“It feels so good to be at the 50th anniversary of CMA Fest!” “Buy Dirt” hitmaker Jordan Davis told the crowd Thursday (June 8) at Nissan Stadium.
It was a sentiment that was repeated through the evening, as CMA Fest commemorated a milestone — five decades as one of country music’s premier connection points between artists and their fans. The event once again showcased a breadth of country music talent sturdy enough to continue that lineage.
As thousands of fans made their way from soaking in music created by a range of newcomers and rising stars at various daytime stages in downtown, they gathered at Nissan Stadium to keep the party proceeding long into the evening, spearheaded by a lineup which featured two-time CMA entertainer of the year winner Luke Combs, as well as Carly Pearce, Tyler Hubbard, Dan+Shay, Jo Dee Messina, King Calaway and Jordan Davis, and surprise appearances from Vince Gill and Darius Rucker.
Several artists, including Pearce, Davis, Cooke and RVSHVD made their debut Nissan Stadium performances as part of CMA Fest, with Pearce and Davis appearing on the main stage, and Cooke and RVSHVD performing on the Nissan Stadium platform stage.
From King Calaway opening the music-filled, balmy evening with their rendition of the national anthem, to Dan+Shay’s evening-culminating set that came just before midnight, the stadium show featured a mix of newcomers and celebrated artists, along with a few surprise collaborations.
Also on the night, Dierks Bentley, Elle King and Lainey Wilson engaged the crowd to film segments for the upcoming CMA Fest television special, set to air July 19 on ABC.
Below are a few of the evening’s top moments.
CMA Fest continues this week in downtown Nashville, running from June 8-11.
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