CMT’s/CMA Music Fest: The MOST exciting week in Nashville!

Right now, as I type this, there is hardly a street corner  you can stand on in downtown Nashville where you can’t hear music.  The hotels are packed, there are cowboy hats everywhere, and the city is electrified from morning to late at night.

It all kicked off with the CMT Music Awards in the heart of downtown.  You just never know who is going to stop by – a Rock star, a Rap superstar, or how about a few actors and actresses? It’s an exciting week to be in Nashville.

Behind the scenes, there is so much that goes into preparing an award show for television.  What the public sees is the end result of choreographed moves by several departments, all within very short time periods, to put on performances that typically take hours to set up.  To watch them make it all happen is still exciting to see.

Then, after the lights went down in Bridgestone Arena, they were firing up all over town for the CMA Music Fest.  Over at LP Field, the stage, the lights, the video screens and the audio have been slowly put in place over the last week.  The 4 shows here are sold out!  Just across the Cumberland River, a barge sits on the bank, complete with a full stage and PA.   Talk about a monstrosity of an event!  By the end of this week though, the crews are pretty worn out and ready to be done.

As I walked into LP Field for soundchecks on the first day, the chairs are empty.  Once the lights come up for the first act, it’s such a charge.  Last night, superstar Luke Bryan hit the stage and the place went crazy.   Country Music fans are truly the best fans in the world!

So why after 20 years of being in this business do I still get excited about being a part of this week?

Maybe it’s because music has been in my blood since I was very young.  I told myself that if I could not become a touring musician, I wanted to be as close to the industry as I could.  I’m 44 years old, have a family that stays plenty busy, and an awesome career.  My job is ever-changing. I’m learning new skills and getting more involved in social media. All of this together provides me the fuel for maintaining my excitement.

What are some things that help you to maintain the excitement in your career? How has your job changed and how did you make those changes a positive part of what you do?

Stay tuned for my after show wrap up of this week – 3 more days to go!

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Ryan Smith

Ryan is a Regional Manager of Artist Relations at the Shure office in Nashville, TN. He started at Shure in 1993 in Customer Service and joined the AR team in 1996. Ryan has over 30 years of performance experience playing drums and percussion in various groups and genres. In his spare time he enjoys woodworking, watching movies, videography, and camping with his family. His Twitter handle is @ryan_smith1969.

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