Home / Music News / Sold-Out 2012 CMA Music Festival Wraps Up in Nashville


The 2012 CMA Music Festival wrapped up Sunday night with all four nights of shows at Nashville’s LP Field sold out. The whole thing was captured on tape for an upcoming ABC special if you couldn’t make it in person. Here’s a recap of what the stars were saying backstage just before they went on stage for the CMA Music Festival crowd:

— Luke Bryan and The Band Perry‘s Kimberly Perry are co-hosting ABC’s CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock special, airing September 17. That means they did a lot of filming over the past few days, but Luke was full of energy for all the shooting. He won the Male Video of the Year award at the CMT Music Awards on Wednesday, and the high from that victory carried him through the next four days of the festival.

Luke said Sunday night, “My wife and I, we’ve been staying here at the field every night and getting in the bed late and waking up early with the boys. I don’t know how I haven’t hit the deck yet.”

The Band Perry hosted their first-ever fan club party this year. They’ve named the club The Fans Perry as a play on their name, and the party featured a red carpet for the fans to walk. The Perrys even had the cast from their “All Your Life” video pose as autograph seekers getting the fans’ autographs.

The trio even gave out awards to the fans too. Neil Perry says, “It is all about the fans at the end of the day, and I think CMA Fest is the best place to really see how dedicated country music fans are coming from all over the world to descend on Nashville. It’s a great time.”

Dierks Bentley returned to the concert stage Saturday in Detroit for the first time since his father died earlier this month. Dierks performed Sunday night at the CMA Music Festival too. Before he hit the stage, Dierks said, “I just knew being on stage with the guys in the band and with our fans was what I needed even if I didn’t know if I could really go out there and do it. The second I got out there it just felt great. ”

Dierks knows the fans at CMA Music Festival would be cheering him on while knowing exactly what he’s been going through lately.

“In country music your fans know so much about you,” Dierks said. “Not just your music, but your personal life and what’s going on.”

Scotty McCreery capped off a very busy week with a Sunday-night performance at the CMA Music Festival. He won the CMT Award for Breakthrough Video of the Year last Wednesday and then graduated from high school on Thursday.

It’ll all part of a balancing act for Scotty between being a normal teenager while also being a rising country star. He joked backstage, ” My friends and the people back home, they call me the real-life ‘Hannah Montana’ ’cause I have two lives.”

Last year’s CMA Music Festival came just weeks after Scotty was crowned the American Idol champion. He had a guest spot with Josh Turner last year, but now Scotty’s earned his own spot on the big stage at LP Field. He said, “This year I actually get to go out there and play some of my own songs. So, that’s cool for me.”

Carrie Underwood actually attended CMA Music Festival as a fan when she was a teenager. Before she took the stage Friday, Carrie said, “It’s so much fun to have been on that side of it and then to now be on this side of it.”

— Brantley Gilbert got to Nashville last Tuesday to take part in the Tug McGraw Foundation celebrity shoot. She spent a lot of time with fans, who he likes to call his friends. Some of those friends got a little crazy when Brantley tried to leave the building after an autograph session though.

He says, “On the way out, we literally got like swamped. They had a circle of people around me of security guards and stuff and they were getting knocked over.”

Brantley describes the situation as “intense,” but he thought it was kind of fun too. He says with a laugh, “I thought it was funny, but I have a weird sense of humor.”

— Faith Hill actually worked Reba’s booth back when CMA Music Festival was called Fan Fair and took place at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. She says, “I just remember that more vividly than I even remember the beginnings of my career.”

Faith was excited to perform for the fans at CMA Music Festival and calls their dedication to country music “extraordinary.” Before she went on stage, Faith said, “I put the show together specifically for them in mind. It’s a very energetic, high-octane show.”

It’s never too early to start planning for next year’s CMA Music Festival, set for June 6 through 9, 2013. Tickets are already on sale at CMAFest.com.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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