‘CMA Fest’ On ABC: How To Watch, Who’s Performing, What Songs Are Being Performed & More

Get ready for an incredible night of music, camaraderie, and the undeniable spirit of Country music as CMA Fest takes center stage on ABC.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

July 10, 2023


11:27 am

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Luke Bryan performs onstage for night 4 of the 50th CMA Fest at Nissan Stadium; Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMA

The countdown to CMA Fest on ABC is on!

On Wednesday evening, July 19, fans across the nation will have the chance to relive the 50th Anniversary of CMA Fest during a three-hour special on ABC.

The music event of the summer will feature 30+ performances and surprise collaborations from some of Country music’s hottest stars, including Alabama, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Leon Bridges, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Jordan Davis, Vince Gill, HARDY, Tyler Hubbard, Jelly Roll, Cody Johnson, Elle King, Miranda Lambert, Avril Lavigne, Little Big Town, Ashley McBryde, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Jo Dee Messina, Old Dominion, Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce, Darius Rucker, Tanya Tucker, Keith Urban, and Lainey Wilson. 

Cody Johnson; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Cody Johnson; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

As the excitement for CMA Fest builds, the Country Music Association has revealed the list of songs that will be performed during the show.

To prepare for the upcoming special, Country Now has compiled a list of everything you need to know and how to watch the ABC special.

The CMA Fest ABC Special was filmed in Downtown Nashville at Nissan Stadium during the star-studded, four-day festival, which took place Thursday, June 8 through Sunday, June 11.

Dierks Bentley, Elle King, Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy CMA/ ABC
Dierks Bentley, Elle King, Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy CMA/ ABC

The four-day event hosted an estimated daily attendance of over 90,000, a 12% increase from 2022, according to the Country Music Association. Additionally, the nightly concerts at Nissan Stadium saw 10% growth from 2022.

The festival also hosted fans from all 50 states as well as a record-breaking 51 countries.

“What a weekend! As we’ve spent the past year reflecting on this milestone celebration, one theme has persisted—the incredible connection between Country Music fans and the artists,” Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer, previously shared in a statement. “It’s magical because it still matters after all these years. From first-timers to legends, so many artists started as fans—some as far back as Fan Fair. Almost every artist who performs during the festival has had their own experience as a fan, so for many of them, taking the stage at CMA Fest is a full-circle moment. We only get the chance to celebrate our 50th anniversary once, and to do so in such an impactful way has meant the world to us. Thank you, Country Music!”   

Carly Pearce performs onstage during night 1 of the 50th CMA Fest at Nissan Stadium; Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMA
Carly Pearce performs onstage during night 1 of the 50th CMA Fest at Nissan Stadium; Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMA

More than 300 acts took part in CMA Fest this year, including performances at the Chevy Riverfront Stage, Dr Pepper Amp Stage, Chevy Vibes Stage, Maui Jim Reverb Stage and the Hard Rock Stage as well at Fan Fair X inside Music City Center. 

The broadcast is a production of the Country Music Association. Robert Deaton is the Executive Producer and Writer, and Alan Carter is the Director. 2023 marks the 20th consecutive year CMA has produced a summer concert TV special.

How And When To Watch?

The CMA Fest Special will air on Wednesday, July 19 at 8/7c on ABC and will be available to watch on-demand on Thursday, July 20 via Hulu.

Jason Aldean; Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMA
Jason Aldean; Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for CMA

Who Will Host The Show?

Lainey Wilson, Dierks Bentley and Elle King are set to co-host the event.

“We’re about to have a dang good time…so excited to host #CMAFest with @dierksbentley and @elleking!” Wilson wrote on social media.

“Excited to be back hosting the 50th #CMAfest with @laineywilsonmusic and @elleking,” Bentley said.

“Can’t wait to be back hosting the 50th #CMAfest this year with @dierksbentley and @laineywilsonmusic 🔥,” King shared.

This marks Bentley and King’s second time hosting CMA Fest, and Wilson’s first.

“I could not be more excited to welcome Dierks, Elle and Lainey as our ‘CMA Fest’ hosts this year,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “As fans experienced last year, the energy Dierks and Elle bring to the stage is palpable and will only be amplified with the addition of Lainey this year. Each of these artists have a deep passion for CMA Fest and the Country Music fans from around the globe who travel to Nashville for the event. We are thrilled to have all three of them together to help us celebrate 50 years!”

What Songs Are Being Performed?

Alabama — “Mountain Music”
Jason Aldean — “Try That In A Small Town”
Dierks Bentley — “Gold”
Luke Bryan — “But I Got A Beer In My Hand”
Eric Church — “Smoke a Little Smoke”/ “Bad Mother Trucker”
Luke Combs — “Love You Anyway”
Dan + Shay — “Speechless”
Jordan Davis — “Buy Dirt”
Vince Gill and Luke Combs — “One More Last Chance”
HARDY featuring Lainey Wilson — “wait in the truck”
Tyler Hubbard — “Dancin’ In The Country”
Jelly Roll – “Need A Favor”
Cody Johnson — “’Til You Can’t”
Cody Johnson and Reba McEntire — “Whoever’s In New England”
Elle King featuring Miranda Lambert — “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)”
Miranda Lambert and Leon Bridges — “If You Were Mine”
Miranda Lambert and Avril Lavigne — “Kerosene/Sk8er Boi”
Little Big Town — “Wine, Beer, Whiskey”
Ashley McBryde — “Light On In The Kitchen”
Tim McGraw — “Standing Room Only”
Jo Dee Messina and Carly Pearce — “I’m Alright”
Old Dominion — “Memory Lane”
Jon Pardi — “Your Heart Or Mine”
Carly Pearce — “What He Didn’t Do”
Darius Rucker — “Fires Don’t Start Themselves”
Tanya Tucker with Elle King and Lainey Wilson — “Texas (When I Die)”
Keith Urban — “Wild Hearts”
Lainey Wilson — “Watermelon Moonshine” 

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.