2007 CMA Music Festival Breaks Attendance Record With More Than 191,000
Country Music Fans Attending Tickets for 2008 CMA Music Festival Selling
Fast; Gold Circle Section Sells Out In Record-Setting 90 MinutesKelly
Clarkson, Ted Nugent, and Rascal Flatts Make Surprise Appearances
By PR Newswire
NASHVILLE, Tenn., June 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CMA Music Festival
set a new aggregate attendance record in 2007 with 191,154 people
attending the four-day Festival, June 7-10, in Downtown Nashville.
"It was an amazing event on many different levels -- from the
outstanding lineup of artists; to our incredibly enthusiastic fans, who
traveled from around the globe to be here; to the outpouring of support
from Nashville and our surrounding communities," said Tammy Genovese,
CMA Chief Operating Officer. "Each year I find myself saying this, and
it is happening again in 2007, but this is the best CMA Music Festival
Attendance at the Festival hit an all-time high. Single concert tickets
for the Nightly Concerts at LP Field were up 14 percent from 2006. In
fact, CMA opened the upper level of LP Field to meet the demand for
four-day ticket packages and single night concert tickets. CMA also
experienced a 20 percent increase in the sale of four-day ticket packages.
"Increased single concert ticket sales are an indication of increased
local support and participation in the Festival," Genovese said. "It is
a trend that started two years ago and we are seeing it grow from year
to year. Local companies and individuals are embracing this event as
never before -- especially now that it benefits music education. In
fact, we had 400 Metro Nashville students attend Saturday night thanks
to the generosity of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce."
Fans enjoyed themselves and made it known at the Box Office. Tickets for
CMA Music Festival 2008, June 5-8, went on sale Saturday and Gold Circle
four- day ticket packages sold out in a record 90 minutes. By Sunday,
advance sales bested sales during the same period in 2006, by a robust
"You know you are giving the fans what they want when they put down
their hard-earned money for an event and we haven't even announced who
will be performing," Genovese said. "That speaks to the dedication of
our fans, the popularity of the Festival and the strength of our format."
Aggregate attendance has grown from 124,000 in 2003, to 132,000 in 2004,
145,000 in 2005, to 161,000 in 2006, and now more than 191,000.
Increased sales of four-day ticket packages and single concert tickets
at Riverfront Park and LP Field contributed to the growth, as well as
record attendance at CMA Music Festival's free areas -- including the
Crisco(R) Family Zone, CMT(R) Fun Zone, and Chevy Sports Zone.
Several factors accounted for the increase attendance: sales of four-day
ticket packages outpaced 2006 sales; there was an extensive local
advertising campaign to drive awareness; additional free performance
stages were added; and with the exception of a brief storm Friday,
hospitable weather helped stimulate sales of single-day tickets. Even on
Sunday, four-day tickets, which allowed access to LP Field, the
Convention Center and the Riverfront concerts, were still being sold.
Surprise appearances are a hallmark of this event. And 2007 didn't
disappoint. The first night at LP Field included an unannounced
appearance by first season "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson, who
joined Reba McEntire on two songs -- "Does He Love You" and their recent
duet release "Because of You." On Friday evening Motor City madman Ted
Nugent joined Montgomery Gentry onstage for a ferocious rendition of his
classic "Cat Scratch Fever." And reigning CMA Vocal Group of the Year
Rascal Flatts made a surprise concert appearance the following night.
"We love giving our fans something special and unexpected," Genovese
said. "It is amazing to hear the stadium erupt in applause when an
unannounced guest steps out on that stage."
And it all benefits children and music education in Nashville. The
artists and celebrities participating in CMA Music Festival donate their
time. They are not compensated for the hours they spend signing
autographs and performing. In appreciation of their exhaustive efforts,
CMA donates half the net proceeds from the event to music education on
their behalf through a partnership with the Nashville Alliance for
Public Education called "Keep the Music Playing."
To date, CMA has donated more than $1.1 million to worthy causes on
behalf of the artists who participate in the Festival for free --
including $368,500 from the 2006 CMA Music Festival for "Keep the Music
Playing." Several students groups participated in the Festival including
drum corps from Hillwood High School and Hunters Lane High School, who
marched in the Kick-Off Parade along with students from the Nashville
School of the Arts, which received a Chevy Silverado truck to transport
band equipment to community performances as part of the "Keep the Music
During opening night ceremonies, CMA Board member Kix Brooks of Brooks &
Dunn presented $10,000 to "Keep the Music Playing" on behalf of
Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell in appreciation of his support of the
Festival during his tenure.
The $10,000 donation has been earmarked by the Nashville Alliance and
Metro Nashville Public Schools to purchase a sound system and lighting
for the performance center at Isaiah T. Creswell Middle Arts Magnet School.
The charity donation is appreciated, but at its heart, CMA Music
Festival is -- and always will be -- about the fans and their
relationship with the artists and the music. The theme is universal and
in 2007, Festival attendees came from every state and 21 foreign
countries including Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Finland,
France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand,
Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United
Kingdom. Fans ranged in age from 1 to 92-year-old Sylvia Leeper of
The Festival got underway Wednesday with "The Third Annual CMA Music
Festival Kick-Off Parade" with an estimated crowd of 10,000 spectators
Downtown. Following the procession, the fun kicked into high gear with
"The Second Annual CMA Music Festival Block Party" at the Chevy Music
Tour Stage on the plaza at The Sommet Center, formerly Nashville Arena.
Jason Michael Carroll, Mark Chesnutt, Elizabeth Cook, Cowboy Troy,
Jennifer Hanson, and Darryl Worley performed for an estimated crowd of
5,000 according to police.