Watch the Acoustic Performance That Eric Church Says Got Him “Kind of Invited to Not Come Back” to CMA Fest

CMA Fest officially kicks off today (June 6). Fans from across the country will flock to Nashville to see their favorite country artists take one of the many stages in town. For many, the four-day event will be something they remember forever because anything can happen. For instance, a few years ago, Eric Church took the stage at Nissan Stadium to perform a 30-minute medley of his songs. It’s a performance that fans are still talking about today.

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During CMA Fest 2019, Church was riding the high from setting an attendance record at Nissan Stadium. He didn’t want to come out and give the festival crowd the same show he gave that massive audience. Instead, he wanted to do something special. Unfortunately, that “something special” led to him essentially being barred from performing at CMA Fest for a time.

[RELATED: Eric Church’s Gospel-Inspired Set at Stagecoach Had Fans Going To See Nickelback Instead]

The acoustic medley he performed went on for 30 minutes and contained some of his biggest hits. Here’s a list of the songs he performed snippets of during his set.

  1. “Mistress Named Music”
  2. “Put a Drink In My Hand”
  3. “Mr. Misunderstood”
  4. “Talladega”
  5. “Desperate Man”
  6. “Some Of It”
  7. “Smoke a Little Smoke”
  8. “Pledge Allegiance to the Hag”
  9. “Round Here Buzz”
  10. “Cold One”
  11. “Like a Wrecking Ball”
  12. “Homeboy”
  13. “Record Year”
  14. “Give Me Back My Hometown”
  15. “Sinners Like Me”
  16. “Creepin”
  17. “Springsteen”

Eric Church Recalls His Memorable CMA Fest Performance

Last year, Eric Church spoke to Esquire about his life and career. During the conversation, they discussed his controversial 2023 CMA Fest performance which left many fans disappointed. That led him to reflect on his 2019 solo acoustic outing.

“Maybe we’re just not made for stuff like that,” Church said in reference to CMA Fest. “The last time I played the damn thing, I went out acoustic and played an entire medley that they never could air because I didn’t have any breaks in it,” he said. “Basically, they told me not to come back again. Ever. I was like, ‘I tried to give you something special,’ and people still talk about that thing,” he added. “I was kind of invited to not come back—and they had me back this time, and I guess I blew it again.”

Church’s medley performance aired during the CMA Summer Stay-Cay Special, a multi-day livestream event in the summer of 2020. He will not perform at CMA Fest this year.

Featured Image by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

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