The three-hour CMA Fest TV special, airing on Wednesday, August 8, shows some of the biggest highlights of the four-day music event held earlier this summer. The three-hour music event will feature performances by some of country music's biggest stars, including Carrie Underwood and Luke Bryan. For both of the superstars, part of the appeal of CMA Fest is the chance to be part of the televised show, reliving the fun of summer's biggest concert scene.
"Every year they do a TV special, which is really cool," Underwood says. "We kind of get to give the rest of the world that didn't get to come to the Music Fest a little taste of what it's like and hopefully they'll see it and want to come next year. But CMA Music Fest is so much fun. No other genre of music does what country music does for their fans like this, which is so cool. There are literally hundreds of thousands of people that descend on Nashville, and there's not a hotel to be found.
"Everywhere you go there's people looking for music and looking to see artists and fan club parties and charity events," she continues. "It's a lot of fun, and it's kind of a way to get to interact and give back and meet the people that have been coming to see you on tour and get to say thank you. It's just a blast. I came as a kid growing up a couple of times, and it's cool to be on that side of things and now to be on this side of things. I think everybody just has a lot of fun when they're here."
For Bryan, he relishes the chance to perform in front of a televised audience.
"I've always been the type of artist when I can perform my music for a television audience, it's the best of both worlds," the American Idol judge explains. "You get to be in people's households and they get to always put the face with the song. I mean, that used to be a big deal in my career, in my early career. We had to make sure that the people watching at home put it together that this crazy guy was singing in the song. This is like a big, awards-show-type crowd in August and yeah, it's very important.
"You don't want to go out there and lay an egg," he adds. "You want to go put a great show on, because the fans that are in the room, they're gonna go watch it again in August. And another thing — it's gonna make people that may not have been to this festival, they're gonna want to come be a part of that. So it's been fun watching CMA Music Fest grow to where it's sold out every night, and that's because we put a cool thing to watch on TV together for the fans."
The CMA Fest TV special, which will also include performances by Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley, Keith Urban, Carly Pearce and more, will air on Wednesday, August 8, at 8:00 PM ET on ABC.
Photo Credit: Getty images/John Shearer