In one week country music fans from all over will start to descend on Nashville with eagerness to attend all the events they can or planned on, connect with friends and or meet new ones, see everyone they possibly can; some planned some impromptu, and most of all just have fun and make the best of their experience.
The road there starts a year or so in advance for many; others it's just a few months ahead. It can be a frenzied time making all the right arrangements and having everything lined up and confirmed. This is my first year attending and I think the word frenzied was mild in regards to our hotel fiasco.
Whenever I plan on attending an event that involves travel and lodging I book the hotel first, and if plans fall through I can always cancel..It's important to have a place to crash right? Well last September we did just that…booked our room at a great rate, then started piecing things together. A few weeks ago a call was made to the hotel, (it was the Ramada at the time we booked) to confirm things and get it all paid for in advance. Well much to our surprise it was under new ownership and per the reps all the info was not in their system yet, not to worry, they would take care of it. That was a red flag to all of us when they said "Don't worry, we'll take care of it". At one time we were told they had our reservation but the price had increased, OK so that was to be expected due to the type of event. Again we were told it was being taken care of, and for us to call back. After three weeks of this mess, we were told they did not have our reservations and had no room for us. YOU CAN IMAGINE my thoughts !!! It then became a blame game as to he said she said in regards to who was supposed to notify us of the ownership changes. My patience was gone and anger at the highest level possible. Bottom line: NO ONE CARED; WE HAD NO ROOM. (I hope no one else had this nightmare w Ramada/Nashville Airport Inn & Suites)
Well we cared and frantically started a search to rescue our mission. Thanks to good traveling instincts I have and the help of friends we secured a great place to stay all on the same day we were told we had no room. Then I knew it was time for me to truly get excited about my trip, because this new change was meant to be. Am I done with the other issue of how we were treated? Oh heavens NO, but will deal with it after I go to Nashville and have a great time.
Enough of our saga; but I at least wanted to get this out there as a sort of "buyer beware". Now on to the fun stuff. There is so much going on that it reminds me of the ACM Awards in Vegas; ya just can't be everywhere. I have come to learn to pick and choose my priority of things I want to do as opposed to what I can pass up which is not an easy task. It reminds me of a Montgomery Gentry song; "I Pick My Parties". There are Fan Club parties, autoghraph signings, free shows and more everywhere, you just have to know what you want. A few of my favorites will be at the Riverfront Stage, David Nail & Phil Vassar; and another favorite Ray Scott will be at the Hard Rock Stage. They are part of my plans. There will also be a lot of new talent showcasing their music and that always interest's me. I was also told the most important thing to bring with you is patience.
Here are links to some sights that can offer great insight to all that is going on in and around Nashville starting Monday the third till Sunday the ninth.
First off the CMA Fest sight itself: http://www.cmaworld.com/cma-music-festival/2013/home It has everything from concerts to transportation to keep ya informed.
Then you have another great sight; Got Country Online http://www.gotcountryonline.com/2013cmafest.html A wonderful help is go to the Events by Day link and they have a daily guide you can print out. I surely will need that.
And finally this sight is very entertaining and informative: http://www.cmafestvip.com/
From reading many sights and learning from friends what to do and what to expect I think I am pretty much ready for my first CMA Fest adventure. I hope everyone has all their plans come through with great joy. Getting there and back safely, sharing it with great friends and coming away with some wonderful memories is all I can possibly ask or hope for. As my traveling buddies & I say; "We will Own this town".