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30 Must-See Acts at CMA Music Fest 2014

From the breakfast shows to the late-night jams, the artists you need to check out in Nashville this week
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Since its inception in 1972 as Fan Fair, CMA Music Festival, as it became known in 2004, has showcased everyone from Willie Nelson and Garth Brooks to Faith Hill and Taylor Swift. Even country interlopers Bret Michaels and Lenny Kravitz have showed up to play – with mixed results. But with hundreds of acts performing over CMA Fest's four official days this week, June 5-8th, figuring out who deserves a listen can be as daunting as trying to navigate the perennially hot-and-humid festival in cowboy boots (Hint: stick with sneakers). Here are the 30 performances that we'd go a country mile to see. By Chelsea Crowell, Beville Dunkerley, Adam Gold, Joseph Hudak, Katy Lindenmuth, Marissa R. Moss and Wendy Newcomer

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