We survived!  June signals massive music fests in Nashville and surrounding environs. Last week brought a record number of music lovers to the 47th CMA Fest in Nashville and Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee.  Like over 100,000. Pretty crazy stuff.

For those of you who don’t know, CMA Fest  is a country music lover’s paradise – nightly stadium shows, 11 free outdoor stages and close to 400 artists. And thousands of fan-centric events. People travel from all 50 states and many countries to attend. One giant party.

HGTV even builds a giant barn downtown to do live feeds. Yeah you heard me.  We used to say the ‘polyester tornado’ had blown in for Fan Fair. But Hee Haw cornfields and the funnel cakes are long gone.

And in case you hadn’t noticed, country has grown up. Maren Morris (“Meet Me in the Middle”) and Florida Georgia Line (“If it’s Meant to Be”)have been at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for quite some time – the lines are getting blurred and that’s a good thing.

Peace Love & Bonnaroo

Bonnaroonies returned to hit up Manchester for fun and frolicking on the farm. At it’s height, the festival attracted around 90,000 attendees but has been re-tooling it’s identity and brand.  Like most festivals, the B tries to serve up a complex menu of musical genres and include up and coming acts. Peeps of all ages attend.

What vibe suits you best? Today a plethora of festivals exist to choose from. And let’s be honest, they’re not cheap to attend. So which ones to go to?  So many choices, but a dollar doesn’t go as far as it used to.  Getting there, staying there, eating there, it all adds up and last time I checked wages are’nt.  Woodstock lives on in music lore, but you’ve got to remember when it took place. People are much more picky today and their attention spans are a lot shorter.

It’s tricky to concoct the right mix of talent and amenities for a price point consumers will readily digest. While the appeal of camping on a farm and the perpetual hang are still attractive to many, the lineup is still king. It will be interesting to see the further evolution of Bonnaroo and other festivals like Coachella as festival goers evolve. With streaming taking over, all kinds of new music is being discovered.

Find and support the music you love…even better why not make some?