It’s no secret that Country music fans are among the most loyal in the popular music industry, and this fact was clearly illustrated once...

It’s no secret that Country music fans are among the most loyal in the popular music industry, and this fact was clearly illustrated once again at this year’s Country Music Association (CMA) Music Festival.

This year’s four-day CMA Music Festival, held June 5-8 in downtown Nashville, TN, hit an all-time high attendance record with a 9.4 percent increase over the 2007 event. The average daily attendance in 2008 was 52,000 compared to the average daily attendance of nearly 48,000 in 2007.

Tickets for CMA Music Festival 2009, which will be held June 11-14, went on sale on June 7, and Gold Circle four-day ticket packages sold out in a record 15 minutes. By June 8, advance sales bested sales during the same period in 2007, by 4.2 percent and 29 percent ahead of 2007 sales.

“Even with gasoline prices around $4 a gallon and weak economic conditions around the country, we saw an increase in our attendance on every level from local and regional participation to those fans that traveled from around the world,” said CMA Chief Executive Officer Tammy Genovese in a statement. “I believe that speaks to the strength of the event, the popularity of our artists, the dedication of our fans, and the entertainment value of the Festival.”

“We made a decision this year to announce our attendance as a daily average rather than a four-day aggregate so people are not overwhelmed by a huge number and potentially turned off from attending the Festival because they are concerned about parking or moving around downtown,” Genovese added. “It is actually much easier than people think and we want to communicate that in a new way.”

Some of the performers during this year’s festival were: Keith Urban, Jewel, Montgomery Gentry, Kellie Pickler, Sugarland, Taylor Swift, Faith Hill, Jack Ingram, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Josh Turner, Carrie Underwood, Julianne Hough, Trace Adkins, Rodney Atkins, Alan Jackson, Little Big Town, Craig Morgan, Kenny Rogers, Bucky Covington, Billy Ray Cyrus, Sara Evans, James Otto, Randy Travis, and Dwight Yoakam, who performed at the festival for the first time in 20 years.

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