Do you know what time it is music fans?? It's time for the hottest stars in country music to join talents with the likes of Elle King, Pharrell Williams, and other surprise guests during CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock. Hosted by Brett Eldredge and Thomas Rhett, the special will air Wednesday, August 3rd (8/7c) on ABC.
Filmed during CMA Festival in June, the special showcases many of today's most exciting country artists performing over the course of the four day event including Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Chris Stapleton, Steven Tyler, Carrie Underwood, Eric Church, Keith Urban, and so many more.
The annual festival in Nashville, TN hosts more than 88,500 fans eager to see their favorite artists. This year's festival featured 11 stages with more than 600 artists and 100 hours of music. And it all benefits music education. Since 2006, CMA and the CMA Foundation have donated more than $13.6 million to sustainable music education initiatives across the U.S. thanks to the fans who attend CMA Music Festival and the artists who perform for free.
Since we are now officially four days away from the special airing, it seems only fitting to offer a glimpse of the fun you have to look forward to on Wednesday. Starting today and every day until the special airs, I will be posting highlights and photos from each incredible night of the festival. So... Ready for night one? Let's go...
The first night of CMA Fest was truly a night of surprises. Can you imagine Kelsea Ballerini, Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, Rascal Flatts, and Jason Aldean all performing on the same night? Well, it happened, and it was every bit as amazing as it sounds. Except... there was even more. Surprise musical pairings were the theme of the night as Dierks Bentley surprised fans by having Elle King join him on stage to perform their fan favorite duo, "Different for Girls," Lady Antebellum and Cam also made a surprise appearance performing both "Burning House" and "Need You Now," and Rascal Flatts welcomed Maren Morris to the stage so they could join her on "My Church." And, yes, you read correctly... all of that was just night one.
Review and photos by Pamela Thomas