CMA Fest Generates Record-Breaking $65 Million in Direct Visitor Spending

CMA Fest Pumps Millions of Dollars into Local Economy

NASHVILLE – The 2019 CMA Fest generated a record $65 million in direct visitor spending for its sold-out four-day festival, an increase of 6% over last year’s record $61.2 million, the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp announced today.

Sarah Trahern, CEO of the Country Music Association, said, “We’re incredibly proud that CMA Fest offers us the opportunity to support music education while also making a positive economic impact on the City of Nashville. This year we welcomed visitors from all 50 states and a record 37 international countries. A multi-day event of this size wouldn’t be possible without the engagement from our entire community. Pre-sale passes for next year’s festival are already outpacing recent years, and we look forward to introducing our city to even more visitors from around the globe in 2020.”

Butch Spyridon, President and CEO, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, said: “We cannot thank the CMA enough for continuing to deliver a world-class event that not only draws thousands of visitors but has also become a huge local draw and a major prime time network TV special.” 

Mayor David Briley: “CMA Fest continues to be one of the most successful events we host, drawing people from across the nation and world to our great city and generating vital tax revenues for schools, parks, infrastructure and more. Congratulations to CMA for a record-breaking year and for once again putting on a world-class event.”

CMA Fest remains Nashville’s largest annual tourism event and produces the highest level of direct visitor spending of any annual tourism event held in Nashville. The nightly CMA Fest concerts at Nissan Stadium were sold out, with more than 50,000 in attendance each night. Tens of thousands of fans attended the festival’s outdoor stages and activations as well as Xfinity Fan Fair X inside Music City Center. The Firestone Country Roads Stage at Ascend Amphitheater sold out Friday and Saturday nights with a capacity of 6,800. The Chevy Riverfront Stage, Budweiser Forever Country Stage and the Nashville Acoustic Corner Stage all reached capacity during the festival.

The 2019 event, which took place June 6 to 9 saw a slightly higher share of out-of-town visitors who attended at 84 percent and a slightly lower number of locals at 16 percent compared to last year. About half of those surveyed (51 percent) said they were first-time attendees, compared to previous years (44 percent to 48 percent).

The share of visitors in hotels has stayed consistent over the past few years (67%), while home rental continues to grow (16%) and staying with friends/family continues to decline (10%).  Just two years ago, family/friends was the second-most popular accommodation option.

Other highlights from the NCVC CMA Fest survey results include the following:

  • 92 percent said they are likely to attend next year.
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, respondents scored 9.4 when asked if they were likely to recommend the event to others for next year.
  • Average length of stay was five days.
  • Average party size was 3.2 people
  • 16 percent of parties had children, an increase over last year’s 10 percent.
  • Top six states visitors traveled from were Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky, Georgia, Pennsylvania and New York.
  • International markets included Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark, India and Switzerland.

About CMA Fest
The Ultimate Country Music Fan Experience™ began in 1972 as Fan Fair®, which drew 5,000 fans to Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium. Having just celebrated its 48th year, the legendary festival has become the city’s signature Country Music event that hosts tens of thousands of fans from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and 37 international countries. In 2019, CMA Fest featured 11 official stages with more than 300 artists performing—all to benefit music education. CMA Fest is a one-of-a-kind festival with artists donating their time to perform so ticket proceeds can directly benefit high-quality music programs across the country through the CMA Foundation. CMA Fest is filmed for a primetime ABC Television Network special, with 2019 marking the 16th consecutive year the event has been filmed for television, a feat no other music festival has achieved. “CMA Fest” airs Sunday, Aug. 4 at 8/7c on ABC.

Country Music Association
Founded in 1958, the Country Music Association is the first trade organization formed to promote a type of music. In 1961, CMA created the Country Music Hall of Fame to recognize artists and industry professionals with Country Music’s highest honor. More than 7,600 music industry professionals and companies from around the globe are members of CMA. The organization’s objectives are to serve as an educational and professional resource for the industry and advance the growth of Country Music around the world. This is accomplished through CMA’s core initiatives: the CMA Awards, which annually recognize outstanding achievement in the industry; CMA Fest, which benefits the CMA Foundation and music education and is taped for a network television special, “CMA Fest”; and “CMA Country Christmas.” All of CMA’s television properties air on the ABC Television Network.

The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp
The mission of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp is to maximize the economic contribution of the convention and tourism industry to the community by developing and marketing Nashville as a premier destination. Visit the NCVC’s website at and follow us on social media: