High voltage superstar performances are a hallmark of “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” so it makes sense that one of the most electrifying entertainers in the format – Tim McGraw – would be tapped to host when the special airs Wednesday, Sept. 1 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC Television Network.
“The summer’s hottest concert special, just got hotter with the addition of Tim McGraw as host,” said Steve Moore, Chairman of the CMA Board of Directors. “He is a dynamic performer with an undeniable chemistry and relationship with the fans.”
Filming Thursday through Sunday, June 10-13, during the annual CMA Music Festival, the special features today’s most exciting Country Music stars during a four-day party and music celebration in Nashville.
Some of the artists already announced to appear at LP Field during CMA Music Festival include Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, Billy Currington, Alan Jackson, Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler, Rascal Flatts, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Carrie Underwood, Zac Brown Band, and more.
Taylor Swift will host a free 13-hour fan meet and greet event during the Festival at the Bridgestone Arena, which includes a short acoustic performance.
This will be McGraw’s first appearance at the event since 2001, when he was a surprise guest during Kenny Chesney‘s performance as part of the Nightly Concerts at LP Field and the event was still known as Fan Fair. His last announced appearance was in 2000, the last year Fan Fair was held at the Nashville Fairgrounds. He has participated in the event eight times since his Fan Fair debut in 1993. McGraw has won 11 CMA Awards, including Entertainer of the Year in 2001; Male Vocalist in 1999 and 2000; Album of the Year in 1998 (A Place in the Sun) and 1999 (Everywhere); and Musical Event of the Year in 2007 on “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” with Tracy Lawrence and Chesney.
“We are thrilled to welcome Tim back to CMA Music Festival in 2010 and in his role as host of the biggest concert event of the summer,” said Moore.
The annual event is unlike any other: four days, 30 hours of autograph signings, 100 hours of live music, hundreds of artists and celebrities, and a party list of thousands of avid, singing and dancing-till-dawn fans. This is the sixth time ABC will broadcast this special – which invites the whole country to America’s biggest Country Music bash.
Originally started as Fan Fair® in 1972, the legendary event has featured performances by every major star in the format. What started with 5,000 fans has grown to a daily attendance of more than 56,000 representing every state and more than two dozen foreign countries.
The primetime television special, “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock,” debuted in 2004 as a two-hour special highlighting the Festival and Music City. In 2005, the special moved to the ABC Television Network.
In 2009, the special expanded to three hours boosting ABC ahead of CBS, NBC and FOX with the network’s second biggest audience during the summer season. With 7.4 million viewers and a 4.7/8 overall rating, it outperformed its broadcast rivals in total viewers topping CBS by 6 percent, NBC by 32 percent and FOX by 85 percent.
The special had a 43 percent increase in viewers compared to 2008, generating the biggest audience in four years and tallied its highest Adult 18-49 rating (2.0/6) in three years. The special ranked No. 12 for the week among total viewers and No. 11 for the week for Adults 18-49.
“CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” is executive-produced by Robert Deaton and directed by Gary Halvorson. The 2010 CMA Music Festival is organized and produced by the Country Music Association. “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” will be shot in high definition and broadcast in 720 Progressive (720P), ABC’s selected HDTV format, with 5.1 channel surround sound.