CMA Fest is my favorite week of the year. After attending six CMA Fests, I consider myself an expert on the subject. I have compiled a list of CMA Fest Hacks to prepare you for the week’s festivities. Whether you will be attending CMA Fest for the first time this year, or you are a pro, I hope that these CMA Fest Hacks help you get the most out of your trip.
Looking for a place to stay in Nashville? Check out these amazing deals!
CMA Fest Hacks
- Download the official CMA Fest app
- The app contains all of the concert lineups, a map of all CMA Fest locations, and schedules for events at Fan Fair X. The app also sends festival updates straight to your phone, so you will know of any changes that have been made.
- Sit to the left of the Riverfront Stage
- People like to walk into the Riverfront and watch from there, as if there is no where else to sit. Keep walking all the way to the end and go down the last staircase. Typically, you will be able to find a spot here and it is close to the exit. There are some stairs that I like to sit on because they are close to the bathrooms and you can walk up to the stage to get pictures and not have to fight the crowd to get back to your seat.
- Buy a Nissan Stadium parking pass
- Park at the Music City Center during the day
- With a fee of $25, it is cheaper than other Downtown lots and it is right in the middle of the action.
- Take a refillable water bottle
- There are water stations throughout Downtown where you can fill up.
- Use Fan Fair X as home base
- Bring a towel/blanket to sit on at the Riverfront
- This way you can claim a spot and sit down in-between acts. We bought one of those blankets that fold into a bag and love it because it has a handle that we can use to tote it around the rest of the day.
- Follow CMA on all social media channels
- This is the best way to keep up with what is going on at the festival. Plus, they make special announcements and have lots of giveaways (especially on Snapchat).
- Get to Nashville early
- CMA Fest unofficially kicks off on Wednesday with The Highway Finds stage featuring performances from “Highway Find” artists and groups. And the CMT Awards take place all evening and usually has a live performance or two on Broadway.
- Wear tennis shoes and bring flip flops if you will be at the Amphitheater or Riverfront
- This way your feet will not hurt from walking and you will be a little cooler.
- Check out Airbnb
- My fiancé and I have stayed at an Airbnb property during CMA Fest the past two years and we love it. It is cheaper than a hotel plus you have a lot more space than you would in a hotel room.
- Look into restaurants that are near Broadway, but not on
- There are lots of great restaurants surrounding Broadway that are cheaper and less crowded.
- Use Lyft to get around
- Taking a Lyft Downtown is cheaper than parking, plus you can get dropped off close to where you are going. Payment is processed through their app to your credit card so you do not need to carry around cash.
- Nashville has other fun areas for nightlife
- Although the bars on Broadway are fun, the massive crowds can be a lot to deal with. Opt to check out other bars in Nashville on both the East and West End (Winners and Losers, the original Tin Roof, 3 Crow Bar).
- The Amphitheater has folding chairs if you do not want to sit on the ground
I hope that these CMA Fest Hacks help to make your trip more enjoyable. If you have any additional hacks for CMA Fest, please share them with us. We would love to hear about your experiences!
Need a place to stay in Nashville? Click here for some great places!
This article was written by Taylor Pittman.
Check out our other CMA Fest articles: