A behind the scenes look at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville which this year celebrates its 40th anniversary.
Singer-songwriter and leading country music journalist Peter Cooper discovers how the festival, which began life as Fan Fair in 1972 attracting 5,000 people, has developed into the biggest festival in Country music, dominating downtown Nashville for several days and bringing in more than a quarter of a million fans.
Aside from seeing the current country music stars who perform each night throughout the festival, Fan Fair, as its name suggests, has always been about getting up close and personal with Country music royalty.
For nearly 20 years the festival was held outside the city at the Tennessee State Fairground.
Stages were set up in and amongst the livestock pens and country music fans spanning the generations queued for hours to meet their musical heroes.
The autograph signings, fan club meetings and photo opportunities became a crucial and unique part of this festival with country superstar Garth Brooks famously appearing in 1996 and signing autographs for 23 hours and 10 minutes without a single break! Now rebranded as the CMA Country Music Festival, and relocated to downtown Nashville, the Fan Fair spirit still lives on in this festival, and in this programme Peter Cooper talks to those Country music fans who return year after year and to the performers who have appeared throughout the festival's history.
He also discovers the huge impact that the festival has upon a city that lives and breathes country music.
A behind the scenes look at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville.