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06/02/2008

CMA Music Festival offerings make it one of Nashville’s signature events

CMA Music Festival opens June 4 with a 2 p.m. parade through downtown Nashville, ending in a free, public concert. Taking the stage for the Third Annual CMA Music Festival Block Party at the Sommet Center’s outdoor Chevy Plaza are Keith Anderson, Zac Brown, Luke Bryan, Joe Nichols, James Otto, Rissi Palmer, Phil Stacey and Chris Young.

Many of country music’s biggest stars will participate in the festival officially running Thursday through Sunday, June 5-8. Many daytime activities are free to the public, including concerts at the Hard Rock Café’s Outdoor Stage. Paid tickets are required for other events including the Nightly Concerts at LP Field with performers such as Trace Adkins, Rodney Atkins, Billy Ray Cyrus, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Jewel, Miranda Lambert, Kellie Pickler, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, Josh Turner, Carrie Underwood, and Dwight Yoakam.

Those who stay out late can hit the free CMA After Hours Kick-Off Concerts beginning at 11:30 p.m. each night at the Hard Rock Café Nashville's Outdoor Stage with The Clark Brothers (Thursday), Whiskey Falls (Friday), and Mark Wills (Saturday). Starting each night at midnight, the Hard Rock’s indoor stage will host the Stub Hub Songwriters in the Round with a line-up of hitmakers. Tickets () to the fund-raiser for Musicians On Call are available at ticketalternative.com.

The CMA Celebrity Close Up Series presented by GAC will spotlight Gretchen Wilson, Randy Travis, and Taylor Swift on June 5 from 1:30-3 p.m., followed by Sara Evans and Joe Nichols from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Ryman Auditorium. Tickets ( in advance, day of event) are available at ticketmaster.com or the Ryman Box Office.

Fans and celebrities can interact at the Festival’s free Chevy Sports Zone, Fun Zone, and McDonald's-Dr Pepper Family Zone.

The Sports Zone will feature a variety of friendly competitions between Country Music artists, celebrities, professional athletes and chefs. The Family Zone will host interactive games, activities, celebrity appearances, product samples, giveaways, and more. Details at cmafest.com.

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