CMA Fest: Brett Young Reflects on 'Busiest' Event He Has Ever Had

Brett Young has performed at several CMA Fests over the years, but none with schedules as busy as his was this year. The California native admits he felt like he was being pulled in a lot of different directions – not that he is complaining about that fact.

"There's no way to play for or in front of this many of your fans in one week," Young shared with and other media. "There's just really not. This was easily the busiest CMA Fest we've ever had. But every single event felt really cool, unique and specific, and I feel like we have had a handful of people that have been to everythin. But for the most part, it's been a new group of people every single night.

"So I think it's just all about reach and making sure that people are hearing the music, and it felt like we had a lot of opportunities to do that," he added. "I just wanted to take them all in."

Young is proud to be part of such a popular genre, especially since he remembers when being a fan of country music was anything but in.

"Country is pop music right now," Young reflected. "I don't mean that in terms of genre. I mean, it's popular. I grew up in Southern California and I was made fun of for liking country music in '93, when 'Don't Take the Gir'l was out and now, every single one of those kids that I went to high school with is begging for tickets to any show that ever comes within a hundred miles of them in Southern California.

"We've gone to the U.K. twice now and country music fans come out, sell out," he continued. "They're incredible song fans but also get off their feet. I think country music is in a place right now where it really is king, because it is pop music but it's also country music and it's a little bit of everything. Just, the same way that country artists are kind of a family and a community, I think we feel that way about our fans."

Young is unashamedly a fan of one of his collaborators, Gavin Degraw, on Young's latest Ticket to L.A. album. DeGraw, who co-wrote "Chapters" from the record, and also sings on the track, was at CMA Fest as well, which is exactly where Young says he belongs.


"Gavin is somebody I've been a fan of for 15 years now," said Young. "He's not changing his music at all, but the climate of country music has changed in a way that his music is now accepted in our format. I hate to say that anything goes because that's kind of an overstatement but it kind of feels like that right now. Good music is good music and I think country music fans are the best at acknowledging a good song, regardless of the genre. So that's why I think so much is working right now."

Photo Credit: Getty images / Jason Kempin