“CMA FEST” HOSTED BY THOMAS RHETT AND KELSEA BALLERINI TO AIR WEDNESDAY, AUG. 16 ON THE ABC TELEVISION NETWORK June 6, 2017 NASHVILLE – CMA officially announced today “CMA Fest,” The Music Event of Summer, will air Wednesday, Aug. 16 (8:00-11:00 PM/ET) on the ABC television network. Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini will host the three-hour special that brings Country Music’s Ultimate Fan Experience to a national television audience. “CMA Fest” is executive-produced by Robert Deaton. This year marks a new identity of the primetime special from “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” to spotlight the special as the music event of summer, rebranded to the name the fans already refer to the Festival, “CMA Fest.” The special first aired in 2004. This is the 12th time ABC will broadcast the special – America’s largest Country Music celebration. Filmed during CMA Music Festival June 8-11 in Nashville, the special features many of today’s most exciting Country Music stars as they hit the stage during the four-day celebration. The annual event is unlike any other, with meet-and-greets in Xfinity Fan Fair X, live music on 11 stages, over 300 acts donating their time, and a guest list of 88,500 avid singing-and-dancing-till-dawn fans. A limited number of tickets for the Nightly Concerts at Nissan Stadium are still available at CMAfest.com or through the CMA Box Office at 1-800-CMA-FEST. Funds generated through CMA Music Festival benefit music education. Since 2006, CMA and the CMA Foundation have donated more than $17.5 million to support quality, sustainable music education initiatives across the country on behalf of the artists who participate in the event for free, and impact the lives of one million children through the power of music. For more information on CMA and the CMA Music Festival, visit CMAfest.com, and follow Facebook.com/CMA, Twitter.com/CountryMusic, Instagram.com/CMA, “CMAsnaps” on Snapchat, and sign up for CMA Country Connection, CMA’s e-newsletter. This year’s app is now available in the App store for iPhone and Android and includes features that allow fans to create individual concert schedules and be the first to know which of their favorite stars will be appearing. CMA Music Festival is organized and produced by the Country Music Association. Fan Fair® is a registered trademark of WSM, Incorporated and is used by permission. About CMA Music Festival The Ultimate Country Music Fan Experience began in 1972 as Fan Fair®, bringing 5,000 fans to Nashville’s Municipal Auditorium. Now 45 years later, the legendary Festival has become the city’s signature music event hosting more than 88,500 fans from every state and two dozen foreign countries. The 2017 CMA Music Festival will feature 11 stages with more than 300 acts and 100 hours of music, and it all benefits music education. CMA Music Festival is filmed for a national television special that airs on the ABC Television Network. This is the 14th consecutive year the event will be featured, a feat no other music festival has achieved. “CMA Fest” is executive-produced by Robert Deaton and co-hosted by Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini.