(9 Jun 2018) :
COUNTRY STARS LOOK TO MAKE NEW FANS AT CMA FEST
One of the biggest weeks for country music fans is also an opportunity for artists to make new fans.
The Country Music Association Festival, which started Thursday and runs through this weekend, attracts tens of thousands of fans as well as the top talent in the genre.
Blake Shelton and Carrie Underwood headlined the second day of the festival at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee.
For artists like Jake Owen, it was a reminder of how broad the genre is.
"As you've heard millions of times country music has changed over the years," Owen said. "People have their own interpretations of what is and isn't country. But if you look around here, people don't care. All they care about is saying they're a country music fan and coming out and being a fan of songs that make them feel good and in and hit home in some way or another. And we're all a little piece of the equation."
For some of the artists, learning how to present their music in a football stadium can be a challenge.
"That's one thing that you have to figure out," said Jess Carson of the trio Midland. "Like we just played the honky tonks in our like area in Texas, Gruene Hall and Billy Bob's which is a big room. But it still is a sweaty honky tonk. And then you know you go play at the Superdome with George Strait and you're playing in a stadium. And you got to figure out how to translate that bar band show to a stadium. You know, so that's a very real thing. You know we just try to bring the best show that we can to any audience and still make it feel intimate if you're in a stadium."
For Old Dominion, they went from playing a short medley of their songs last year at the festival to getting one of the top billings.
"Yeah I feel like last, last year was the sense that we had to go kind of prove that we were supposed to be there," said Geoff Sprung, of the band Old Dominion. Matthew Ramsey said, "We proved it."
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