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Many country music fans forced to cut costs to attend CMA Fest

By Courtney Allen

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    NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WSMV) — Hundreds of thousands of people were in Nashville the past four days for CMA Fest.

With inflation and prices so high right now, many said they were working on a budget here. Some tourists said they had no idea this past weekend was CMA Fest until they noticed how expensive it was to get here and stay here.

One couple pounded the pavement of Broadway, so much so that Kayleigh Canavan had to kick her boots off. “They are not broken in, and I need some rest,” Canavan said.

She is from Boston and was in Nashville for the first time with her boyfriend, Gaeten Deschenes. “Amazing,” Canavan said. “I have literally been waiting to be in Nashville for so long.”

Deschenes bought the tickets a couple months ago as a gift and wondered why they were so expensive. “I just picked a random date in June when we would be free and just happened to be CMA Fest. “We didn’t know why it was so expensive,” Deschenes said. “When we looked it up, it was CMA Fest.”

While here, they tried to get the best bang for their buck. “Where to go, what to do, how to save money and do what we want on dimes instead of dollars,” Deschenes said.

They said hotels downtown cost a minimum of $500 a night so they stayed 15 minutes outside the city which they said cut the cost by more than half. They also scootered instead of using ride shares.

While they are country music fans, they skipped the shows at Nissan. “I think we are planning on going to the seven free concerts outside, but I don’t think we are going to go to the arena,” Deschenes said.

Other fans also tried to cut back on expenses. “We have a microwave and fridge in burners to eat back in the room,” one said.

Meanwhile, some tourists from England said it is go big or go home. “After two years of restrictions at home, it is not worth saving pennies to miss out on having the best time you can,” Duncan Corps said.

Canavan said her birthday trip to Nashville was everything she’d hoped for. “Absolutely amazing,” Canavan said. “I am so excited for the rest of the weekend and to see the live performers.”

That couple said the prices of food and other things here in Nashville weren’t as bad as they were expecting. They said they saved another $800 by switching their flight to a smaller airport.

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