It is time to finally exhale, ladies and gentlemen. The 2014 CMA Festival outdid itself this year, inviting both Nashville natives and voyagers
to join in on the overload of festivities that engulfed downtown Music City. Stages at all corners of Broadway bellowed with talent as fans swayed along to the country tunes. For those fortunate enough to hold passes to the nightly concerts at LP Field, were able to witness a lineup only worthy of a Nashville-hosted festival. Rocking the stage throughout the weekend were superstars Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Zac Brown Band, Tim McGraw, Luke Bryan, Rascal Flatts, Jason Aldean, Florida Georgia Line, Eric Church, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban to name a few. As if lending their voices weren’t enough, many stars lent their support in giving back to various causes during the week, as well.
Clay Walker hosted his Fifth Annual Chords of Hope Benefit Concert featuring pals Dustin Lynch and Montgomery Gentry in support of his charity Band Against MS (BAMS) which raises funds and brings awareness to multiple sclerosis, a disease Walker was diagnosed with in 1996. Since establishing the non-profit organization in 2003, the cause has spread awareness across the globe while raising funds upward of $2 million. “What makes this annual event special to the people involved such as Vanderbilt Hospital and the MS community, is that it keeps the hope alive that we are going to find a cure for MS,” explains Walker. “It amazes me that acts like Dustin Lynch and Montgomery Gentry will come out here and donate their time. I want to give them the props and accolades they deserve. The country music genre is filled with great folks who are charitable with their time.” And time is what the superstars gave throughout the week, tons of it!
Craig Campbell put on his 2nd Annual Celebrity Cornhole Tournament benefiting T.J. Martell Foundation Colon Cancer Research efforts. The event attracted the support of country stars, Lee Brice, Jerrod Niemann, Chase Rice, Parmelee and more. The idea for the tourney sprouted from Campbell’s desire to do something different during the festival, “I wanted to do something during CMA Fest that no one else was doing; and coincidentally, cornhole and colon cancer just kind of go together,” said Campbell.
Several other charitable events racked in the funds in support of various causes during the annual affair. The 2014 Country Weekly Kick-Off Party featuring Kip Moore and Frankie Ballard and hosted by Chuck Wicks raised over $17,000 for Musicians On Call. Darius Rucker headlined not one, but two charitable happenings raising more than $120,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through his annual benefit concert and golf tournament.
Well folks, CMA Fest did it again! And not just by providing country music fanatics with a phenomenal time filled with laughs, drinks, country jams and fun, but by providing a helping hand to those in need. I think a big southern THANK YOU is in store for all the stars that gave back this year. . . y’all are the best!