Just as many other artists do, Jason Aldean had a fanclub party during CMA Fest, except his was different from most. Rather than simply purchasing tickets to a private show with a meet and greet at the end, you entered your name for a drawing to be chosen to watch Jason Aldean soundcheck at LP Field the day of his performance (Thursday, June 9, 2011). There was no cost to attend the party other than the fanclub membership – you just had to hope that you were chosen to go.
By the evening of the draw date of Friday, May 6, it appeared that Jason Aldean’s fanclub picked all the winners. I hadn’t received and email so I had pretty much written it off my plans for Nashville. Imagine my surprise on May 10 when I suddenly got an e-mail telling me that I was invited!
Several weeks went by and no information was posted or e-mailed about the details of Jason’s party, and before I knew it, it was time to begin my road trip to Nashville. At my first overnight stop on my road trip in Columbus, Ohio, I logged onto my e-mail from my hotel and lo and behold, I finally received detailed information regarding Jason’s party. I could not have been happier when I saw that the check-in was between 11:30 am to 12:15 pm, which meant that I would be able to attend Lady A’s party also, which was later that night.
I arrived at LP Field around 10:30 am to get in line. There were only about 20 people ahead of me when I arrived, which meant that I would be able to see the soundcheck performance up close. Around 11:30, we were let inside the gates to register and pick up our fan club shirts, and then we all stood in line again until registration ended at 12:15. By this time, I would estimate that we had around 75 fans. I got to talking to a girl from Pennsylvania named Nicole, who had been to CMA Fest many times in the past, and she was giving me advice and tips on how to make the most of my time during CMA Fest. It was nice to make new friends at events like this!
While we stood in line, the fanclub staff told everyone that during Jason’s soundcheck, there would be a “special guest performer” doing soundcheck as well. Of course, everyone knew it was the one and only Kelly Clarkson, who is Jason’s duet partner in “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” This was fantastic, because I love Kelly too, and was actually hoping all along that she would be at the party!
Finally, once the registration was complete, we were taken down to the seating area of LP Field, and we were placed in the front few rows of Section C. Although I was in second row, I got to be smack dab in the middle of the section, so the view was excellent. Jason and his band were setting up their equipment and getting ready, and then the music began. It was “Don’t You Wanna Stay” first, and Kelly Clarkson came on stage. There were plenty of cheers from the audience! It was really cool to see both Jason and Kelly on stage in casual dress, and everything was all relaxed and informal, with no big fear of performing live in front of thousands of fans. Kelly then left the stage, and Jason did one more song on his own, “Dirt Road Anthem.”
When the performances were over, we all went back upstairs and lined up to get a photo with Jason, which was taken by his fanclub’s photographer. We were told that our meet and greet photos would be available for download on the fanclub within a few days. Nicole was ahead of me, and since we wanted our pictures sooner, I took her photo on my own camera, and she took mine.
Jason was really nice! I told him that I was looking forward to seeing him on stage in the evening, and thanked him for hosting something as cool as this for the fans. He even signed my CD cover. After the meet and greet, we were each given a giant autographed Jason Aldean poster, and then it was over.
That night, after Lady A’s party, we thankfully got inside LP Field before Jason Aldean (and of course, Lady A, too) came on stage. His performance was really good, and definitely one of the highlights. I especially looked forward to his performance with Kelly Clarkson, which was phenomenal.
All in all, my first Jason Aldean fanclub party was a lot of fun, as was my very first night of CMA Fest ever. I was glad that his fanclub allowed fans to use their own cameras at the meet and greet, as many other artists do not let you do so, and even hold your camera as you get your professional photo taken to make sure that you don’t.
I am glad that everything worked out in the end, and that the performances were fantastic…I will definitely be back in Nashville next year!