Festival - CMA Fest 2024 4

The Biggest Takeaways from CMA Fest 2024 – Day 4

June 13, 2024 10:43 pm GMT

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CMA Fest 2024 saved the best for fast as the four-day country music mecca wrapped up in Nashville on Sunday night (June 9).

With a handful of show-stopping collaborations and plenty of sizzling performances all across the city, the genre's finest pulled out all the stops to send off the packed out audiences with memories from another phenomenal year.

While we await the 2025 edition of the festival – which has been slated for June 5 through 8 – here are some of the top moments from CMA Fest 2024's final day.

In case you weren't able to make it to Music City – or want to relive the magic like us – Jelly Roll and Ashley McBryde will host the CMA Fest TV Special, airing on Tuesday, June 25 at 8/7c on ABC, and streaming on Hulu the next day.

<p>Artist - Lainey Wilson & Keith Urban @ CMA Fest 2024 1</p>

Lainey Wilson Steals the Show at the Close-Up Stage

Much like Dolly did to kick off Day 1 of CMA Fest, reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year, Lainey Wilson, stole the show at the CMA Close-Up Stage on Sunday morning during her one-on-one chat with fellow award-winning entertainer, Keith Urban.

Chronicling her journey from Baskin, Louisiana, to Hannah Montana impersonator, to country music superstar, Wilson shared many of her secrets to songwriting and much insider information about her forthcoming album, Whirlwind, with the packed audience.

Though this line wasn't wrapped around the building like Dolly – that would come shortly after as she participated in a nine-hour meet and greet at her newly-opened Bell Bottoms Up bar down the street – the conversation was equally as thrilling as Wilson confirmed some Whirlwind teasers, talked about her time on the hit TV show Yellowstone and shared the very first song she ever wrote called 'Lucky Me.'

In 45 minutes, the 'Heart Like A Truck' hitmaker once again exuded star power and grace as she reminisced on the road that led her to being country's leading lady.

- Lydia Farthing

<p>Artist - Megan Moroney @ CMA Fest 2024 1</p>

Megan Moroney Is On Her Way To Being A Household Name

Megan Moroney has been on an utter rocket ship over the last two years.

From her first CMA Fest performance on the rooftop of Spotify House to last year's appearance on the coveted Nissan Stadium Platform Stage, the red hot hitmaker found her way onto the Stadium's main stage for 2024 and did not disappoint.

Running through a number of her biggest songs to date, including her current radio single 'I'm Not Pretty,' No. 1 tune 'Tennessee Orange,' neon-tinged 'Lucky' and more, Moroney commanded the stage and all of the stadium's 90,000 fans during her 20-something minute set, only leaving us all wanting more.

The Georgia native has undoubtedly come a long way in the last few years, but after hearing some of the songs expected on her upcoming project, like the sassy clapback 'Man On The Moon' and vulnerable 'No Caller ID', there's no debate that she's going to be a steady inclusion on the Nissan Stadium bill for years to come.

Best Song: 'I'm Not Pretty'

- LF

<p>Artist - Redferrin @ CMA Fest 2024 1</p>

Redferrin Serves Up a Fresh Twist on an ‘Old Fashioned’

The former protege of Florida Georgia Line's Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley, Tennessee crooner Redferrin has carved out a unique path for himself that zeroes in on the sound of FGL's final album, Life Rolls On – a project Redferrin contributed to extensively.

Combining trap-infused 808s with an unmistakable drawl, Redferrin showcased his genre-blurring sound throughout his early afternoon Good Molecules Stage set.

Rather than hiding behind a deafening beat or backing track, Redferrin put his enchanting vocals on full display, reminding those in attendance that the country riser shouldn't be overlooked as one to watch over the next year or so.

Best Song: 'Stuck’

- Maxim Mower

<p>Artist - Wyatt Flores @ CMA Fest 2024 1</p>

Wyatt Flores is the Talent of a Generation

Marking his sixth – yes, sixth – of seven shows during CMA Fest, Wyatt Flores didn't hold anything back as he took on the coveted Riverfront stage on Sunday afternoon.

To say he's one of the acts leading this next generation of country music is an understatement, and one only reinforced by the sizable audience that showed up and hung on to every word out of the Oklahoma native's mouth. A born entertainer and mesmerizing showman, you'd almost think it was an effortless set, drowning in hits and fan-favorites like 'Life Lessons,' 'Milwaukee,' 'Losing Sleep' and the rowdy 'West of Tulsa.'

The crowd, who had so much energy that you'd almost forget it was the fourth day of the country music celebration, screamed along to the standout tune, 'Please Don't Go,' and nearly lost all of their remaining sanity when 49 Winchester's Isaac Gibson emerged from side stage to lend his vocals on '3/13.'

In one of the last moments of the daytime CMA Fest stages, it's obvious that festival organizers were saving some of the best acts for last, and boy were they right in keeping us biting at the bit for a show-stopping set from the Tulsa titan himself.

Best Song: ‘West of Tulsa'

- LF

<p>Artist - Zach Top @ CMA Fest 2024 1</p>

Zach Top is Spearheading the Classic Country Revolution

In the space of around six months, Zach Top has quickly overtaken his peers to become the leading figure in country music's neo-traditional revival.

As he demonstrates throughout his Chevy Vibes set at CMA Fest, Zach Top is not offering any frills or gimmicks, nor is he pretending to be delivering a brand new sound. Top's appeal lies in the outstanding, enrapturing way in which he can transport listeners to the classic ‘80s ambience of George Strait, Alan Jackson and Keith Whitley.

With his honeyed vocals and the irresistible playfulness he incorporates into his set – as is epitomised by ‘Bad Luck’ and ‘Cold Beer & Country Music’ – Top has a remarkable stage presence for someone who only recent gained popularity with his viral hit, ’Sounds Like the Radio’. The Texan's most affecting track, though, is one of his most stripped-back – the heartwarming, poetic ballad, ‘There's the Sun’.

Best Song: ‘There's the Sun’

- MM

<p>Artist - Bailey Zimmerman @ CMA Fest 2024 1</p>

Bailey Zimmerman Proves Future Headliner Status at the Nissan Stadium

Regardless of whether you're his biggest fan or a Bailey Zimmerman sceptic, one thing you can never deny is the electric energy the Illinois prodigy brings to every single performance.

He seemed to be flying with an additional sense of vigour as he surged onto the Nissan Stadium stage, before rattling through chart-toppers such as ‘Religiously’ and ‘Rock and a Hard Place’. Although not yet a No. 1, Bailey's rendition of his current radio single, ‘Where It Ends’, perfectly captured the brooding, stormy atmosphere he builds throughout his debut album, Religiously.

With this set, Zimmerman confirmed what many have long suspected – this time next year, the ‘Fix'n to Break’ singer-songwriter will have surely reached headliner status.

Best Song: ‘Where It Ends’

- MM

<p>Artist - Tigirlily Gold @ CMA Fest 2024 1</p>

Tigirlily Gold Prove Their Star Power

Our favorite sister duo – and the newly-crowned winners of the ACM New Group/Duo of the Year – absolutely smashed the Chevy Vibes stage on Sunday afternoon.

Graduating from last year's Reverb stage, the bigger space seemed to mirror the massive growth they've seen in the last twelve months, thanks in part to their breakout single 'Shoot Tequila,' which still rages no matter how many times we hear it.

This year donning a new string of soon-to-be-hits from their upcoming album, Blonde, the pair kept the party rolling throughout the whole set with tunes like 'Blonde,' 'Leroy' and more as the dreaded Sunday drizzle started to set in. With moments of heartfelt tenderness that showed off their powerhouse vocals, the North Dakota sisters also gave moving performances of their newest single, 'I Tried A Ring On,' and a scrumptious rendition of their signature, countrified version of Leona Lewis' 'Bleeding Love.'

As their name suggests, their road into the country music history books is all but paved in gold, and yet another splendid CMA Fest performance only bolstered that.

Best Song: 'Bleeding Love'

- LF

<p>Artist - HARDY & Big & Rich @ CMA Fest 2024 1</p>

HARDY Closes Out Day Three with Surprise Appearance From Big & Rich

HARDY Closes Out Day Three with Surprise Appearance From Big & Rich

The further he's ventured into the realm of rock, the more charged and fiery HARDY's set has become – as he emphasised with his blockbuster CMA Fest headlining performance.

After delivering histrionics with solo renditions of ’ROCKSTAR’, ‘JACK’ and ‘PSYCHO’, HARDY dialled it back for a moving performance of ‘SIX FEET UNDER (Cayleigh's Song)’, a reflection on his marriage and his near-death experience in 2023.

Then, it was time for the special guests, starting with a surprise link-up with Big & Rich, who led a light-hearted, stadium-wide sing-a-long of their classic hit, ’Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)’. Lauren Alaina joined HARDY to perform their slow-burning, full-circle ballad, ‘ONE BEER’, after which Carly Pearce emerged for the intense, ominous ‘wait in the truck’.

From start to finish, it was a spectacle, cementing HARDY's position as a pioneer in today's burgeoning country-rock intersection.

Best Song: ‘One Beer’

- MM

<p>Artist - Lauren Watkins @ CMA Fest 2024 1</p>

Lauren Watkins Earns Her CMA Fest Redemption

If you remember, at CMA Fest 2023, a young Lauren Watkins took to the festival stage for the very first time... only to have the milestone cut short due to the onset of inclimate weather setting up camp over Music City.

This year, the Nashville native was able to stave off the rain and earn her official CMA Fest redemption with a phenomenal set at the Dr. Pepper Amp Stage.

With a shiny new debut album waiting in the wings, Watkins didn't share too many teasers of what's to come, but instead stuck to tried and true hits like 'Fine County Line,' 'Anybody But You,' 'Stuck In My Ways' and her breakthrough tune, 'Shirley Temple.'

In true Watkins fashion, her gravelly, 70s-toned voice intoxicated attendees far and wide as she offered up another round of her neo-traditional flair that's landed her a supporting spot on Morgan Wallen's sprawling One Night At A Time World Tour.

Best Song: 'Stuck in My Ways'

- LF

<p>Artist - Brothers Osborne @ CMA Fest 2024 1</p>

Brothers Osborne

If there's anything to say about Brothers Osborne, it's that they sure no how to have a jam session.

With a 20-something minute set carved out of the Nissan Stadium lineup on Sunday, it felt like every song was nothing short of a five-minute display of showmanship and guitar solos... and we're not complaining.

From their newest tune, 'Break Mine,' to proven career-defining hits like ;Stay A Little Longer' and an utterly rowdy version of 'Ain't My Fault' – which at some point morphed into a cover of Don Williams' 'Tulsa Time' – the pair of brothers pumped a steady dose of heady, high-octane energy into the packed stadium, marking the perfect act to take the stage on the final day of the four-day country music extravaganza.

Best Song: 'Stay A Little Longer'

- LF

For more on CMA Fest 2024, see below:

Written by Lydia Farthing
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