Attendees of next year’s CMA Festival will be able to see their favorite country stars play a brand new venue.
Sarah Trahern, CEO of the Country Music Association, announced plans to incorporate Ascend Ampitheater into the four-day event. The city’s newest venue, which opened this fall, is located just off of Lower Broadway and has a capacity of 6,800.
Trahern says that the venue will likely be used next year to house some of the free daytime concerts that are scattered across downtown. She says there is a possibility it may be used for some evening shows in upcoming years. Currently, the only official CMA Fest nighttime shows are at Nissan Stadium, and require a paid badge to attend.
This move comes after this year’s festival showed a 10% increase in attendance versus the previous year, with 87,680 daily attendees over four days. This jump in attendance is likely due to many factors, including the popularity of ABC’s drama Nashville and the city’s new reputation as one of the country’s hippest and rapidly growing cities.
It’s unclear if these changes to the festival will impact future ticket prices. As of Nov. 18, only single upper-tier tickets for the 2016 nightly shows are available for purchase.