CMA Music Festival - Unofficial Events & Charity Benefits

Top CMAfest Benefit & Charity Events

Every year, CMA Music Festival (CMAfest) itself makes contributions to worthy causes on behalf of the artists who participate at CMA Music Festival. So it makes sense that a lot of the events surrounding the CMA Music Festival are charity based. We've gathered up a list of our top Unofficial CMA Music Festival Events that help others.

Updated 5/21/2014
01 of 26

CMA World GlobaLive

Courtesy Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

  Courtesy Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

CMA World GlobaLive concert (formally known as the CMA Global Artist Party) is being held on Monday and kicks off on a free, outdoor stage on Broadway in downtown Nashville. The concert will be open to the public and feature performances by international country musicians.

02 of 26

Darius Rucker & Friends Benefit

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Scott Gries

Scott Gries / Getty Images

Platinum-selling country star Darius Rucker plays host to the "Darius And Friends, a benefit for St. Jude." The concert takes place annually to raise funds to help St. Jude provide the best care possible to children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases at no cost to their family.

03 of 26

Denise Jernigan Breast Cancer Benefit

Photo © Jan Duke

 Jan Duke

This Breast Cancer Benefit Concert, will be hosted by country artist Georgette Jones (daughter of George Jones and Tammy Wynette) along with Nashville's WSMV/host of Midnight Jamboree Jennifer Herron, is a great way to kick-off 2014 CMA Music Festival. Performers scheduled to appear include Ashton Shepherd, Buddy Jewell, Bobby Lewis, Bobby Marquez, Bobby G. Rice, Danielle Peck, Delnora Reed, Doug Briney, Hannah Bethel, Holly Norman, Jan Howard, Leona Williams, Lulu Roman, Mitch Goudy, Moore & Moore, Robyn Young, Ron Williams and Billy Yates. Set for Monday, June 2, 2014 from 6-10pm at the Hard Rock Café Reverb Room, this benefit concert will help raise money for breast cancer research and for the family of Denise Jernigan who was a breast cancer patient for 10 years until passing away last October. Money raised will also be donated to the Pearl Point Cancer Foundation (Minnie Pearl Foundation). Scheduled artists will be around signing autographs. Artist merchandise will also be available. Kids of all ages are welcome. Food and drinks are available for purchase. Tickets are only $25 in advance or at the door and can be purchased online.

04 of 26

Chord's of Hope - Band Against MS

 Getty Images

Friends and supporters of Clay Walker and Band Against MS gathered in Nashville to provide an evening of great entertainment. This event served as the largest local Nashville fundraiser for Band Against MS.

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05 of 26

Music City Gives Back

Photo Credit: Wortman Works Media

 Wortman Works Media

The annual Music City Gives Back concert is free to the public and features an all-star lineup an outdoor stage on Broadway in downtown Nashville between 1st Avenue and Broadway. The event will kick off at 6:00 p.m.

06 of 26

Country Weekly Kick-Off Party

 Nora Mayor

Kick off CMA Week with Country Weekly to help raise funds for Musicians On Call, a non-profit organization which brings live and recorded music to patients in health-care facilities.

07 of 26

Opry Plaza Party

Photo Courtesy of

 Courtesy of

The popular Opry Plaza Party usually returns annually, during CMAfest week, to the Opry Plaza with free performances by various country musicians.

08 of 26

Celebrity Sporting Clay Pro-Am

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Rick Diamond

 Rick Diamond / © Getty Images

Held at the Nashville Gun Club with the proceeds from the event benefiting the Tug McGraw Foundation and its efforts to improve the lives of military service members who have been affected by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

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09 of 26

Craig Campbell Cornhole Challenge

Copyright Jan Duke

 Jan Duke

Benefiting the T. J. Martell Foundation the inaugural event will take place at the corner of Demonbreun and 3rd ave south in Downtown Nashville (behind the Listening Room Café)beginning at 4:00 PM. The T. J. Martell Foundation is dedicated to raising funds for the innovative initial and ongoing research into the treatments and cures of leukemia, cancer and AIDS.

10 of 26

Storm Warren's Nashville Navy

Photo Credit: Travelin'Inc.

 Courtesy of Travelin'Inc.

The Nashville Navy was created in 2004 by GAC's Storme Warren with the help Nancy Jeffares, Montgomery Gentry, and Trent Willmon. Soon afterward, Jaime Fox joined this set of cruisers and every since this party has been held on the first Tuesday of CMAfest week.

11 of 26

Countriest of the Country

Copyright Jan Duke

 Jan Duke

This annual event which is sponsored by the Billy Yates International Fan Club began nearly a decade ago and has evolved into what is considered by many to be the best Country Music show during the CMA Music Festival.

12 of 26

Stars for Second Harvest

Copyright Jan Duke

 Jan Duke

Stars for Second Harvest Concert featuring Craig Wiseman & Friends Benefits the Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee is normally held at the Ryman Auditorium on Tuesday night.

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13 of 26

R.O.P.E. Breakfast with the Stars

Photo Credit: Marty Martel

 Marty Martel

R.O.P.E. stands for the Reunion of Professional Entertainers and began one evening in May of 1983 when forty-three folks in the music industry got together to discuss the idea of having an organization that would keep them united in fellowship, camaraderie and friendship. Every year during the CMAfest week, this organization hosts their Annual R.O.P.E. Event, normally a day or two before of the official CMAfest kick-off.

14 of 26

Honkytonk Hitman's Indie Outlaw Show

Photo Courtesy of Mike Rodgers

 Courtesy of Mike Rodgers

If you've yet to attend this annual CMAfest event, you can be sure that you've been missing some of Nashville's Best Independent artists to say the least as the Honkytonk Hitman always has a great lineup of artists set to perform.

15 of 26

CMT Music Awards

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Jason Merritt

 Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Country music's only fan-voted awards show, the CMT Music Awards, takes place every year, live from Nashville, during the CMA Music Festival Week. The event normally includes awards, performances, and red carpet.

16 of 26

Marty Stuart's Late Night Jam

Marty Stuart Copyright Jan Duke

 Jan Duke

Marty Stuart's Late Night Jam is normally held at the Ryman Auditorium on the eve of CMAfest (Wednesday Night) This annual event benefits Musicares, an organization that provides a safety net of critical assistance for music people in times of need.

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17 of 26

Guitars of the Stars Benefit Auction

Copyright Jan Duke

 Jan Duke

Come bid on one-of-a-kind guitars from some of Country Music's Biggest Stars at the Guitars of the Stars Benefit Auction. The event is open to the public, and all proceeds from the auction will benefit the Opry Trust Fund, which assists members of the country music community in need.

18 of 26

NRA Country Kegs & Eggs

Courtesy Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

 Courtesy Tennessee Department of Tourist Development

NRA Country Kegs & Eggs is being held at Margaritaville and will showcase Craig Campbell,Josh Thompson,and Sunny Sweeney. This is a Free Event for NRA Country members, includes breakfast buffet, acoustic performances, and a few special take home goodies.

19 of 26

Your Road to Nashville

Copyright Jan Duke

 Jan Duke

Over 150 Artists perform on the Hard Rock Entertainment Stages with non-stop country music all day long. Performances normally run from 10:00am to 8:00pm each day.

20 of 26

Great American Country Breakfast Series

Courtesy of Great American Country 

Great American Country, the network that delivers original lifestyle programming celebrating the best of American living and country music, is hosting the first-ever Great American Country Breakfast Series at Fan Fair X inside Music City Center during CMA Music Festival, June 5-8.

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21 of 26

The Outlaw Project

Photo Courtesy of Gaylord Entertainment

 Courtesy of Gaylord Entertainment

Join Bo & his Outlaw Project friends for a very special evening of music on June 6th at the Wildhorse Saloon. Performers include:Jason Michael Carroll, Tommy Shane Steiner, Bo Bice (American Idol), Matt Mason (CMT's Next Superstar), Jeremiah Richey (CMT's Can You Duet) Special Guest: Twang and Round

22 of 26

City of Hope Celebrity Softball Challenge

City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game Challenge Copyright Photos by Nora

  Nora Mayor

Some of Country's hottest stars team up together to raise money for City of Hope, a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. This annual event is normally held at Greer Stadium.

23 of 26

Woofstock Concert Benefit

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Stockbyte

 Getty Images/Stockbyte

Join Bonaparte's Retreat and Crossroads Campus Saturday, June 7th 2014 for the Annual Woofstock at Fontanel Concert Benefit featuring Emmylou Harris. Singer-songwriter and lifelong dog lover Emmylou Harris established Bonaparte’s Retreat in 2004 with the goal of rescuing dogs deemed unadoptable. Woofstock is a Benefit for Bonaparte’s Retreat Dog Rescue.

24 of 26

Music Row Yard Sale & Auction

Enjoy the Annual Music Row Yard Sale & Auction at Bridgestone Arena during the CMA Music Festival featuring the best country music items direct from Music Row. Dozens of items will be available for sale and to be auctioned including CDs, meet and greet packages, artist swag and signed memorabilia from some of today’s hottest stars. Proceeds benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

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25 of 26

Sunday Mornin' Country Show

Copyright Jan Duke

 Jan Duke

Sunday Mornin' Country Show is normally held on Sunday Morning and benefits the Music City Christian Fellowship, a non-profit organization of Christians who support Christian values in the entertainment industry.

26 of 26

YWCA Celebrity Auction

Martina McBride YWCA Celebrity Auction Copyright Jan Duke

 Jan Duke

YWCA Celebrity Auction is held at the Hall of Fame Park, normally on Sunday, with the proceeds from the Celebrity Auction going to the YW of Middle Tennessee, a domestic abuse program. This event is free.


*Please note that some of the CMA Music Festival Activities & Other CMAfest Related Events will vary from year to year. Please confirm all events in advance with organizers.

If I've overlooked your favorite CMA Music Festival Event or if you need me to update, add to, or change it, please feel free to contact me anytime! - Jan Duke

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