June 3, 2009 — With the CMA Music Festival bringing tens of thousands of fans to Nashville next week, Alan Jackson and Carrie Underwood are the latest artists with attractions on tap that expand the dizzying opportunities to connect to country's stars.
To mark two decades since he signed his first recording contract, Alan is planning a free concert June 10 at Cadillac Ranch on lower Broadway that promises to pack 'em in like sardines. Carrie, who's already vowed to sign autographs at Fan Fair Hall during the festival, has put her voluminous dress from the Academy of Country Music Awards up on display in a Country Music Hall of Fame exhibit, Carrie Exhibit: All-American Girl, which opens June 11.
The CMA Festival centers on nightly concerts June 11-14 at the Tennessee Titans' stadium, LP Field, with some of the genre's biggest names and daily concerts at Riverfront Park with other hitmakers. Taylor Swift, Lee Ann Womack, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Craig Morgan, Gretchen Wilson, Clay Walker and Phil Vassar are among the more than 100 acts slated to perform. In addition, the artists committed to sign autographs at Fan Fair Hall include Reba McEntire, LeAnn Rimes, Montgomery Gentry, Jack Ingram and Darryl Worley, among others.
A partial list of other events taking place:
•The second annual GAC Kick-Off Breakfast takes place June 10 at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum with host Mark Wills, Darius Rucker, Eric Church, Emily West and Lane Turner.
• Wynonna Judd and David Ball perform at a benefit concert with the WannaBeatles June 9. The show will also include an appearance by Ken Mansfield, who worked with the Fab Four in addition to producing Jessi Colter's "I'm Not Lisa" and Waylon Jennings' "Are You Ready For The Country."
• The Tuesday edition of the Grand Ole Opry is loaded with talent, including Carrie Underwood, Lorrie Morgan, Ricky Skaggs, Charlie Daniels, Trace Adkins and Little Jimmy Dickens.
• A memorial concert is slated June 9 for Loretta Johnson, one of the co-founders of the International Fan Club Organization, at the=2 0Nashville Palace. The lineup includes Bryan White, Lynn Anderson, Ty Herndon, Linda Davis, Michael Peterson and Baillie & The Boys, among others.
• The CMA Festival Kick-Off Parade and Festival Block Party June 10 features grand marshal Rodney Atkins, Steve Holy, Jeff Cook, the Lost Trailers, Sammy Kershaw, Brady Seals, Collin Raye and Trent Tomlinson.
• The City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge moves from last year's noon start time to 7 p.m. June 10 with Luke Bryan, Chuck Wicks, Julianne Hough, Jimmy Wayne, Jake Owen, Adam Gregory and Diamond Rio's Marty Roe, for starters.
• Steve Wariner will emcee a Guitars of the Stars benefit auction June 12 at the Ryman Auditorium. Donations include instruments from Vince Gill, Keith Urban, Sugarland and Dolly Parton.
• Marty Stuart hosts the Late Night Jam at the Ryman June 10 with such guests as the Oak Ridge Boys, Connie Smith and Tanya Tucker.
• Country Music Hall of Fame member George Jones presents a concert June 14 at the Ryman.
• Martina McBride presents her annual YWCA auction June 13 at Hall of Fame Park.
• Some of the artists holding fan club parties includes Little Big Town, June 10, at B.B. King's; Neal McCoy, June 11, Nashville Night Life; Rodney Atkins, June 11, Sommet Center; Lady Antebellum, June 12, Rocketown; Martina McBride, June 12, Limelight; Mi randa Lambert, June 14, Nashville Palace; and Pam Tillis, June 14, Wildhorse Saloon.
• Lonestar conducts its charity bowling bash June 8 at Hermitage Lanes with such friends as Chris Young, Buddy Jewell and Bo Bice.
• Little Big Town is eyeing June 14 for its Ride For A Cure. The motorcycle caravan will depart from Harley-Davidson in Nashville's suburbs and wind up 30 miles down the road at the Harley dealer in Columbia, where a concert will feature Jamey Johnson, Jason Michael Carroll and others.
• Keith Anderson, John Michael Montgomery, Mark Wills and Katie Armiger will join numerous other performers at the Wildhorse Saloon June 10 for the Country Weekly fashion show and concert.