Large crowd in Nashville and “countless” drink sales

CMA Fest is back and the streets of downtown Nashville will be filled with thousands of fans and country music for the next four days.

For locals who want to be reminded where all the road closures are, we’ve got you covered. For fans who want to follow the artists they missed, we’ve got you covered too.

Who to see at CMA Fest? Lainey Wilson and 8 other must-see artists to see on day one

Follow here for Tennessean’s live coverage of artists, weather, fashion and other festival highlights.

Isaac Gibson, lead singer of Appalachian folk band 49 Winchester, announced in the “hillbilly” part of the CMA Fest early afternoon offerings at Ole Red’s Spotify House.

Perhaps spurred on by their presence in Nashville, the Americana Music Association-nominated Group of the Year kicked off their set with “Damn Darlin’,” a story of heartbreak told with EXIT/IN from the “Rock Block” canvas. background. “Russell County Line,” another single, is a heartwarming tale that shows how the band straddles the intersections of country, rock, and roots music.

The band’s inclusion in the CMA Fest lineup at Spotify House is a great showcase of the real-time interaction between a band that fans are discovering on streaming services (ERNEST co-signers and Luke Combs the help) and a band whose performance skills are so strong that they will also gain fans simply by providing a fantastic live experience.

Employees at official liquor stations say alcohol sales right at the Riverfront stage are “countless”, with at least a thousand drinks sold by midday, with several thousand more expected by this evening.

Recording artist Lauren Alaina took the stage at Riverfront Park in front of cheering fans who sang along to some of her greatest hits.

After leading the crowd in unison for her son “Road Less Traveled,” the fervor intensified as Alaina reminded attendees of her new album, “Unlocked,” which will be released tomorrow, June 9.

Camden Keene stood on the lawn at Riverfront Park, overlooking the massive crowd gathered for performers like Lainey Wilson, Elvie Shane and Alaina. Keene, along with her family, traveled from North Carolina after planning this trip for over a year.

“We’re so excited to finally be here,” she said. “We’ve enjoyed all the artists we’ve seen so far, especially Lauren Alaina. And there’s still a weekend left!”

Gillian Barnett traveled with her family from Toronto, Ontario for her first trip to the CMA Fest. She can’t wait to see Luke Combs at Nissan Stadium tonight.

Riverfront Stage capacity will be managed throughout the day with doors closing and reopening as needed, according to the festival’s Twitter account.

Lines line up on Broadway between 1st and 2nd Avenue, then to 2nd Avenue North.

CMA Fest 2023 kicked off with a Grammy-winning marching band from Tennessee State University playing horn renditions of hip-hop classics, followed by Country Music Association Female Artist of the Year Lainey Wilson opening the debates.

If you’re wondering what the vibe is for the next four days on Lower Broadway, the Baskin, Louisiana native mentioned country music, Western culture, love, “Watermelon Moonshine” (her current radio single) and coffee whiskey within the first ten minutes of going on stage.

The crowded Riverfront Stage is already familiar with the two albums and four No. 1 singles of material Wilson has released over the past three years. She followed it, as she often does now in concert, with a solo version of her HARDY collaboration “wait in the truck” and another hit, “Heart Like A Truck”.

The crowd appeared excited, but mesmerized as the temperature, along with the humidity, appeared to have risen 20 degrees in the half hour she appeared on stage.

The doors to Riverfront Stage are temporarily closed as the venue’s capacity has been reached, according to the festival.

The doors will open as soon as possible. Check with for other free stages.

From the Grammy Stage to the Riverfront Stage at CMA Fest, the Tennessee Marching Band, better known as the Aristocrat of Bands, prepares the Thursday morning crowd for a day of entertainment.

CMA Fest requires clear bags for entry. According to their website, security will allow one clear bag no larger than 12 x 12 x 6 inches per person.

Festival goers are allowed to bring a refillable water bottle and will have access to several water refill stations. Locations for these can be found on or the CMA Fest mobile app.

All vendors and locations are cashless. Make sure you have a debit or credit card with you, or set up Apple or Google Pay on your phone ahead of time. And for those wishing to enjoy an adult drink, don’t forget a valid photo ID.

More: CMA Fest 2023: A guide for first-time festival-goers and seasoned veterans

Several streets in the city center are closed at least until Sunday. Others around Nissan Stadium will be closed until Monday.

The closures are concentrated around Broadway and the areas where CMA Fest will have its stages set up.

A detailed list of closures is available at this link.

National weather expects sunny skies for most of the festival with temperatures starting in the 80s and steadily increasing as the days go by.

There could be widespread haze in the area on Thursday as remnants of wildfire smoke from Canada lingers in the area.

Sunday, there is an 80% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1 p.m.

More: CMA Fest 2023: Here’s what to expect in Nashville

The music will start at 10 a.m. Thursday with the biggest artists on stage around 7:45 p.m. at Nissan Stadium.

For the program of the whole weekend, click here.

waterfront scene

  • 10 a.m.: Lainey Wilson
  • 10:45 a.m.: Elvie Shane
  • 11:30 am: Lauren Alaina
  • 12:15 p.m.: Ian Munsick
  • 1 p.m.: MacKenzie Porter
  • 1:45 p.m.: Chayce Beckham
  • 2:30 p.m.: Corey Kent
  • 3:15 p.m.: Warren Zeiders
  • 4 p.m.: Lily Rose
  • 4:45 p.m.: Travis Denning
  • 5:30 p.m.: Bailey Zimmerman

Scene Vibes

  • 10:15 am: Jerrod Neimann
  • 11am: Meghan Patrick
  • 11:45 am: Shane Profitt
  • 12:30 p.m.: Tiera Kennedy
  • 1:15 p.m.: Canaan Smith
  • 2 p.m.: Ryan Griffin
  • 2:45 p.m.: Kearns Hall
  • 3:30 p.m.: Adam Doleac
  • 4:15 p.m.: Dillon Carmichael


  • 10:15 am: Rae Lynn
  • 11am: Frankie Ballard
  • 11:45 am: Logan Michael
  • 12:30 p.m.: Caitlyn Smith
  • 1:15 p.m.: The lost in red clay
  • 2 p.m.: David Nail
  • 2:45 p.m.: Seaforth
  • 3:30 p.m.: Shenandoah
  • 4:15 p.m.: Kidd G

Hard Rock Stage

  • 10:15 am: Texas Hill
  • 10:55: Emily Ann Roberts
  • 11:35 am: Matt Roy
  • 12:15 p.m.: Hagood Fantasy
  • 12:55 p.m .: Romain Alexandre
  • 1:35 p.m.: Skyelor Anderson
  • 2:15 p.m.: Jordan Harvey
  • 2:55 p.m.: Shelby Darrall
  • 3:35 p.m.: Walker Montgomery
  • 4:15 p.m.: Solar CJ

Reverb stage

  • 10:15 am: John Morgan
  • 10:55 am: Drew Green
  • 11:35 a.m.: Cone of the Abbey
  • 12:15 p.m.: Casey Barnes
  • 12:55 p.m.: Riley Roth
  • 1:35 p.m.: Bryan Martin
  • 2:15 p.m.: Thomas Mac
  • 2:55 p.m.: Patti pill box
  • 3:35 p.m.: Griffin Palmer
  • 4:15 p.m.: Lathan Warlick

Flagship scene

  • 11am: Julie Williams
  • 11:30 am: Loren Ryan
  • 12 p.m.: Nat Barnes
  • 12:30 p.m.: Karley Scott Collins
  • 1 p.m.: Flat River Band
  • 1:30 p.m.: Grace Leer
  • 2 p.m.: Charlie Reynolds
  • 2:30 p.m.: Marynn Taylor
  • 3 p.m.: Prior Baird
  • 3:30 p.m.: Sarah Allison Turner
  • 4 p.m.: CB30
  • 4:30 p.m.: Alexandra Kay

Nissan Stadium

  • 7:45 p.m.: King Calaway
  • 8 p.m.: Jo Dee Messina
  • 8:30 p.m.: Jordan Davis
  • 8:55 p.m.: RVSHVD*
  • 9:05 p.m.: Luke Combs
  • 9:45 p.m.: Ashley Cooke*
  • 9:55 p.m.: Carly Pearce
  • 10:40 p.m.: Tyler Hubbard
  • 11:25 p.m.: Dan + Shay

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