CMA Fest 2011
CMA Fest 2011 was an absolutely incredible experience. The intense deadlines – 90 minutes to write all three stories we were assigned each day – and excited crowds would give any journalist an adrenaline rush.
(As if that wasn’t enough, I also met the guy who would ask me to marry him 512 days later!)
Over the whirlwind weekend, I had the opportunity to tell the stories of some amazing country music fans. Narrowing down my favorite stories from CMA Fest is difficult, but here are my top three:
The Fenda family is first in line outside Fan Fair Hall, all four in matching neon green T-shirts. Daughters M.J. and Kate both have sparkling eyes and dirty blond hair, and they each accessorized with a cowboy hat.
The most noticeable difference between the two is that Kate has Downs’ Syndrome and M.J. does not. And their love for Rascal Flatts’ music, says their mom Patti, is what brings the whole family together. (Read more)
Winding through the packed streets of Downtown Nashville are five nondescript vans, distinguishable only by the signs on their sides that read “Press Express.” These are the CMA Music Fest Media Shuttles, and to make sure journalists and photographers get where they need to go, the drivers are working nine-hour shifts — without pay.
They are all music teachers in the Metro Nashville Public School, and they’ve volunteered their time based solely on gratitude. (Read more)
On the final day of the festival at 8:30 a.m, four young women were camped outside the ramp that descends into Level 1 of LP Field, where the talent’s trucks pull in to set up for the evening concerts, with only one mission: to reconnect with their old friend, Taylor Swift. (Read more)
Of course, these pieces barely scratch the surface of all the writing I did that weekend – here are the rest of my stories!
- Traxxas Remote Truck Race Draws Fans And Artists Alike
- 28th Annual Celebrity Auction with Martina McBride Raises More Than $154,000 for YWCA
- Power Zone Makes Its Debut at CMA Fest 2011
- Easing and Breezing by the Riverfront
- Derek Joseph Gets the Message at Hard Rock Cafe
- Rushing Crowds and Patriotic Reflections at Fan Fair Hall
- Katie Armiger Brings Generations Together at Lay’s Stage
- A Night of Surprises at LP Field
- Chris Young Fans Take It to the Streets
- Josh Kelley Revs Up The Crowd at Chevrolet Riverfront Stage