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CMA Music Festival Information

The CMA Music Festival is a country festival in Nashville, Tennessee, each June by the Country Music Association (CMA). The festival, which began in 1972 under the name Fan Fair, currently attracts over 400 artists and celebrities who sign autographs and appear in concerts regularly.

In 1972, WSM radio collaborated with the Country Music Association (CMA) to launch Fan Fair for fans to avoid visiting the CMA's annual radio industry-only convention in the fall. It was primarily for disc jockeys and other radio luminaries. The first Fan Fair was hosted in Nashville's Municipal Auditorium from April 12–15, 1972. Around 5,000 people attended the four-day event, which offered 20 hours of live entertainment and 100 display booths, including signature booths.

The festival was relocated to the Nashville Fairgrounds in 1982, with the addition of the All American Country Games tournament. This fundraiser for the Tennessee Special Olympics was ended in 1989 so that more shows could be added. Kathy Mattea attended Fan Fair in 1991 despite the doctor's orders that she not speak or sing until her wounded vocal cords healed. She held "conversations" with her followers while typing messages for them all to review on a monitor.

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