CMA Music Festival kicked off in Nashville on Thursday, offering the thousands of fans gathered a chance to see some of the genre's biggest stars and most promising young artists. Joseph Llanes is the only photographer allowed in the backstage hallways of Nissan Stadium, where country music's biggest acts are performing. He brings us these exclusive photos from behind-the-scenes and from the front row.
Maren Morris flaunts her bohemian style for our cameras backstage at CMA Fest.
Rascal Flatts lead singer Gary LeVox poses backstage with Jason Aldean before their sets at Nissan Stadium.
Jake Owen arrived by boat to open CMA Music Festival's Riverfront Stage.
Elle King was the surprise guest of Dierks Bentley during his set at Nissan Stadium.
Hillary Scott, who regrouped with Lady Antebellum for an appearance on the CMA Music Festival's main stage, looks radiant while posing for our cameras.
Former touring partners Brett Eldredge and Thomas Rhett reunited onstage at CMA Fest.
Bill Satcher, Zach Brown, Michael Hobby and Graham Deloach of A Thousand Horses pose against the backdrop of the Cumberland River.
Maddie Marlow and Tae Dye were among the highlights of the Riverfront stage lineup, performing their new single "Sierra."
Charlie Daniels, who brought Randy Travis onstage during his set at CMA Fest, poses backstage at Nissan Stadium.
Kelsea Ballerini brought "Peter Pan" and "Love Me Like You Mean It" to her set at Nissan Stadium.
Jon Pardi will release his new album California Sunrise on June 17th.
Drake White and his band the Big Fire delivered a high-energy performance, including current single "Livin' the Dream."
Scotty McCreery, backstage prior to his set on the Cumberland River, released his memoir Go Big or Go Home in May.
Aubrie Sellers made her CMA Music Festival debut.
The Oaks, who were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame last year, were a high-energy highlight of the Nissan Stadium main stage.
The duo Native Run is made up of Rachel Beauregard and Bryan Dawley.
Prior to her performance at the Riverfront, Maren Morris struck a pose in front of her bus.
The Cadillac Three pose before their set at the Riverfront Stage, where they roared through songs like "The South" and "Party Like You."
Guitarslinger Clare Dunn set aside her instrument to pose for our cameras prior to her set at CMA Music Festival.
Cam strikes a pose backstage before performing with Lady Antebellum at CMA Music Fest.
Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney, who recently appeared on ABC's The Bachelorette, pose backstage at CMA Fest.
Ryan Hurd poses at CMA Music Fest.
Tucker Beathard, who is currently on tour with Dierks Bentley, performed his new single "Rock On" at CMA Fest.
Thomas Rhett posed for our cameras backstage at CMA Fest.
Kelsea Ballerini and Kristian Bush share a moment backstage at Nissan Stadium.
Dierks Bentley walks to the stage at Nissan Stadium.
Jason Aldean headlined the first night of CMA Music Fest at Nissan Stadium.
Maren Morris joined Rascal Flatts onstage at Nissan Stadium to sing her breakout hit "My Church."
Kristian Bush poses before one of several sets he's playing at CMA Music Fest.
Chris Lane performed his hit single "Fix" at CMA Music Festival.
Cam and Lady Antebellum shared the main stage at Nissan Stadium on Night 1 of CMA Music Festival.
Miranda Lambert told reporters that she'd have new music out by mid-summer during her press-conference appearance at CMA Music Festival.