Country music fair strums into town in June

NASHVILLE -- The Nashville Fan Fair will be held at various venues here June 13 to 16. Billed as the largest country music festival, it's a four-day weekend with nightly concerts showcasing over 200 acts.

The fair is organized and produced by the Country Music Association (CMA) and has been an annual event since 1972. Last year the festival was attended by a record 124,000 fans, according to CMA.

The Fan Fair originally was created to reduce congestion at the annual Country Music DJ convention held in Nashville in October. That event attracted so many fans who came to see the performers, it hampered the operation of the convention.

The CMA and the Grand Ole Opry joined forces to create an event expressly for the fans. More than 30 hours of concerts are planned, as well as 30 hours of autograph-signing sessions.

Featured artists include George Jones, Alan Jackson, Billy Ray Cyrus, Trick Pony SHeDAISY, Martina McBride, Vince Gill, Diamond Rio and BlackHawk.

The top-billed evening shows will be held in the Adelphia Coliseum -- home of the National Football League's Tennesee Titans -- while the Nashville Convention Center will host several exhibits as well. Daytime shows will be presented on concert stages at Riverfront Park on the west bank of the Cumberland River.

In addition, Nashville nightclubs are getting in on the act with Fan Fair After Hours performances at local clubs affiliated with the fair.

Shuttle service from outlying areas of Nashville to Fan Fair events in the downtown area will be provided; several park-and-ride locations also will be set up.

Group ticket sales are handled by Gaylord Entertainment at (866) FAN FAIR. On the Web, up-to-date information is available at www.fanfair.com.

For details on Nashville and the surrounding area, contact the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau by phone at (800) 657-6910 or (615) 743-3000, or click on www.nashvillecvb.com.

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