CMA Unveils Lineup for ‘Stay-Cay’ Livestream, Shifts Date for ABC Retro Special

The all-new programming for the July 1 webcast will be followed by a Luke Bryan-hosted ABC special with highlights from past festivals, now rescheduled for July 13.

Luke Bryan2013 CMA Music Festival Nightly
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The Country Music Association has revealed a lineup for its “CMA Summer Stay-Cay” livestream event July 1, and while the webcast is not officially a replacement for this year’s canceled CMA Festival, it does appear as if the org has attempted to pack nearly an entire fest’s worth of programming into one night.

While there won’t be any full sets to replicate what would have gone down at the festival (which was scheduled for early June before being canceled on account of the pandemic at the end of March), more than 30 performances are promised to be in the offing. Among the performers: Luke Combs, Brothers Osborne, Ingrid Andress, Lady A, Cole Swindell, Brett Young, Chris Janson, Brett Eldredge, Scotty McCreery, Jon Pardi, Maddie & Tae and Tenille Townes. Duets will be featured between Carly Pearce and Lee Brice, Jimmie Allen and Lanco, and Kassi Ashton and Jordan Davis. A “Women of Summer” performance will team Lauren Alaina, Lindsay ell and Cassadee Pope.

On top of that, many of the kind of one-off events that might have been scheduled during the CMA Festival’s daytime hours will be included in the livestream, including interviews. trivia and celebrity cocktail creation presentations.

Meanwhile, the date has shifted for a separate special, ABC’s “CMA Best of Fest.” Originally scheduled for July 9, the three-hour telecast, hosted by Luke Bryan, is now slated for 8 p.m. ET/PT on July 13. The list of performers whose past CMA Festival sets will be excerpted includes Garth Brooks, Jason Aldean, Lil Nas X, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Maren Morris and Dwight Yoakam.

The retrospective special fills in on ABC’s schedule this year for a show that usually would have been assembled of highlights from the annual June festival in Nashville and broadcast in August and September.

The CMA Festival was set to go down June 4-7. Next year’s dates, June 10-13, 2021, were announced at the time of the cancellation, and passholders were offered the choice of a refund or holding onto their tickets for the coming year.

“CMA Summer Stay-Cay” will begin at 5 p.m. CT/3 PT next Wednesday on the CMA’s YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Among the more novel inclusions on the livestream, amid the newly filmed performances: a cocktail creation moment with Ashley McBryde; a career-capping interview with the soon-to-separate Rascal Flatts; trivia hosted by Bobby Bones; footage of Swindell turning in a surprise performance at a bachelorette party; Chris Lane congratulating a newly engaged couple; a “’90s country cover challenge” with Russell Dickerson, Dustin Lynch and Carly Pearce; a Michael Ray/Craig Morgan meet-up; and conversations with Gabby Barrett, Tenille Townes, Midland, Brantley Gilbert, Granger Smith and Brothers Osborne.

Additionally, Eric Church will be hosting a “CMA Fest flashback” of his 27-minute acoustic medley from the 2019 festival, available separately on the CMA’s YouTube channel during the “Stay-Cay” livestream event.

Jimmie Allen and Lindsay Ell co-host the livestream, and they’ll also particpate in a Radio Disney Country trivia challenge hosted by Abby Anderson during the webcast.