View the original article at: http://www.countryweekly.com/news/fan-fair-way
CMA's Fan Fair annual music festival kicks off this year on Thursday, June 5 in downtown Nashville.
This year's festival is boasting more than 200 country artists and celebrities, 45 hours of performances, 4 days of celebrities signing autographs and a whole lot more.
CMA Executive Director Ed Benson is also looking forward to the festival and notes that music is a common denominator between us all.
"One of the things I find reassuring as our world changes during uncertain times is the connection we all have to country music Ã¢ÂÂ the themes, the artists and the relationships we foster with each other through our mutual admiration of the songs and how they touch us," he says.
"During Fan Fair we all have one thing in common Ã¢ÂÂ and that's country music."
Half of the proceeds from Fan Fair will be donated to charities selected by the performers at the festival Ã¢ÂÂ last year, 53 charities received donations as a direct result of Fan Fair.
Mostly, however, it's for the fans. "Being accepted by the fans, the unsung heroes of country music, is the greatest honor any entertainer can experience," says Troy Gentry of Montgomery Gentry. "We felt it the first time that we hit the Fan Fair stage back in 1999."
Adds Eddie Montgomery: "Our fans are our friends and we're looking forward to seeing a bunch of them this year at Fan Fair."