Saturday, June 9 (10:00 AM – 6:00 PM/CT), ABC returns to the 2012 CMA Fest with the ABC Summer Block Party featuring special appearances by your favorite ABC stars, musical performances, autograph signings, games, giveaways, photos, and much more! Friday only, The ABC Summer Block Party will also feature Nashville’s own Grilled Cheeserie Truck to take care of Fest goers hunger with sandwiches provided and inspired by ABC’s The Chew.  

The annual YWCA Celebrity Auction will take place on The Buckle Stage on Sunday, June 10 (11:00 AM – 5:00 PM/CT). Hosted by Big Kenny and GAC’s “Headline Country” host/executive producer Storme Warren, this annual auction has raised more than $1.5 million to support the services of the YWCA Weaver Domestic Violence Center. Fans will have the opportunity to bid on items donated by Jason Aldean, Big & Rich, Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift, and Keith Urban.

Carl Black Chevrolet will have a booth in The Buckle where fans can get autographs from their favorite Country stars. Artists scheduled to sign in the Carl Black Chevrolet booth include Ryan Beaver, Wade Bowen, Lee Brice, Bush Hawg, Craig Campbell, Kristy Lee Cook, Brett Eldredge, Rachel Farley, THE FARM, Tyler Farr, Colt Ford, Jana Kramer, Love and Theft, Dustin Lynch, Kip Moore, James Otto, Josh Thompson, Phil Vassar, and Mark Wills.

New to the Festival this year, Jelly Belly will be in The Buckle giving attendees the opportunity to try some of their newest flavors including Snapple flavored beans and chocolate covered jelly beans called chocolate dips. Fans can also spin the Beanboozled Wheel and dare to taste Jelly Belly’s weird and wild flavors like rotten egg, moldy cheese, or canned dog food. Music lovers can also get a photo taken at the photo booth and be a part of the Mr. Jelly Belly Band.

Visit the Wrangler Booth in The Buckle for a chance to win exciting prizes and get autographs from your favorite artists.

Fans can cool off in The Buckle at the PEAK Performance Experience and play the PEAK Trivia Challenge for a chance to win great prizes. Attendees can also win “Free Gas” compliments of PEAK Performance Products.

Fan Alley
Located off of Broadway and Fourth Avenue, Fan Alley will host a variety of activities and exhibits.

Located in Fan Alley, The Chevrolet Roadhouse will be a unique downtown destination where fans can experience, create and share the Country lifestyle. Attendees can check out a variety of Chevrolet vehicles, cool off with refreshing iced tea at the Tea Bar, perform, record and share a Country Music video with friends in a vehicle, and create personalized and sharable digital concert show prints. The Chevrolet Roadhouse stage will feature performances by artists including Weston Burt, Due West, Erin Enderlin, Flynnville Train, Adam Gregory, Amber Hayes, High Valley, Imaj, Zach Lockwood, Rachele Lynae, Josh Mullins, Gary Quinn, Chase Rice, The Roys, Matt Stillwell, and Jason Thomas.

Every day 10:00 AM/CT, The Lodge in Fan Alley will feature past HGTV “Design Star” contestants Antonio Ballatore, Todd Davis, Emily Henderson, and Josh Johnson will design a room based on hit Country songs in its very own “White Room Challenge” area. The designers will also discuss their respective designs with fans each day. The Lodge’s GAC Living Country Stage will showcase several country star performances, signing events and special appearances, such as Gary Allan, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Scotty McCreery, Kellie Pickler, Thompson Square, and more. DIY Network’s Vanilla Ice of “The Vanilla Ice Project” is also stopping by for a special appearance.  Additionally, fans will have the chance to meet and take photos with HGTV’s “Junk Gypsies” Amie and Jolie Sykes; “The Property Brothers” Drew and Jonathan Scott; and “Going Yard’s” Chris Lambton. Adding to the Nashville experience, comedian and vacation expert Bert Kreischer is also going to be on location to film an upcoming episode of his new Travel Channel series, “Trip Flip.”  CMA Music Festival attendees and fans will have the opportunity to attend various autograph signings and acoustic performances from a host of country artists and HGTV and DIY Network stars. Fans can enter for the chance to attend by visiting

Jack in the Box® will have their brand new food truck in Fan Alley. The Jack Burger Truck will be selling Jumbo Jack® burgers for $1.00 all weekend long, with proceeds going to support Keep the Music Playing, CMA’s music education initiative. Visitors will also be treated to interactive games on the vehicle’s digital menu board, Jack in the Box giveaways, and exclusive offers.

The Ultimate Air Dogs, a perennial fan favorite, will be back this year in Fan Alley, entertaining attendees with their high-flying athletics. Hosted by former Detroit Tigers 1984 World Series pitcher Matt Wilcox, the Ultimate Air Dogs will compete Thursday through Sunday, June 8-10 at Noon, 2:00 PM, and 4:00 PM.

BIC® Soleil Bella® Beach
The BIC® Soleil Bella® Beach, located in Walk of Fame Park, is the place for sand, songs, and sunny surprises. Festival-goers can enjoy the music from the Soleil Bella Beach Stage (hosted by Myla Thomas of WBVR Radio and Jim Quinton with WPPL Radio) while relaxing on the real sand beach. Outdoor lovers can also play a game of volleyball and cool off in a misting tent. For a complete list of artists performing visit

Around Town
Fans will be able to get up close and personal with the iconic Budweiser Clydesdales. These gentle giants will be stabled in Walk of Fame Park adjacent to the Bud Light Stage at the Bridgestone Arena plaza allowing attendees a chance to take photos of these equine stars.

Don’t miss the great live music at the Bud Light Stage at Bridgestone Arena Plaza. Hosted by WSM-AM’s Bill Cody and Music City 411 host Shane Tallant, the Bud Light stage is always a popular spot.

On First Avenue adjacent to Chevrolet Riverfront Park you will find The Grub Hub, where attendees can purchase food from a variety of Nashville’s favorite food trucks including Deg Thai, Latin Wagon, Mere Bulles, Riffs, Smoke Et Al, and Yayo’s OMG.

On Thursday, June 7, from 11:00AM – 12:30PM/CT, The Field & Stream Celebrity Total Outdoorsman Challenge will take place on the western banks of the Cumberland in Lot R at LP Field. Celebrities will show off their skills in shooting, fly fishing and archery. On Friday and Saturday, June 8-9, from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM/CT, The Field & Stream Regional Total Outdoorsman Challenge will take place.

Nashville temperatures during the CMA Music Festival can often soar into the high 90s with high humidity, which has prompted medical officials to ask visitors to take necessary precautions while in the heat. First aid stations will be located throughout the festival, staffed by Vanderbilt LifeFlight Event Medicine, which has provided emergency medical coverage for the festival for the past five years. To avoid heat exhaustion:

  • Avoid intense outdoor activity from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the hottest part of the day
  • Rest frequently in the shade when outdoors
  • Wear light-colored and lightweight clothing
  • Cover up — wear a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen of 15 SPF or greater
  • Drink even if you don’t feel thirsty
  • Limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine 

CMA Music Festival is the Ultimate Country Music Fan Experience – a celebration of America’s music that takes over downtown Nashville June 7-10 with non-stop concerts on multiple stages with a vast and varied roster of artists. CMA Music Festival is a four-time winner of the International Entertainment Buyers Association’s LIVE! Award for Festival of the Year (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010).