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HomeEventsMusic & EntertainmentWannado CMA? A Local Guide To CMA Awards Week

Wannado CMA? A Local Guide To CMA Awards Week


And the CMA Award goes to…

Any other year, probably Taylor Swift, but after that admittedly awesome twerkfest in the pop-licious video for “Shake It Off”, we think she’ll be gunning for the pop awards this year. The Country Music Awards are always an exciting time for our city; the air is crisp, the leaves are falling, and you’re probably going to spot Brad Paisley drinking a latte at your local coffee shop (though for a lot of Nashvillians, that’s a typical Monday activity). Country fans pour into the city and bring tons of enthusiasm with them, injecting the community with an infectious energy. For visitors and locals alike, we thought we’d break down CMA week for you, Wannado style:

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The Shows:

Award Ceremonies, Free Shows From Superstars, Kimmel Hologram, & An Early Christmas Gift


CMA Awards: So yeah, some people get their tickets for this thing waaay in advance, and the tickets are pretty pricey. For good reason! Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley are the tried-and-true returning hosts of the country celebration this year, and you know they are going to make some Miley Cyrus jokes (all in good fun, of course). Who will you see play? The question is actually who will NOT be performing. The gang’s all here: Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Hunter Hayes, Kenny Chesney. Doobie Brothers, Jennifer Nettles, Thomas Rhett, Cole Swindell, Ashley Monroe, Michael McDonald, Ariana Grande, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, The Band Perry, Meghan Trainor, Tim McGraw, George Strait, Florida Georgia Line, Luke Bryan, Dierks Bentley…the list goes on. Tickets may be hard to score at this point, but we’d suggest Craigslist for those last minute no-shows and the performing artist’s fan clubs – Blake Shelton likes to tap his fanbase to get in free and be a part of the performance!

FREE showKeith Urban and Miranda Lambert play a FREE show when Robin Roberts & Tim Tebow bring the GMA crew to Music City. The show will take place in the plaza right outside Bridgestone Arena Wednesday morning, so get there early for a good spot! You might want to take a Lyft/Uber to save yourself the headache of parking.

(ICYMI, Hunter Hayes performed an awesome free show Monday night in the plaza in partnership with USO. Good times were had. Miss out? We’ll keep you in the loop with Wannado!)

Jimmy Kimmel CMA SpecialRemember when Tupac’s hologram appeared at Coachella and freaked everyone out so much they nearly lost their flower crowns? Well, one half of the late night Jimmy’s (Kimmel, not Fallon) is taking that technology on the road and sending himself (virtually) down South. Kimmel will be broadcasting his LA show to the Country Music Hall Of Fame for a live audience following the CMA Awards Wednesday night. We’ll get to see a surprise celebrity guest & Kimmel via hologram, and Kimmel’s Los Angeles studio audience will see an interview from one of the night’s big winners & performances from country music’s biggest names – Florida Georgia Line, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, and Brad Paisley (who Kimmel met at a party with William Shatner – you can’t make this stuff up). Make your bid for some audience tickets here and cross those fingers – this is gonna be really cool!

CMA Country ChristmasOne of Nashville’s most festive holiday traditions, this event always makes Christmas come early for country fans. Tons of performers hit the stage, and the whole event is hosted by Jennifer Nettles (this is her fifth year). We’ll be enjoying performances from Alan Jackson, Dan + Shay, Brett Eldredge, Sara Evans, Lucy Hale, Hunter Hayes, Little Big Town, Idina Menzel, LeAnn Rimes, Michael W. Smith, Carrie Underwood, and more. Deck the halls, y’all.

Where To Eat/Drink:

Get Your Fill In A Central Location

Image courtesy of forkthenspoon
Image courtesy of forkthenspoon


The Southern – Live jazz, shrimp & grits, a killer bloody mary, & a cool sinkless bathroom (you’ll get it when you see it).

417 Union – Cheap brunch, banana pancakes, and historic charm: the place is covered with Civil War memorabilia!

Puckett’s – Some of the best southern cookin’ around. Expect so hear some expert fiddlin’ as you go to town on some fried chicken dishes. Delish!


Acme Feed & Seed – Rooftop views, delicious menu, and a super hip vibe. This place is new to the area and getting rave reviews!

Husk – A restored Victorian home with some awesome options for your vegetarian friends. Definition of farm-to-table!

Pub 5 – A hip East Nashville-esque spot with delicious gravy fries, a rooftop view, and drinks to boot. Right across from Bridgestone Arena!


Pinewood Social – This goes for coffee & expertly crafted cocktails. This hotspot boasts celebrity patrons, a vintage bowling alley, and a hipster-approved menu. A stone’s throw from downtown!

Paradise Park – If you want to get rowdy in a kitschy (in a good way) environment, hit up this downtown spot.

Robert’s Western World – The locally-loved honky tonk on the downtown strip. Cheap beer, good times!

What To Do:

Museums, Sunsets On A Bridge, & Street Art


You’re bound to have some downtime when you’re not eating/marveling at the shininess/impossible lengthiness of Carrie Underwood’s legs. Lucky for you, there is no shortage of things to do and see! Here are just a few:

Grab coffee & take in a sunset on the Pedestrian Bridge. Go see our pals at Crema and get that Cuban – it’s about to get beautifully cozy. This activity is best for sunset when you are wrapped in a sweater (and maybe someone’s arms – play on, playa). Grab some coffee from Crema and walk the Pedestrian Bridge armed with your camera at sunset – it will take your breath away.

Visit a museum. Nashville is rich with music history, so take advantage of it! A trip to The Johnny Cash Museum, Country Music Hall Of Fame, and The Ryman is a trip well spent.

Get your tag on. Got some little ones along for the country weekend? Get that energy out with a game of laser tag at LaserQuest. A two floor blacklight arena that lets you choose your own player name (we suggest Beyonce, because has she ever lost anything in her life?)!

Pose with some street art. There’s the Johnny Cash wall, the mural at Legends – our city has some fabulous street art destinations. Read more about them here!


There you have it, y’all. Whether your a visiting fan or a local country music enthusiast, we hope this covers your weekend and makes CMA Awards 2014 weekend one to remember. If you want to browse all the Nashville happenings from live music to happy hours to neighborhood guides, Wannado has got you covered!

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