CMA Music Festival less than a week away - WSMV Channel 4

CMA Music Festival less than a week away

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

The CMA Music Festival is back for another year, and the setup has already begun in downtown Nashville.

The big concert stage at LP Field is being built now, and other stages will go up across the city this weekend for the four-day festival beginning June 6.

"We're pretty much activating every corner of downtown - every block, there's something to do," said Sheri Warnke, senior vice president for marketing for the Country Music Association.

Locals and longtime Nashvillians likely remember the old Fan Fair, which was first held at the Municipal Auditorium and then later moved to the fairgrounds.

Now, "Fan Fair X" has been revived at the new Music City Center, where fans can enjoy live music at four different stages, grab some autographs and even check out the inside of a tour bus.

"It is an opportunity for locals to come and enjoy the festival, which is important to us," Warnke said.

The big shows - the nightly concerts at LP Field - sold out a few weeks back, but even if you don't have tickets to those shows, CMA is putting up stages all over downtown. And a lot of that music is completely free.

"People come to Music Fest for the music, and we are over-serving them this year with the number of stages we have: 11 stages where they can hear music all day - at night and during the day," Warnke said.

CMA Fest is always great for people-watching as well. Organizers expect to have country music fans visit from all 50 states and more than 27 different countries.

The artists participate for free, and on their behalf, CMA donates half the net proceeds from CMA Fest to support music education through the Keep the Music Playing program.

More than $6 million has been contributed to the program to date.

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