Thursday, June 19, 2014

CMA Fest 2014

Two weeks later I'm finally able to sit down and try to share as many memories CMA fest memories as possible. To say that it was a wonderful week of events is an understatement. There are few things in life that I'm passionate about BUT the things that I am passionate about consume every minute of my day. Every time I go to Nashville, it gets harder to get back on 65 South.

And, not because I don't LOVE my family and friends in Alabama with every ounce of my being but my heart beats faster in Nashville. It's always an adventure, always a person to see, and always a place to be. I'm grateful for all the people I've met along the way and I can't wait to make Nashville MY city one day, too.

One of my very best friends, Michelle, moved to Nashville at the end of last year/early this year. We met on New Year's Day, ironically enough, but she's literally one of the closest friends I have. I adore her and am so happy that she's in Nashville to stay. We've roadtripped over a thousand miles in 4 days together and had too many stories to ever tell. And she lets me stay with her in Nashville. So, thank you Michelle. Your air mattress is still the most comfortable bed I've ever slept in. Whoop whoop!!

So, let's get to it. My sister Lauren and I left Wednesday after work to make it to the official Warner after party on time. We left Birmingham after work and church and arrived at the after party right when this guy some of you may know named Frankie Ballard started playing. He's a good performer and is getting a lot of radio plays so I'm happy for him. Of course the main event was Cole Swindell. And, as always, he didn't disappoint. 

Another one of my good friends, Anne, was in town as well. Love getting to see you girl!!


Cole Swindell


Frankie Ballard


Warner had the after party at Avenue in downtown Nashville. It was a great party and I am glad that I got to attend. Warner is one of my favorite companies in Nashville. I've had the chance to connect with several people from Warner and I'm thankful for each of them!

After the party was over we headed home to get a grand total of 4 hours of sleep because we had to be up at 7 AM to be ready for all the events Thursday held.

First up was Brandon Chase's artist/street team event first thing Thursday morning. I had the opportunity to interview Brandon as my new artist spotlight. He is an amazing up and coming artist and his whole team is amazing. They opened in prayer and just gave a really encouraging message before we talked a little about Brandon and then he performed several of his songs for us. His single "One" is on ITunes and I encourage you all to get it!

We finished up at ASCAP where they had Brandon's event and headed over to Black River Publishing to see one of my very favorite FEMALE singers in country music. Her name is Keslea Ballerini and she is absolutely magical with her songs. I've been able to do this blog as "promoting" for a while now and never really found a good female that I wanted to get behind. Then, I found Kelsea through Josh Kerr one day and am SO glad I did. Kelsea is a few years younger than me but everything she sings about-I relate to. I'm SO excited to see what all this year holds for Kelsea and I'm SO honored to have been invited to her artist party. Josh Kerr and Jacob Simmons (two of my favorites) were playing with her, too. It's fun to see "friends" doing what they love!


You can listen to her on Sound Cloud for free!! Listen to all her songs! And she also recently announced a RADIO tour. Oh my goodness--I'm so excited!! Follow her on Twitter and "like" her Facebook page here. Thanks for singing my favorite, "Peter Pan"!!!  

We had to leave a few minutes early from Kelsea's adorable party to make it to Chase Rice's launch party for his clothing line HDEU. At first, I'll admit I wasn't that thrilled about another "celebrity" branching out to make their name a BRAND but it works with Head Down Eyes Up. Make sure you read more about it here! Happy to support Chase in this and get to say hey!!

After the launch party, we had a little down time (about 20 minutes to be exact) before it was time for the next show to start. So, we made good use of the time and took a nap in the parking deck. Let me tell you the power of a good "power nap" is sometimes better than 12 hours of sleep.

If you follow me or are my friend on any social media site you've HAD to heard of Sam Hunt by now. He was performing at the Bud Light stage outside of the Bridgestone at 3 so we got to see him play for a huge crowd!





The whole band had an amazing performance! I was so thankful that the rain held off and that we were able to see him for a minute after the show was over.


After Sam's performance we headed to the HGTV Lodge to see Chase Rice perform. We had already seen him that morning but he didn't perform at the launch party so it's always a fun time seeing him perform. It was an acoustic show so only Brandon was playing with Chase but it's always good to see them!



After Chase's show was over, we finally headed back home to change and get ready for dinner and Sam Hunt's midnight show at Wild Horse Saloon. 




I've literally ran out of things to say about Sam at this point. He's awesome. Buy his new single "Leave the Night On" on Itunes and request it like CRAZY at your local radio stations. Also, he had a free mixtape album that he took down but he said for those of us who had one to share. So, if you want one, leave a comment and make sure to leave your email address so I have a way of contacting you. I'll mail you one for FREE. 

We got in really late after Sam's show and slept until almost 11 AM Friday. It was MUCH needed though. I met another friend, Marli, at the Hard Rock Stage at noon to see yet another great guy and artist, Jordan Rager. I've seen Jordan before with Cole Swindell at a show in Atlanta at the end of last year and really enjoyed some of his music. He's definitely another one to watch. Make sure you follow him on Facebook and check out his website here

 After Jordan's performance, we headed back to Avenue to see Dan and Shay and Brett Eldredge. Warner sure knows how to sign some of the best artists.



 Brett is always so sweet and hilarious!! Brett even sent a picture home for me to give to my little sister. Thank you Brett!!

We went to Rock Bottom for dinner that night and then walked around downtown for a while before heading back. Nashville is my favorite for too many reasons to name but rooftop bars are one reason. 

We headed back home Saturday morning. I LOVED every second of my first CMA fest and I didn't even do the LP field concerts at night. We are looking into that next year but hopefully by then I'll be living in Nashville and working CMA fest. :) This post is SO late and I'm probably leaving out a TON but these are definitely the highlights. Hope you had fun reading along! :)


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