CMA Fest is making the LGBTQ community feel a little more welcome. The Nash News and RNBW Queer Collective are teaming up for CMA Fest’s debut LGBTQ activation, titled Country Proud — a landmark collaboration that additionally marks the first-ever pride activation in American country music festival history.
Leslie Fram, svp of music strategy at CMT, announced the news via Twitter on Monday (June 6) with imagery that contained news of the activation, as well as an accompanying statement from CMT. “We are honored to be making history this week with this event,” she tweeted.
Shelly Fairchild, Sonia Leigh, Harper Grae, The Kentucky Gentleman, Breann Young, Jessica Rose, Maia Sharp, Steff Mahan and more will be in attendance at the activation, which will take place Thursday from 6-10 p.m. at the festival’s Assembly Food Hall.
The pride activation comes in the wake of CMA Fest banning Confederate flags from being displayed at the festival. The Country Music Association issued a statement to The Tennessean and said it chose to make the decision for the personal safety of fans and to prevent discrimination.
“This year’s CMA Fest is our first major fan-facing event in nearly three years. We have always had policies in place that protect the safety of our fans and ban discrimination, but we felt it was important to further refine our language to explicitly outline what will and will not be tolerated,” the statement said.
CMA Fest returns to Nashville this year after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19. See more information about the Country Proud activation below.
We are honored to be making history this week with this event🌈
Country Proud: Presented by @thenashnews and RNBW Queer Collective in partnership with @CountryMusic & @CMT happening during #CMAFest this Thursday, June 9th from 6-10p at @Assembly_Hall pic.twitter.com/JTQXtyseU7
— Leslie Fram (@FramLeslie) June 6, 2022