Along with drones, bikes and drug paraphernalia, the festival’s list of prohibited items and activities now includes “Confederate flag imagery of any kind.” The event’s Code of Conduct further covers things like hate speech:
CMA is committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive culture where all people have access to experience Country Music. Therefore, inappropriate behavior such as discrimination, harassment, any form of abuse and/or targeted comments which may cause any person to fear for their safety at the Event will not be tolerated.
That includes “any displays of the Confederate flag,” according to a statement the Country Music Association provided to the Tennessean this week.
Some country musicians have, over the decades, wrapped themselves — or their stage setup — in the Confederate flag. Charlie Daniels, Trace Adkins and Luke Combs have all faced blowback for associating themselves with the symbol. Adkins and Combs apologized.
This year’s prohibition comes as Combs is among the top acts on the bill. So is Darius Rucker, who is Black.
“This year’s CMA Fest is our first major fan-facing event in nearly three years. We have always had policies in place that protect the safety of our fans and ban discrimination, but we felt it was important to further refine our language to explicitly outline what will and will not be tolerated,” reads the CMA statement.
The CMA Fest runs June 9-12 this year. For the fest lineup, see below. For new additions to the event, see below that.
Lineup additions include Brothers Osborne and Old Dominion will take the Nissan Stadium main stage, while opening acts include Deana Carter, Sara Evans, Everette, Randy Houser, Angie K, Kylie Morgan and Shenandoah. Unfortunately, Alan Jackson will no longer perform.
New this year, CMA Fest will host performances from the special Platform Stage in the center of Nissan Stadium, featuring Priscilla Block, Madeline Edwards, Kat + Alex, Maddie & Tae, Frank Ray, Lily Rose and Dylan Scott. Brittney Spencer welcomes the Nissan Stadium crowd Thursday night performing the National Anthem.
Russell Dickerson kicks off the CMA Close Up Stage Thursday as the Artist of the Day at Fan Fair X.
Additional acts that have been added to the CMA Fest lineup include Ryan Charles, Brooke Eden, Mae Estes and Ella Langley. Eden also kicks off the Chevy Riverfront Stage Thursday morning performing the National Anthem.
Monica has a BA in Journalism and English from the University of Massachusetts and an MS in Journalism and Communications from Quinnipiac University. Monica has worked as a journalist for over 20 years covering all things entertainment. She has covered everything from San Diego Comic-Con, The SAG Awards, Academy Awards, and more. Monica has been published in Variety, Swagger Magazine, Emmy Magazine, CNN, AP, Hidden Remote, and more. For the past 10 years, she has added PR and marketing to her list of talents as the president of Prime Entertainment Publicity, LLC. Monica is ready for anything and is proudly obsessed with pop culture.