For the third year in a row, the NYCountry Swag team headed to Nashville to participate in Country Radio Seminar. CRS for short takes place each February creates memories and celebrates incredible musical moments. CRS is an annual three-day convention where country music and the radio industry gather to exchange ideas, set trends, introduce brands, launch artists and make decisions that affect every aspect of the genre’s future. The seminar includes new music from rising artists as well as some of the most established artists in the business. For some of the best moments and the most exclusive shots, check out our highlight reel on Instagram here.
We flew down to Nashville a day early to meet with our friends at UMG and EBMedia as well as attend an event hosted by CMT regarding Equal Play. Leslie Fram, Coleman Insights, Dr. Jada E. Watson, Cody Alan, Cris Lacy & Mike Molinar sat down in a panel setting to discuss research that was conducted about what fans want to hear on country radio and discuss ideas and brainstorm ways to give more equal representation to women on the radio.
After checking into our room at The Omni, where the seminar takes place, we headed to the first major event of the week, the Warner Luncheon where artists like Cody Johnson, Ashley McBryde, Shy Carter, and one of our 2020 Artists to Watch Gabby Barrett. This event allows these artists to perform just one song for a room full of media and radio programmers from across the country. We were also in the presence of greatness on so many levels, Kenny Chesney. He was awarded the Artist Humanitarian Award for all of the incredible work he has done to change the world. After a humble and incredible acceptance speech, Chesney played some of his biggest hits including “Save It For A Rainy Day” and “Get Along”.
That evening we also headed to Sony Girls Night Out which featured an amazing group performance from The Sisterhood Band, Tenille Townes, and Rachel Wammack. We stopped by FGL House to catch up with our friends at Big Machine Label Group including Tyler Rich, and Avenue Beat. We then caught Brett Young in an intimate setting at the Country Music Hall of Fame and ended our night at the Warner Wednesday cocktail party.
Day two was jam-packed as well, kicking things off with one of the most epic events of the week, the UMG Luncheon at the Ryman. With an unprecedented amount of performers this year, CRS attendees were in awe of the caliber of talent presented that day including Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Sam Hunt, Jon Pardi, Brandon Lay, Caylee Hammack, Adam Hambrick, Kylie Morgan, Parker McCollum, Kip Moore, Brothers Osborne, and Travis Denning. Hot Country Knights, kicked things off with an electric performance of their debut single “Pick Her Up” Mickey Guyton took the stage to perform a brand new song, “What Are You Gonna Tell Her” which highlights the struggles women are facing in today’s society and the song, her emotion, and her performance elicited a standing ovation from the entire venue. Then he biggest surprise of the week so far was that legendary artist Reba was joining UMG once again and she performed her iconic hit “Fancy” for the crowd.
After the showcase, we caught Hardy’s first-ever headlining Nashville show thanks to our friends at Big Loud and Sweet Talk PR. It was an honor to catch the tour not only when it came to New York City but now in Nashville, as one of our 2020 Artists to Watch and favorite rising stars impressed the crowd. He brought Hunter Phelps, Jameson Rodgers out to perform “My Kinda Livin”, as well as a guest appearance from Devin Dawson on his current single, “One Beer”.
The final day of CRS brought the Big Machine Label Group luncheon where Florida Georgia Line kicked things off by performing not only their debut breakout hit “Cruise” but their current single “Blessings” and thanked country radio for their support over the years. We also heard new music from vocal powerhouse Danielle Bradbery, saw newcomer Payton Smith and many more. The ladies of Avenue Beat performed for the crowd and Lady Antebellum closed out the event. It was also announced with a special appearance that Tim McGraw would be returning to Big Machine Label, a place that he celebrated a ton of success with earlier on in his career.
One of our favorite events each year, CRS New Faces closes out the 3-day seminar. This sit-down dinner encourages attendees to dress to the nines, experience a cocktail reception and full dinner before being entertained by 5 of the genre’s most promising rising artists, all who had an incredible year. This year, Riley Green, Ingrid Andress, Morgan Evans, Runaway June, and Mitchell Tenpenny were being honored. All of these artists have been named NYCountry Swag Artists to Watch in the past few years. Performing their biggest hits to date, we watched these inspiring acts win over the entire room.
Another memorable trip to Nashville for our company. We already can’t wait for CRS 2021.
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