Nashville’s country music festival, CMA Fest, is canceled once again this year. The Country Music Association announced the pandemic poses too many obstacles to host the event, which usually brings more than 80,000 people to the city each day.
“While we are encouraged to see COVID-19 vaccines becoming more widely available, we still face several challenges that prevent us from bringing our fans around the world the CMA Fest experience they have come to expect,” a CMA Fest statement reads.
The announcement is the latest in a string of cancellations or delays for music festivals across Tennessee, including Memphis’ Beale Street Music Festival which won’t be held in 2021, and Manchester’s Bonnaroo which was pushed from the summer into the fall.
CMA’s CEO Sarah Trahern told CMA members in a written letter that the festival is just too large to consider rescheduling for a later date. Events take place across downtown — at Nissan Stadium, Ascend Ampitheater and Music City Center. She adds that capacity restrictions on venues and travel restrictions created extra difficulties.
“In addition to welcoming visitors from all 50 states, 10 percent of 2019 CMA Fest attendees traveled to Nashville from more than 37 foreign countries,” Trahern wrote. “With domestic and international travel still significantly impacted, we did not want to disappoint our many participants around the globe.”
CMA Fest is already planning its comeback for 2022. Those who chose to roll over four-day passes from 2020 will have those honored for 2022. Others will receive an email with information on refunds.
CMA Fest is one of the state’s largest music festivals, and in 2019 it was estimated it had nearly a $65 million impact.