JUST IN: Lainey Wilson, Dierks Bentley, And Elle King Tapped To Co-Host ‘CMA Fest’

The music event of the summer will air on Wednesday, July 19 at 8/7c on ABC. 


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

June 5, 2023


8:56 am

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Lainey Wilson, Dierks Bentley and Elle King.; Photo by ABC/Robby Klein

Lainey Wilson, Dierks Bentley, and Elle King are set to host CMA Fest on ABC.

The Country Music Association announced the news early Monday morning (June 5), revealing plans to air the much-anticipated primetime concert special on Wednesday, July 19 at 8/7c on ABC.  

CMA Fest, the music event of the summer, is filmed in Nashville during the star-studded, four-day event, set to take place Thursday through Sunday, June 8-11. 

The three-hour television special features performances and surprise collaborations taking place on stage during the nightly concerts at Nissan Stadium.

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

“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. 

In addition to their co-hosting duties, Wilson and Bentley will perform at Nissan Stadium. Wilson is set to appear on Friday evening (June 9), while Bentley is confirmed to take the stage on Sunday evening (June 11).  

“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!”   

While the official lineup for the broadcast has yet to be revealed, the nighttime shows at Nissan Stadium will feature performances from previously announced artists Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Luke Combs, Dan + Shay, Jordan Davis, HARDY, Tyler Hubbard, Cody Johnson, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Ashley McBryde, Tim McGraw, Old Dominion, Jon Pardi, Carly Pearce, Keith Urban, Lainey Wilson and more.

CMA Fest 2023
CMA Fest 2023

Ashley Cooke, Dalton Dover, Megan Moroney, Ian Munsick, RVSHVD, Nate Smith, Alana Springsteen, and Hailey Whitters will also perform on the Nissan Stadium Platform stage. 

In addition to the Nissan Stadium stages, CMA Fest also features hundreds of performances from artist throughout downtown Nashville. The artists donate their time and a portion of ticket sales will directly benefit high-quality music education initiatives across the United States through the CMA Foundation.

The Chevy Riverfront stage will include performances from Lauren Alaina, Cooper Alan, Ingrid Andress, Tenille Arts, Chayce Beckham, Priscilla Block, Danielle Bradbery, Tyler Braden, BRELAND, Ashley Cooke, Jackson Dean, Travis Denning, Madeline Edwards, Morgan Evans, Caylee Hammack, Corey Kent, Jon Langston, Maddie & Tae, Kameron Marlowe, Chase Matthew, Drake Milligan, Niko Moon, Kylie Morgan, Megan Moroney, Ian Munsick, Parmalee, MacKenzie Porter, Restless Road, Jameson Rodgers, Lily Rose, Runaway June, Dylan Scott, Elvie Shane, Conner Smith, Nate Smith, Matt Stell, Hailey Whitters, Lainey Wilson and Warren Zeiders.

See a full list of CMA Fest performers HERE.

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.  

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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.