Country music fans, if you’d like front-row seats to a 3-hour country music extravaganza without paying a single dime – or getting out of your jammies — tune in to ABC Monday night, August 31, at 8pm ET/PT for the network’s CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock. High voltage stage performances by chart-topping superstars along with revealing special segments about fan favorites will mark the return of ABC’s hottest music event this summer. The annual music bash — expanding to three hours for the first time ever — will air in HD with 5.1-channel surround sound.
Scheduled to perform are Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Julianne Hough, Jamey Johnson, Jack Ingram (below), Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Jake Owen, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, John Rich, Darius Rucker, Sugarland (above), Taylor Swift, Zac Brown Band and others.
In addition, Kid Rock performs his smash hit “Picture” with special surprise guest Martina McBride, and Wynonna and The Judds reunite and perform together for the first time at the CMA Music Festival in six years.
The special will also show highlights from the CMA Music Festival held June 11-14 in Nashville, and on- and off-stage segments and day-in-the-life vignettes showcasing the personalities and lifestyles of fan favorites.
As one of the main attractions at CMA Music Festival, Jason Aldean’s skyrocketing popularity is evident in his legions of female fans. Later, at his nightclub performance, Aldean (above) welcomes them — declaring “Ladies Night at the CMA Music Festival” — and treating to them a performance of his hit, “She’s Country,” that segues to the performance at LP field.
Viewers look in on Brad Paisley (right) during a quiet moment on his tour bus speaking about his fans, then encountering hundreds of them as they greet him outside his bus.
Kellie Pickler’s off-stage persona is captured as she spends the day with fans, charming them with her quick wit and sweet disposition. Pickler’s admirers join her for some shopping at famous Nashville stores such as Ernest Tubb’s record shop, where she signs autographs and gives some lucky fans her own CDs, then stops by Mike’s Soda Shop to taste “Kellie Pickler” ice cream. Later that night she performs “Best Days of Your Life.”
The special takes a candid look at a hectic and fun day-in-the-life of Julianne Hough, from getting ready at home to the convention center to a slew of press interviews, among others with Good Morning America and All My Children‘s Cameron Mathison. She then heads to sound check and wardrobe changes, all the while meeting fans along the way.
Throughout the special, Kellie Pickler introduces interviews to some of the Festival’s biggest performers in this multi-star segment. Darius Rucker, Brooks & Dunn, Reba McEntire, Kenny Chesney (below), Sugarland and Martina McBride offer celebrity insights and share their personal stories from the road, home and tours. Then Taylor Swift answers submitted questions from her six biggest fans, and later surprises them in a meet and greet.
The annual CMA Music Festival is unlike any other, with four days filled with more than 100 hours of live music, 30 hours of autograph signings by Country Music’s biggest names and up and comers, hundreds of artists and celebrities, and a party list of thousands of avid fans. This is the fifth time ABC will broadcast this special — which invites the whole country to America’s biggest Country Music bash — since the original Fan Fair was launched in 1972. This year an average of 56,000 fans attended each day of CMA Music Festival, its biggest turnout yet.
All photos © 2009 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.