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The Stars Honor the Fans at CMA Music Festival This Week in Nashville

Image courtesy of CMA (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of CMA (via ABC News Radio)

Country stars are always talking about how much their fans mean to them, and CMA Music Festival is the week they really cement that relationship with the people who buy their albums and concert tickets.

Lady Antebellum opens the festival Thursday morning cutting the ribbon on the new Fan Fair X exhibit at the newly-opened Music City Center in Nashville.  They'll sign autographs for fans at that event along with Florida Georgia Line , Kip Moore , Brantley Gilbert and Justin Moore that day.

Of course, the biggest draw at the CMA Music Festival is the big nightly concerts at LP Field.  Florida Georgia Line performed out in the parking lot before the shows at LP Field last summer, so they're especially excited to be on the big stage this year.

The duo's Tyler Hubbard tells ABC News Radio, "It's gonna be good to be back home and have a lot of fans and friends and family there.  Just to be able to play LP Field is just a dream come true in general.  So, we're excited."

The Band Perry is also on the bill for LP Field later this weekend, and they've heard from fans all over the world who are headed to Nashville this week to see virtually every country star in one place.  Taylor Swift , Luke Bryan , Zac Brown Band , Miranda Lambert and Eric Church are headlining LP Field Thursday night, and that's just for starters. Blake Shelton , Keith Urban , Kelly Clarkson , Brad Paisley , Carrie Underwood and Hunter Hayes are just a handful of the stars performing throughout the weekend.

The Band Perry's Kimberly Perry tells ABC News Radio, "There's no other place in the world that you can see that sort of talent lineup than at LP Field rounding out the nights.  It's just amazing how all the artists come to town. It's almost like a pilgrimage."

CMA Music Festival is just as much fun for the artists, who get to say a big thank you to their fans all week long.

"It is truly country music family," says The Band Perry's Neil Perry . "So, when everyone comes to Nashville, it's just like a huge family reunion." (Florida Georgia Line and The Band Perry Audio Is Exclusive)

Darius Rucker first made his mark in the rock world as the lead singer of Hootie & the Blowfish , so he can tell you first hand the CMA Music Festival is definitely unique to country music. The artists who perform at CMA Music Festival don't make any money off the performance.  They simply show up to perform as a thank you to the fans.

"The thing that always gets me is the show," Darius says of the stellar lineup at LP Field.  "The fact that you can get that many superstars at one show all playing for free, all playing for the same goal, to entertain those people that are in that stadium that come here for the whole week from all over the world.  They come here for one week to see country music."

If you're not in Nashville this week, highlights from the 2013 CMA Music Festival will air on the ABC special, CMA Music Festival: Country's Night to Rock , airing Monday, August 12 at 8 p.m. ET.  Little Big Town is set to host the three-hour show.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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