CMA Music Festival 2018: 30 Best Things We Saw

From Carrie Underwood and Chris Stapleton's main-stage stunners to breakout sets by Ashley McBryde and Dillon Carmichael

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Best Lineup: Spotify's Hot Country at Ole Red
Jordan O'Donnell5/30

Best Lineup: Spotify's Hot Country at Ole Red

Blake Shelton's Ole Red bar was the place to be this CMA Fest, where the multilevel entertainment mecca hosted Spotify's impeccable Hot Country lineup. Whether it was Austin Jenckes' spine-tingling opening performance on Thursday morning or Midland's ramshackle but righteous Saturday-night free-for-all, Spotify excelled in assembling some of the most buzzworthy acts over the weekend – and best evoked the spirit of Fan Fairs past, giving an intimate audience the opportunity to catch rising talent like Dillon Carmichael, Tenille Townes and Muscadine Bloodline up-close before their inevitable graduation to headliners. Even Shelton himself popped by, crashing Hunter Hayes' late-night set on Thursday night. J.H.

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