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More Attendance Records Fall at CMA Music Festival 2013
By Bob Doerschuk
Every year, it seems, CMA Music Festival draws more fans than the year before. In 2013, that tradition continues – only more so than ever.
Audiences were huge at each of this year’s outdoor stages. The nightly concerts at LP Field sold out more than six weeks before the Festival began, sooner than ever before. And more than 44,000 gathered on Thursday at the Chevrolet Riverfront Stage – more than at any previous opening day. By the end of Sunday, June 9, more than 162,000 had come to this scenic stage next to the Cumberland River.
Overall, the sheer number of attendees broke the 80,000 barrier – that’s nearly 13 percent above the 71,000 who came to Nashville for last year’s festivities. These figures are based on sales of four-day ticket packages, promotional tickets and visitors to the AT&T U-Verse Fan Fair X and non-ticketed, free areas throughout the Festival site in Downtown Nashville.
The debut of Fan Fair X contributed significantly to these increases. Located in the brand-new and imposing Music City Center, the space devoted to autographs, photo ops, intimate live music settings and special events is three times the size it was in 2012, which means there were more attractions than ever and more reasons for fans to drop in.
In total, an even 65,000 visits were logged at Fan Fair X, up from the 44,639 recorded in 2012, based on turnstile count.
But numbers tell only part of the story. According to CMA Research done during the Festival, 95 percent of this year’s attendees reported that their expectations were met or exceeded. And 90 percent insist that they will come back in 2014.
It’s impressive, to say the least. But there are already signs that we’ll be rewriting the records next year. Already, more than half the tickets available for CMA Music Festival 2014 have been sold – that’s 79 percent above sales at this same time last year.
Onward and upward!