by Jessica Nicholson
The Country Music Association has announced that its annual CMA Fest has been canceled for 2021 due to the ongoing pandemic, and suffering the same fate as 2020’s CMA Fest.
CMA’s CEO Sarah Trahern announced the news on Tuesday (March 2) via a statement:
“We are deeply disappointed that yet another summer will pass without seeing so many of you who help bring Country Music to our fans around the world. While we are optimistic with the pace at which COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more widely available, we still face several challenges that prevent us from bringing our many artists, crew members and fans together safely for the full CMA Fest experience we know everyone has come to expect.”
Trahern noted that unlike other music festivals that take place in a single location, CMA Fest occupies the entire downtown Nashville area, including entertainment venues such as Nissan Stadium and Ascend Amphitheater.
“To produce CMA Fest at the scale we normally do requires a significant amount of advance planning and production. Given the length of our production window, it was simply impossible to find an available window later this summer or into the fall. Additional challenges we face this year are capacity restrictions, not only with brick and mortar venues but at many of our outdoor locations. We are incredibly grateful that the majority of those who purchased four-day passes for CMA Fest 2020 have made the decision to hold onto their seats for the nightly concerts at Nissan Stadium. The last thing we want to do is make a decision that leaves any of our loyal attendees in the dark due to capacity restraints.”
Trahern also noted that travel was another issue taken into consideration. In 2019, CMA Fest welcomed attendees from all 50 states. However, 10 percent of attendees to the event that year were from 37 foreign countries. “With domestic and international travel still significantly impacted, we did not want to disappoint our many participants around the globe.” Trahern said.
Trahern stated that plans are currently going forward for CMA Fest in 2022, with dates scheduled for June 9-12,2022.