CMA Festival Special Brings Exposure To New Acts

Justin Moore will get the widest exposure of his young career Wednesday night during the “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” on ABC.

Millions of country music fans will be watching him perform “Backwoods.”

“Hopefully, people don’t watch it and go, ‘He sucks,’“ Moore joked.

Photo: John Davisson
1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre, Tampa, Fla.

Highly unlikely. There had to be something special about Moore’s performance to make it on the show, which is hosted by Tim McGraw and built from the , which was held in June in Nashville. There are cuts from the nightly concerts by Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Alan Jackson, Zac Brown Band, special performances by Taylor Swift, Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, Kid Rock and others, along with some behind-the-scenes moments and comedy bits.

Country’s biggest names can expect to make the special, but for new artists it’s a tremendous opportunity.

“It’s really exciting,” Moore said. “It’s another one of those steps in your career you hope you get to make one day, but you never know.”

Josh Turner says the chance to play at the festival in front of more than 50,000 people was a great opportunity – but making the cut for the three-hour TV show is even better. He’ll play his No. 1 song, “Why Don’t We Just Dance.”

Photo: Jason Moore
Alabama Theatre, North Myrtle Beach, S.C.

“You go out there and you do your show and you just hope that you’ll be competitive for the actual TV special because they only have so much room,” Turner said. “A big hit always helps.”