CMA Music Fest kicks off in downtown Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Country stars lit up the stage at LP Field Thursday night for the first day of the 44th annual CMA Music Festival in downtown Nashville.

Alan Jackson went on first in front of thousands of country music fans, singing favorites like “Good Time” and “Remember When.” He even stopped for a moment to throw T-shirts into the crowd. Click here to see photos of the LP Field performers and their shows.

Alan Jackson
Alan Jackson

Sam Hunt took the stage next, singing “Leave the Light On” and “House Party,” followed by famed trio Rascall Flatts with their hit “Me and My Gang.”

Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line and Jason Aldean also took the stage, with the Gatlin Brothers singing the National Anthem.

Earlier in the day, Little Big Town got the festival started by cutting the ribbon at 10 a.m. downtown. Click here to see photos Day 1 of CMA fest.

Band member Philip Sweet said he enjoys seeing fans who have followed the band since the beginning out at music festivals and concerts.

“The fans are so dedicated and enthusiastic,” he said.

Little Big Town
Little Big Town

News 2’s Neil Orne introduced country singer Gary Allan just after 10 a.m. at the Riverfront Stage. He kicked off his performance with his hit song “I’m Just Sitting Out Here Watching Airplanes.”

Montgomery Gentry also took the stage earlier in the day, performing fan favorites like “Hell Yeah” to the hundreds who watched.

Vanderbilt medical staff told News 2 it was the busiest opening day for the annual festival with 168 people treated and nine transported to the hospital, mostly with heat-related issues.

Day 2 of the CMA fest starts bright and early Friday morning. For all the information you need, including stage lineups and parking maps, visit

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