NASHVILLE -- High-voltage stage performances by chart-topping superstars, along with revealing special segments about fan favorites, will mark the return of ABC's hottest music event this summer when "CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock" airs Monday, Aug. 31 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network. The annual music bash, expanding to three hours for the first time, will air in HD with 5.1-channel surround sound.
Scheduled to perform are Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Julianne Hough, Jamey Johnson, Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Jake Owen, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, John Rich, Darius Rucker, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, and Zac Brown Band. In addition, Kid Rock performs his smash hit "Picture" with McBride, whileWynonna and Naomi Judd reunite as The Judds to perform together for the first time at the CMA Music Festival in six years.
The special will show highlights from the CMA Music Festival held June 11-14 in Nashville. On- and off-stage segments and day-in-the-life vignettes showcasing the personalities and lifestyles of fan favorites will be presented:
Aldean declares it "Ladies Night at the CMA Music Festival" during a nightclub concert. He treats everyone to a performance of his hit, "She's Country" that segues to his performance at LP field.
Viewers encounter Paisley during a quiet moment alone on his tour bus speaking about his fans then encountering hundreds of them as they greet him outside his bus. His personal recollections then segue to Paisley and his band electrifying a standing-room-only crowd at Fuel club with his hit song, "Then" to LP Field where he sings "American Saturday Night."
Pickler's off-stage persona is captured as she spends the day with fans, charming them with her quick wit and sweet disposition. Pickler's admirers join her for some shopping at famous Nashville stores such as Ernest Tubb's Record Shop, where she autographs and gives some lucky fans her own CD's and stops by Mike's Soda Shop to taste "Kellie Pickler" ice cream. Later that night Pickler performs "Best Days of Your Life" at Fuel.
The special takes a candid look at the hectic and fun day-in-the-life of Hough from getting ready at home to the convention center to a slew of press interviews such as "Good Morning America" with "All My Children's" Cameron Mathison. She then heads to sound check and wardrobe changes all the while meeting fans all along the way.
Throughout the special, Pickler introduces interviews with some of the Festival's biggest performers in this multi-star segment. Brooks & Dunn, Chesney, McBride, McEntire, Rucker, and Sugarland offer celebrity insight and share their personal stories from the road, home and tours with viewers. Then Swift answers submitted questions from her six biggest fans and later she surprises them in a meet and greet.
The annual CMA Music Festival is unlike any other, with four days filled with more than one hundred hours of live music, 30 hours of autograph signings by Country Music's biggest names and up and comers, hundreds of artists and celebrities, and a party list of thousands of avid fans. This is the fifth time ABC will broadcast this special - which invites the whole country to America's biggest Country Music bash - since the original Fan Fair® was launched in 1972. This year an average of 56,000 fans attended each day of CMA Music Festival, its biggest turnout yet.