Nashville is hot right now and I’m not just sweating in the sneaky summer weather. We’ve been designated an ‘IT’ city, we’ve just celebrated the grand opening of the new Music City Convention Center and heck collectively, I like to think we’ve even been picked up for a second season on ABC’s Nashville. Like I said, Nashville is hot!

And what better way to celebrate than with the annual CMA Music Fest? This year’s event takes place across downtown Nashville June 6 – 9. Here’s a handy go-to guide to navigate this year’s event, plus find out how you can listen to our 2013 CMA Fest playlist.

First and foremost, LP Field is sold out this year. You can purchase tickets from 3rd party sites (and probably pay and arm and a leg) but beware of fakes. This year’s lineup includes equality supporter Carrie Underwood, reigning CMA Male Vocalist and Entertainer of the Year Blake Shelton, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum and the Zac Brown Band.

Who are we truly looking forward to? Well, keep your eye on Luke Bryan. Not only is this man gorgeous, he put on one helluva show last year. Also Little Big Town is an LP Field highlight on Friday night. After years of modest success, Little Big Town scored their first #1 country hit last year and their fan base has (finally) swelled. Finally, we’re excited for Saturday night when is she or isn’t she going country Ms. Kelly Clarkson takes the stage.

Don’t worry if you didn’t get LP Field tickets as there are plenty of free concerts happening around town all day (and weekend) long. These include the shows at the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage. Highlights include Sara Evans, Blackberry Smoke, David Nail, Maggie Rose, our perennial fave Jo Dee Messina and legend Ronnie Milsap.

There’s more music on the Bud Light Stage at Bridgestone Arena and we’ll be front and center when 90s icons Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan take the stage together. We’re eagerly awaiting details of their upcoming duets CD. Other artists we’re looking forward to are Michael Ray, Kelleigh Bannen and Emerson Drive.

Other stages include Transitions Performance Park, located in the Walk of Fame Park on Demonbreun between Fourth and Fifth Avenues South. Some of the artists to check out include country royalty and gifted singer-songwriter Holly Williams, Julie Roberts and Gwen Sebastian.

Our favorite location to stop in during the festival is The Buckle Stage. Performances are hosted on Thursday and Sunday and include Kalisa Ewing, who we fell in love with last year. If you’re looking for refreshing new artists, this is the place to hang out during the festival. On Friday and Saturday, the area hosts the ABC Block Party and you never know who may show up. Last year, stars of Nashville came out to talk about the show.

There is so much music and only 24 hours in everyday to see it all. Impossible? Probably. But it sure is fun trying.

For more artists and information including schedules for the artists mentioned above visit cmafest.com.

We want to see your CMA Fest photos this year. Make sure you follow us on Twitter for live tweets from the festival and tweet @outandaboutnash with all your CMA Fest Tweets.

Want to hear our Spotify CMA playlist? Click here to listen.

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

Red Bull Unlocked Nashville


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Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

Rumble Boxing Gulch, Nashville


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