Backbeat: Creative Artist Agency's Unofficial CMA Week Kickoff BBQ Brings Out Hunter Hayes, More

Hunter Hayes (right) dropped by, seen here with his agent Darin Murphy (left) and Warner Music Nashville president/CEO Joe Esposito. Murphy says Hayes is killing it on the road this year.

The 21st Annual CAA BBQ was packed last night at Creative Artist Agency’s downtown Nashville offices, serving as an unofficial kickoff of CMA Music Festival week. A big pile of school supplies were donated, as usual, for the Pencil Foundation.

CAA Nashville co-head John Huie, center, with Butch Spyridon, president of the Nashville Convention & Vistors Bureau, and Star Plaza Productions’ Charlie Blum.

Music supervisor/Nashville Star judge Anastasia Brown with Billboard’s Ray Waddell.

CAA’s Laura Hutfless and Owen Canavan

Brock Jones (left) SVP of booking for Global Comcast, with David Kells, VP of booking for the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville

Hollywood Records’ Patrick Clifford (left) and manager George Couri, Eli Young Band

CAA agent Tim Beeding, left, with Vector Management’s Kevin Spellman

Country Music Assn. CEO Steve Moore (left) is teed up for a big week for CMA. Moore is seen here with Steve Buchanan, president of the Grand Ole Opry Group