NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Country music fans have endured severe weather with gates being delayed, but they have stuck it out for four memorable days of CMA Music Festival.
Luke Bryan closed out the final night of the festival at Nissan Stadium, which included a surprise performance by Trisha Yearwood.
Jimmie Allen Kicked the last night off with the National Anthem.
Allen who was once homeless says it’s an honor to play for a packed stadium.
“Rather it’s 50 people or 30,000 I give the same energy every single time,” he said backstage.
Allen, like Billy Ray Cyrus, had a dream they weren’t giving up on.
“28 years ago I stood across this river, l was living inside my car inside a Chevy Beretta and it was based on 10 years of driving back and forth from Huntington West Virginia to this town and bringing in a new song and a new set of dreams,” Cyrus explained.
Dreams of being on the stage.
“It’s good to be back up here on the main stage,” said Chris Janson who played his first full set on the stadium stage for the festival.
This stage, however, isn’t about the money as they play for free.
“It’s the ultimate thank you to the fans,” said Trisha Yearwood.
A portion of the proceeds from CMA music fest support music education.
Many of the artists credit their teachers for getting them where they are today.
“The first time I ever played a song that I had written on stage it was because of her, so that’s really the heart of what this is all about. So to be able to be a part of that and knowing there are kids in the classroom right now that are having those teachers that are able to have the funds and the resources to give those kids those opportunities that matters to me. I was that kid, so that’s cool,” said Kelsea Ballerini.
If you missed this year’s CMA music fest, Kelsea and Thomas Rhett are hosting this year’s TV special that will air on ABC in August.