ACM Awards Will Broadcast From Nashville For the First Time

Keith Urban
John Shearer/Country Rising/Getty Images

Keith Urban performs onstage for the Country Rising Benefit Concert at Bridgestone Arena on Nov. 12, 2017 in Nashville.

The rival CMA Awards were broadcast from the Ryman Auditorium from 1968-73 and from the Grand Ole Opry House from 1974-2004.

The 55th Academy of Country Music Awards will be broadcast from Nashville for the first time in their history.

The ACM announced today (April 27) that the show will be broadcast from three historic country music venues -- the Grand Ole Opry House, Ryman Auditorium and the Bluebird Café.

Keith Urban, the ACM's reigning entertainer of the year (and a 15-time ACM winner), will host the show, which is set for Sept. 16, as previously announced.

The show was originally set for April 5 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, its home for the last two years (and 10 years before that). It was postponed because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

"While we were disappointed to postpone our April show in Las Vegas, we couldn’t be more thrilled to host the rescheduled 55th ACM Awards in the home of country music for the first time in the Academy’s history,” said Damon Whiteside, CEO of the Academy of Country Music.

The announcement was made this morning during Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s daily press conference.

The ACMs have been broadcast from Las Vegas every year but one since 2003. (The 2015 show was broadcast from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Tex.) Before 2003, it was broadcast from numerous venues in the Los Angeles area.

Whiteside framed the decision to move to Nashville to make it easier for the country music community during this difficult time. "First and foremost, we want to ensure the safety of our artists and industry, and to ease the burdens of traveling large teams; therefore, we decided to bring the ACM Awards to them this September in Nashville."

The rival CMA Awards were broadcast from the Ryman Auditorium from 1968-73 and from the Grand Ole Opry House from 1974-2004, but this upcoming ACM show will be the first awards show to be broadcast from all three of these historic country venues in the same year.

A press release made clear that COVID-19 remains a worry. "As always, the health and safety of the artists, fans, industry, staff and partners is of the utmost importance. All guidelines set forth by national, state and local health officials will continue to be closely followed and implemented during the production along with additional safety measures to be instated by dick clark productions and the Academy of Country Music."

The CMA Awards have not yet announced the date of their 2020 show. Last year's CMA show was held on Nov. 13 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. The CMAs have been broadcast from Nashville every year but once in their history. The 2005 show was broadcast from Madison Square Garden in New York.

dick clark productions, producer of ACM Presents: Our Country, is owned by Valence Media, which also owns Billboard.