Music News

“Like a meet and greet on steroids”: Dierks Bentley says CMA Fest is a chance to reconnect with fans

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ABC

Country stars and fans alike reunited in Nashville over the weekend for the city’s annual CMA Fest, an event that took a two-year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For artists like Dierks Bentley, those chances to make in-person memories are precious. Dierks has fans he’s known for years who have been with him through every step of his career. Earlier this spring, for example, he got his own star on the Music City Walk of Fame, and he celebrated the moment the best way he knows how: by hugging a longtime fan.

“And it’s not just some random fan. That’s someone I’ve known for, like, 10 years,” he notes, saying he posted a picture of that special hug on social media. “You look at her face, and her eyes are squinted really tightly closed, and she’s giving me a real hug. You can see it.”

Dierks believes that that close artist-fan relationship is part of what makes country music so special.

“It’s touching, it’s hugging, it’s high-fiving and shaking hands,” he goes on to say. “It’s a very physical interaction between us and our fans, unlike any other genre, I would say, out there. So yeah, I think CMA Fest is like a meet and greet on steroids.”

Dierks and his “Worth a Shot” duet partner, Elle King, are also the hosts of the CMA Fest television special, which will air on August 3 on ABC.

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