Best Moments from CMA Fest 2024: Here’s What You May Have Missed

CMA Fest wrapped up on Sunday, June 9 in Nashville after a four-day extravaganza of country music. If you missed the festivities, ABC will be airing the TV special on June 25 at 8 p.m. Eastern. There, you can catch the memorable main performances, along with some never-before-seen footage from the event. In advance of the special, here are some of the best moments from CMA Fest.

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[RELATED: CMA Fest Day 1: 5 Moments You Missed Including a Post Malone-Blake Shelton Duet and Lynyrd Skynyrd with Billy Gibbons]

Thursday, June 6

Dolly Parton Announces New Hotel, Wine, Broadway Musical, and More

Taking the CMA Fest Close Up Stage on Thursday morning, Dolly Parton had a lot to share with the thousands of guests who gathered to hear her speak. “Of course everybody always wants to know what I’m doing,” she told the crowd. “Nobody wants to know that more than me.” She then announced that she’s going to “have a hotel right here in Nashville.”

The hotel, called The Songteller, will also feature a museum and will be located on 9th and Commerce. Parton shared that it will open in a few years. Additionally, she announced the Broadway musical Hello, I’m Dolly, which will open in 2026 and will focus on her life and career.

If that wasn’t enough, she announced a new wine brand, which begins with a chardonnay “reminiscent of a morning sun in the Smoky Mountains.” The wine will be available in stores in July. Other highlights include the Jennifer Aniston remake of 9 to 5, a Dolly Parton documentary, and a new album titled Dolly Parton & Family: Smoky Mountain DNA – Family, Faith & Fables. The doc and album will focus on both sides of her family, the Partons and the Owens.

Blake Shelton and Post Malone Make a Surprise Appearance

Post Malone showed up unexpectedly at Spotify House, hosted at Ole Red, and brought out Blake Shelton to perform their new duet “Pour Me a Drink.” They debuted the song at Shelton’s bar, then later played it again for fans at Nissan Stadium. They began on the satellite stage before wading through the crowd to the main stage, where they shared an embrace to celebrate the debut.

Gretchen Wilson Celebrates 20 Years of “Redneck Woman”

On Thursday, Ashley McBryde headlined Nissan Stadium, and she brought out the redneck woman herself, Gretchen Wilson, to celebrate 20 years of her iconic song. After McBryde played her solo set, which included her hit “Light On in the Kitchen,” Wilson and McBryde took turns on the verses to “Redneck Woman.” The crowd was electric, singing right along. Wilson also returned on Friday night to perform her own solo set on the main stage.

Friday, June 7

Incredible Duets at Nissan Stadium

Jon Pardi took the main stage at Nissan Stadium and put his old-school country influences on display, performing his hits backed by rowdy guitar and fiddle. He took it one step further when he brought out 80s and 90s hitmaker Clint Black to perform with him as well. Pardi shared that Black is “one of my heroes,” and the two sang “Killin’ Time.” The crowd was wild with excitement, singing along with unmatched enthusiasm for the classic hit.

Cody Johnson teamed up with Jelly Roll to bring his Texan flair to Nashville. He opened his set with “That’s Texas,” paid tribute to the Charlie Daniels Band with “Long-Haired Country Boy,” then brought out Jelly Roll for the song “Whiskey Bent.” With Jelly as one of the hottest artists in country music right now, the crowd was understandably beside themselves. The genuine friendship between Johnson and Jelly makes it all the more sweet.

Dasha Plays Her First Stadium Show

There were many debuts at CMA Fest this year, such as Shaboozey and Tucker Wetmore, who had fans crowding in the streets for a chance to see them perform. Additionally, Dasha made her stadium debut at CMA Fest, and even though she played only a two-song set, she had the crowd boot-scootin’ to her song “Austin.” She also got to debut at Spotify House alongside Keith Urban. Dasha posted about both milestones on her social media, where fans were supportive online as well as in person.

Kelsea Ballerini Gets Free Therapy from Nissan Stadium Crowd

Kelsea Ballerini performed a selection of songs from her hits to her recent album, Rolling Up th4e Welcome Mat. During her set, she bonded with the crowd as she sang break-up song after break-up song, doing some healing right there at Nissan Stadium. She announced that even though she’s had to deal with a lot of hard things recently, “I’ve never been so proud to just be exactly where I’m at.”

Singing back-to-back break-up anthems “Penthouse” and “Blindsided,” the audience screamed along to the healing, liberating, and often bittersweet lines. When she finished, Ballerini simply stated, “Well that was therapy.”

Saturday, June 8

More Duets at Nissan Stadium

Lainey Wilson invited Terri Clark onto the stage to sing a rendition of Clark’s “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me.” Clark had opened the night by recalling the first time she attended CMA Fest in 1987. “I can’t tell you how much it makes my heart burst seeing how much Fan Fair has grown over the years,” she said, using CMA Fest’s old name. Wilson later segued into her own hits such as “Heart Like A Truck” and “Watermelon Moonshine.”

Keith Urban later brought Lainey Wilson back out on stage for their song “GO HOME W U” during his set. He also performed his hits “Better Life” and new song “Messed Up As Me.” One unique feature of a Keith Urban set is that sometimes he wades into the crowd and plays among the fans. He did just that at Nissan Stadium, even borrowing one concertgoer’s hat.

The War and Treaty Share Their Love with Nashville

The War and Treaty performed in their signature soulful style, bringing their love to the people of Nashville. The husband and wife duo often center their songs around love, not just theirs but all love in general. This was their CMA Fest debut as well, and they played songs such as “Yesterday’s Burn” and “Steal a Kiss.” The War and Treaty shared their love of music and each other with the audience on Saturday, as Michael Trotter, Jr. announced to the crowd, “No matter where we are from, love will always lead us back home.”

Lainey Wilson Gives Advice to All the Dreamers

During her set, Lainey Wilson shared that she’s been coming to CMA Fest since she was 14, and to headline the festival now is a dream come true. She had some advice for all the dreamers out there, as she often does, saying, “You dream big, sister, and don’t let anybody tell you no. If they do, that oughta make you want it that much more.”

Sunday, June 9

HARDY Brings Out Revolving Door of Stars

HARDY took the stage on Sunday, and with him came a slew of country music stars. First he played a few new songs from his forthcoming album Quit!!!, then welcomed Big & Rich to the stage so play “Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy.” Calling it “the special guest portion of the show,” HARDY continued to bring out friends and contemporaries like Lauren Alaina, who sang with him on “One Beer.”

Carly Pearce joined the group to sing on “Wait in the Truck,” which is notably Lainey Wilson’s part. HARDY closed the show solo, thought, with his hit “Truck Bed.”

Tigirlily Gold Plays Their First CMA Fest

Sister duo Tigirlily Gold debuted at CMA Fest this year, performing at the Vibes Stage to an adoring crowd. They posted about the achievement on social media, sharing many of the other performances they did during the week. Writing in the caption of the post, they revealed that they attended their first CMA Fest 10 years ago, coming all the way from North Dakota to Nashville.

Bailey Zimmerman: CMA Fest is “the Place To Be”

Bailey Zimmerman also played his first CMA Fest, announcing, “In 2020, I was building gas pipelines and I had never sang before… From the day I moved into this town, all I saw was CMA Fest — that’s the place to be. To be there tonight means the world to me — it shows what hard work and believing in yourself can do for somebody.”

Zimmerman brought his infectious energy to the stage, where he showed that working with other country stars has shaped him into a more self-assured performer. He played his current hits “Religiously,” “Fixin’ to Break,” and “Rock and a Hard Place.”

Brothers Osborne Pay Homage During Their Set

The Brothers Osborne paid tribute to Tom Petty when they performed “I Won’t Back Down,” which will appear on the upcoming album Petty Country. They played their own hits, but later paid homage to Don Williams by performing a rendition of “Tulsa Time.” Their set was electric with John Osborne’s skillful guitar work and TJ’s powerful vocals, and the crowd lit up when they played their hit “Stay A Little Longer.”

Featured Image by Terry Wyatt/WireImage

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