The summer heat descended on Nashville Friday, June 10th, but CMA Music Festival had the artists to match, bringing the crowds out in droves to see performances on many different stages. 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.
Chris Stapleton has a quiet moment backstage at CMA Music Fest.
Eric Church performs songs from Mr. Misunderstood at CMA Music Fest.
Eric Paslay posed beside the Cumberland River before three performances at CMA Music Fest: at the HGTV Lodge, the Chevy Cruze Riverfront Stage and a special album preview party at the CMA Close Up stage.
Brett Eldredge smiles backstage at Nissan Stadium before Friday night's CMA Music Fest show.
Lindsay Ell soaks up the sun at CMA Music Fest.
Clint Black hitches a golf cart ride before his hit-filled set at CMA Fest.
RaeLynn posed before her set at CMA Music Fest.
Charles Esten smiles at CMA Music Fest on Friday, the same day it was announced that his show, Nashville has been picked up by CMT.
Carrie Underwood closed Night Two of CMA Music Fest with a high-energy, powerful set.
Justin Moore and Chris Janson were surprise guests at Nissan Stadium for Hank Williams Jr.'s set.
Ryan Kinder performed at Nashville's Walk of Fame Park during CMA Music Fest.
Kane Brown poses by the river before his set at CMA Music Fest.
Chris Janson performs at Nissan Stadium during CMA Music Fest.
Chris and Morgane Stapleton lead their all-star band through a set at CMA Music Fest.
Chase Bryant gets ready to perform at CMA Music Fest.
Husband-wife duo (and new parents) Thompson Square pose before their set at CMA Music Fest.
New trio Runaway June walk along First Avenue in downtown Nashville during CMA Music Fest.
Brett Young poses before his set at CMA Music Fest.
Carrie Underwood headlined Friday's Nissan Stadium show.
Lauren Alaina played two different stages at CMA Music Fest.
Drew and Jonathan Scott from HGTV's Property Brothers hosted Friday night's Nissan Stadium show.
Frankie Ballard poses backstage before his set at CMA Music Fest.
Chris Stapleton performs a set that included "Parachute" and "Tennessee Whiskey" at CMA Music Fest.
Chris Janson hangs backstage before performing at Riverfront Stage.
Sam Hunt sits at the piano during his performance at Nissan Stadium.
Justin Moore poses before his surprise appearance with Hank Williams Jr. at CMA Fest.
Carrie Underwood walks backstage at Nissan Stadium before her headlining CMA Fest gig.
Eric Church was one of several special guests during Hank Williams Jr.'s CMA Music Fest set.
Hank Williams Jr. played a rowdy, surprise-filled set at CMA Music Fest.
American Idol mentor and Big Machine Label Group founder Scott Borchetta played guitar for Hank Williams Jr. at CMA Music Fest.
Brooke Eden performed as one of the CMT Next Women of Country on Friday.
Carrie Underwood dazzles the sold-out crowd at Nissan Stadium.
Chase Bryant relaxes outside his tour bus at CMA Music Fest.
Singer-songwriter Haley Georgia gets ready for her set at the Gildan Broadway Stage outside Hard Rock Cafe.