Things have changed a lot since the old Fan Fair days, when Loretta Lynn got so caught up in the excitement of chumming with her admirers, she famously walked in front of the TV cameras with pink curlers in her hair. About 30 years ago, the crème de la crème of country music sat in numbered booths arrayed around the Tennessee State Fairgrounds, pressing flesh and signing autographs while some 17,000 of their faithful followers scurried from star to star. Now the affair is known as the CMA Music Festival, and it is a one-of-a-kind colossus. This past June, there were a record 80,000 fans attending each of the four days of activities and shows. Autograph signings have their own building, the new Fan Fair X, and live music is presented on 11 stages.
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