The CMA Music Festival is a four-day music festival centered on country music hosted each June by the Country Music Association in Nashville, Tennessee. Beginning in 1972 as Fan Fair, the event now draws over 400 artists and celebrities who hold autograph sessions and perform in one of the many concerts offered throughout the festival.
In 2011, total combined attendance for the four-day event was estimated to have exceeded 250,000 people at ticketed events and in free areas. Visitors came from 41 different nations, and all 50 states.
In 2010 and 2011, a record 65,000 people a day were estimated to have attended ticketed and free events at the CMA Music Festival.
Through 2000, the CMA Music Festival was considered a sell-out if 25,000 people attended. Attendees span all ages, from infants to the elderly and come from 41 different countries, including Canada, France, Australia, Germany, The United Kingdom, China, Japan, and Russia. After moving to its new, larger and air-conditioned home in 2001, attendance numbers soared, with the 2002 festival drawing 126,000 fans. Attendance slipped slightly the following year, partially because many of the more renowned country music stars declined to appear at the festival. However, in 2003, attendance was down only 1.7% over the year before, compared to a 25% decline in overall U.S. tourist travel for the same period. The attendance slippage was not permanent; in 2007, a record-breaking crowd of 191,000 people attended the festival.