The 2009 CMA Music Festival, held in Nashville, TN, on June 11-14, broke a few attendance records and tickets are already selling fast for...

The 2009 CMA Music Festival, held in Nashville, TN, on June 11-14, broke a few attendance records and tickets are already selling fast for 2010. Attendance was up 7.2 percent and is up 4.6 percent ahead for 2010 as of this same time last year. The average daily attendance for the four-day festival was 56,000; last year, it was 52,000.

Single concert sales increased as well as attendance in the festival’s free zones, including Riverside Park, which was free for the first time. However, not all ticket packages saw increased sales. The four-pack dipped 3.6 percent. That was more than offset by a 19.5 percent increase in single night ticket sales.

“Even with gasoline prices more than $2 a gallon and weak economic conditions around the country, we saw increases in our attendance from local and regional residents,” said CMA Chief Executive Officer Tammy Genovese in a statement. “We believe that is due in large part to a strong regional advertising push, the addition of free concerts, the popularity of our artists, and the entertainment value of the nightly shows at LP Field.”

“You know you are giving the fans what they want when they put down their hard-earned money — especially in light of economic uncertainty — for an event that is 12 months away,” Genovese added about the pre-sales for next year.

Some of the 44 acts that performed this year included Sugarland, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Zac Brown Band, Martina McBride, Trace Adkins, Wynonna, Miranda Lambert, Montgomery Gentry, Taylor Swift and a previously unannounced Kid Rock.

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By Bob Grossweiner & Jane Cohen