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A huge four-day international music festival highlights why Nashville is widely regarded as the home of country music.
The annual CMA Music Festival takes place in June in Nashville, the capital city of the state of Tennessee. The event began in 1972, and now attracts visitors from over 40 countries as well as from each of the 50 states that make up the United States of America. Nearly 400,000 people make the annual pilgrimage to this destination in order to see performances by over 400 artists.
The city is steeped in musical tradition, and visitors can satisfy their appetite for country music with a visit to the Grand Ole Opry, the world’s longest running live radio show, which has been showcasing new talent since 1925, or to one of the numerous honky tonk bars in downtown Nashville. And if that fails, then there is still the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to explore.
Nashville's music industry is estimated to contribute 19,000 jobs and over six billion dollars per year to the economy. The CMA Music Festival is a philanthropic organisation, and each year it donates a proportion of the proceeds from the music festival in order to ensure the continuity of the musical traditions of this destination. Millions of dollars have been donated to projects that have enabled the building of music laboratories in schools and the purchase of thousands of instruments that are intended to encourage youngsters to start playing.