Air Date: Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Time Slot: 9:00 PM-11:00 PM EST on ABC
[NOTE: The following article is a press release issued by the aforementioned network and/or company. Any errors, typos, etc. are attributed to the original author. The release is reproduced solely for the dissemination of the enclosed information.]


Get a Front Row Seat at the "CMA Music Festival: Country Music's Biggest Party" Special, Featuring Country Music's Biggest Stars -- Big & Rich, Alan Jackson, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Wynonna and Many More

Gretchen Wilson Performs Network Television Debut of Her New Single, "All Jacked Up"

Plus a Special Appearance by Rodney Carrington of ABC's "Rodney"

Special Will Air in High Definition Television with 5.1-Channel Surround Sound

Four days, 30 hours of autograph signings, 70 hours of live music, more than 200 Country Music artists and celebrities, and more than 130,000 fans add up to one major musical event - "CMA Music Festival: Country Music's Biggest Party." This is the first time ABC will broadcast this special -- which invites the whole country to America's biggest Country Music bash -- since the original Fan Fair was launched in 1972. "CMA Music Festival: Country Music's Biggest Party" will air in HDTV with 5.1-channel surround sound TUESDAY, AUGUST 2 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

Taped in Nashville June 9-12, concert highlights will feature performances by Dierks Bentley, Big & Rich, Cowboy Troy, Sara Evans, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert, Jo Dee Messina, Dolly Parton and The Grascals (who sing a special rendition of "Viva Las Vegas)," Rascal Flatts, Sugarland, Keith Urban, Phil Vassar, Lee Ann Womack, Wynonna, Trisha Yearwood and many more.

The special will also premiere the network television debut of Gretchen Wilson's brand new single, "All Jacked Up," the first single off her soon-to-be-released follow-up album to her multi-platinum selling debut, "Here for the Party."

In addition to amazing music performances, the special will spotlight the heart of the CMA Music Festival -- the unique bond between the Country Music artists and their fans. The special will follow the stories of several deserving fans who trekked far and wide and sacrificed much in order to attend. Dreams will come true when these fans are chosen to meet and spend personal time with their favorite Country Music stars.

Fan/star segments include:

* A group of New York City firefighters who lost close comrades and friends during the attacks of 9/11 traveling to Nashville to meet with singer Alan Jackson in an emotional encounter and pay tribute to his song, "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning?," which was played in their firehouse for months to help them come to terms with their loss.

* Big & Rich performing their hit song, "Live This Life," for kids at Vanderbilt Hospital, and dedicating a hospital room to the young patient and songwriter, Katie Darnell, who was their inspiration for the song and passed away from brain cancer.

* Duo Montgomery Gentry celebrating the opening of the festival and giving a tour of the CMA Music Festival experience through their eyes.

* Country music's premiere young headliners, Rascal Flatts, taking us to their old stomping grounds of honky tonks and entertaining a surprised crowd of CMA fans at the Fiddle and Steel Club with their hit song, "Fast Car."

* The fun begins when comedian Rodney Carrington and star of ABC's "Rodney" spends a wild and wacky day touring the fair and interacting with fans at the CMA Music Festival.

* Kix Brooks -- of Brooks and Dunn -- Earl Scruggs and Ricky Scaggs hosting a talent challenge for five exceptional young musicians who are offered a chance to perform on the stadium stage before 50,000 country music fans.

"The CMA Music Festival is one of the most exciting events I've been to to hear some of the greatest music in the world," said Andrea Wong, executive vice president, Alternative Programming, Specials and Late-Night, ABC Entertainment. "To watch the fans and the artists come together and connect on a personal level is an experience like no other, and we are thrilled to bring this special to ABC for the first time."

"CMA Music Festival and Country Music are hot, and so is ABC," said CMA's executive director, Ed Benson. "The network's enthusiasm for the project, commitment to Country Music and dedication to giving their viewers the best in broadcast entertainment makes ABC the ideal partner for this special. We are very excited about the opportunity to work with ABC."

A festival like no other, the CMA Music Festival is a rollicking non-stop celebation of America's music for people of all ages who love great songs, great artists and a great time. For the past 34 years, thousands of fans have come to soak in star studded live music concerts, family activities and parties. In the festival's hallmark event, "Wrangler Fan Fair," fans have a chance to interact with their favorite artists -- whether it's an autograph signing or photo opportunity at the Nashville Convention Center, getting an up close shot of the stars on the famous CMA Music Festival Photo Line, or watching the artists fire arrows at targets during the "Fourth Annual Andy Griggs Celebrity Archery Tournament."

"CMA Music Festival: Country Music's Biggest Party" is executive-produced by Robert Deaton and directed by Gary Halvorson. The 2005 CMA Music Festival is organized and produced by the Country Music Association.

This program carries a TV-PG,L parental guideline.

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