NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Thousands of music fans arrived in Nashville for the CMA Music Festival. Several events are kicking off the event on Wednesday.
Thousands attended the CMA Music Festival's Kick-Off Parade. The event began at 11 a.m. It came down Broadway starting at 10th Avenue, ending at Riverfront Park. The Oark Ridge Boys were the grand marshal's of the parade.
The CMA Block Party began at 1 p.m. at the Riverfront Stage, where several artists took the stage including Josh Thompson, Lee Brice, Eli Young Band, Uncle Kracker and Randy Houser.
The party that topped record attendance levels last year of 65,000. This year they are hoping for more of the same with folks coming into town from more than 40 countries!
400 country music artists will be in town this week, entertaining the crowds. We met a family from Tampa Florida that started off their Nashville experience at 5 a.m., with a trip to the Loveless Cafe.
"We are having a blast. We are meeting so many people, we've heard a bunch of music already, gotten a lot of free stuff which is always good, and we are told that this is just the beginning so we are looking forward to the rest of the couple of days," said Megan Chaple.
The CMT Music Awards begin at Bridgestone Arena at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The stars will begin arriving on the red carpet at 4:30 p.m.
Kid Rock will be hosting the show for a second time in a row. Jason Aldean is the top nominee at the 2011 CMT Music Awards with four nominations. The singer is up for CMT's top award, video of the year, along with male video of the year.
Six acts trail Aldean by one with three nominations apiece: Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, Zac Brown Band, Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert and The Band Perry. All are video of the year nominees.
Taylor Swift and Shania Twain will open the show by recreating "Thelma & Louise" and there will be performances by Aldean, Crow, Lady Antebellum, Zac Brown Band, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban and more.
For more information about the CMA Music Festival, click here.