Nashville Gears Up for Country Radio Seminar 2017

Country radio’s biggest event of the year, Country Radio Seminar (CRS) kicks off this Wednesday, Feb. 22 in downtown Nashville, Tenn. The three-day agenda is packed full of entertainment, networking, and educational opportunities, and includes panels, mentoring events, instructive discussions, and exciting performances from the most talked about emerging acts of today to country music’s biggest superstars. Some of the seminar’s most anticipated events are back again, and include Grand Ole Opry at CRS, Bob Kingsley’s Acoustic Alley, Team UMG at The Ryman, Big Machine Label Group’s luncheon show, and the New Faces of Country Music Show and Dinner. 

Country Radio Seminar Executive Director, Bill Mayne comments, “We are so excited and ready for Wednesday’s kickoff to CRS 2017! Over the course of the three-days, our attendees will see and hear more actionable content than ever before! One of the best parts of CRS is ALWAYS the engagement and the networking with old friends and new, and I know many are looking forward to seeing so many of their friends.” Mayne also adds, “I urge everyone to take advantage of the CRS 2017 Hearing Test—it’s free and could change your life!”

As part of its tradition of taking care of the individuals who make up the music industry family, Country Radio Seminar has partnered with Starkey Hearing Technologies to offer free hearing tests at CRS 2017 to seminar attendees.

An overview of this year’s agenda highlights is below. A full agenda is available on the CRS 2017 mobile app and at

Prior to the seminar’s kick-off, registrants have the opportunity to tour the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum from 9:00 a.m.-3 p.m.

This year, Country Radio Seminar will kick off its annual three-day convention by throwing the seminar’s first-ever commencement party, in collaboration with SunTrust Bank and Encore Technologies. Award-winning TV and radio personalities, Lorianne Crook and Charlie Chase of Crook & Chase, will host the event that starts at 12:15 p.m. CT. Five artists are set to perform and are Caroline Jones, Macy Martin, Matt Gary, Jeremiah Richey, and Joe Denim.  The CRS 2017 Kickoff Party will conclude prior to the CRS 2017 Opening Ceremonies.

At 3 p.m. CT, one of Country Music’s favorite female vocalists, Trisha Yearwood, will start CRS 2017’s Opening Ceremonies, sponsored by Sarah Cannon, by singing the national anthem. A Color Guard presentation from the United States Marine Corps and a welcome from Nashville Mayor, Megan Barry will follow.

Shortly after, the Humanitarian awards are presented.  This year’s presentation will recognize Zac Brown as the recipient of the CRS 2017 Artist Humanitarian Award and former Chairman and CEO of Greater Media, Peter Smyth, as the recipient of the CRS 2017 Tom Rivers Humanitarian Award.

From 4 – 5:00 p.m. CT, Olympic Gold Medalist, television broadcaster, best-selling author, humanitarian, cancer survivor, and eternal optimist, Scott Hamilton, will appear as the keynote speaker. CRS President, Charlie Morgan, will lead the conversation with Hamilton.

At 5:30 p.m. CT, attendees will gather for the Opening Welcome Reception, sponsored by CMA and Live Nation. Immediately following is the “Grand Ole Opry at CRS” show, powered by Live Nation. This year’s performers are: Zac Brown Band, Lady Antebellum, Trace Adkins, Crystal Gayle, LOCASH, Cam, Michael Ray, Chris Lane, Carly Pearce, and Dailey & Vincent.

Thursday, Feb. 23 kicks off at 8:00 a.m. CT with the Programming Mentoring Breakfast, sponsored by Sun Broadcast Group, and the Sales Mentoring Breakfast. The Programming Mentoring Breakfast gives attendees the opportunity to learn and pose questions to the most experienced PDs and consultants in the business.  Congruently taking place, the Sales Mentoring Breakfast provides participants the chance to directly interact and engage with several knowledgeable mentors regarding radio sales and how to maximize sale efforts.

At 9 a.m. CT, The Mobilization of Country Radio will take place. In association with Edison Research, Country Radio Seminar will present newfound research on the continued advancement and popularity of mobilized music options available to listeners. The presentation will explore streaming trends, the diversity of radio usage and online music consumption of today’s Country music fans.

Garth Brooks will return to this year’s Country Radio Seminar in a keynote presentation at 10 a.m. CT, titled “Inside Studio G,” an intimate, behind-the-scenes look into the business and life of the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year.

Panel highlights for the day include: Objects are Larger Than They Appear: Small Markets that do BIG Things, Speeding Towards Tomorrow: Radio in a Driverless World, CMA Breakout Session #1: The Power of the Country Music Radio Consumer, Women Empowering Women, Victory in the Hallways: Creating a Positive Work Culture, More Than Words: Presenting Ideas That Inspire Bold Action, You Are More Valuable Than You Think: Finding your Full Potential, Capturing the Millennial Ear: Rethinking our Traditional Medium for the Next Generation, Moving the Listeners and the Numbers That Count (sponsored by Nielsen Music), and How are you Protecting your Core Revenues?: Local and National Spot Revenues

Team UMG at the Ryman will take place at 11:30 a.m. CT, and will include performances by Lauren Alaina, Lady Antebellum, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Easton Corbin, Billy Currington, Vince Gill, Sam Hunt, Kip Moore, Jon Pardi, Darius Rucker, Chris Stapleton, Josh Turner, and Keith Urban.

New this year, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 23 at 4 p.m. in the Westwood One Networking Lounge (Legends Terrace), is “On-Air Talent Mentoring Happy Hour.” The lounge serves as an area for attendees to mingle with on-air talent, managers and programmers.

From 5-7:00 p.m., Cold River Records will host “Beer, Biscuits, and Basketball with Drew Baldridge” at Kitchen Notes. Hosted by FOX and Friends’ Brian Kilmeade, the event will feature a special performance by Drew Baldridge. Hot biscuits and cold beverages will be served.

For the second consecutive year, Country Radio Seminar (CRS) and the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum will partner to offer CRS 2017 attendees a private cocktail reception and free access to the museum during CRS 2017.  The cocktail reception will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. CT, and will be held in the museum’s Hall of Fame Rotunda.

At 7:00 p.m., eleven of the format’s most successful songwriters will perform at Bob Kingsley’s Acoustic Alley, one of the many popular after-hour events taking place during Country Radio Seminar 2017. Shane McAnally, Josh Osborne, JT Harding, Laura Veltz, Luke Laird, Ashley Gorley, Brett James, Rhett Akins, Busbee, Jon Nite, and Cole Taylor are all set to perform.

Friday, Feb. 24 will begin with the option of either the Women’s Mentoring Breakfast Sponsored by NuVoodoo Media Services or the Digital & Tech Breakfast. The Women’s Mentoring Breakfast provides women with the opportunity to meet, greet, and eat with the industry’s most inspiring and accomplished women of today and to create meaningful connections in radio and records. The Digital & Tech Breakfast will touch on the newest innovations as well as challenges of today’s radio in a world that is so digitally and technologically advanced and dependent. The success of campaigns and the challenges faced throughout them will be explored.

At 9:00 a.m. in the Legends Ballroom, featured speaker, Ryan Redington, Director of Amazon Music, will begin his presentation, sponsored by Momentum Label Group. Redington has overseen the launch of two Amazon Music streaming services – Amazon Music Unlimited and Prime Music.

Friday’s panel highlights include: The Digital Revenue Explosion, Dicing the Data, Cultivating the Farm Team: Sources of New Talent, CMA Breakout Session #2: And the CMA Broadcast Award Goes to…, Lace up Your Boots & Get in the Trenches with Social Media Platforms, Promotions Start to Finish: Part YOU – sponsored by vCreative, Cashing in on Live Events: LIVE!, and Coaching the Coaches: Top Talent Tell How to Motivate them Best.

Prior to Friday’s luncheon, at 11:45 a.m., recording artist Kaylee Rutland will greet constituents in the Pre-Function area with an acoustic performance, sponsored by Ivie & Associates.

At Noon, the Big Machine Label Group luncheon will be held, and includes performances by A Thousand Horses, Trent Harmon, Delta Rae, Midland, Carly Pearce, and Maddie & Tae.

Later in the afternoon, attendees will have a chance to enjoy featured speaker, Toby Keith at Toby Keith: My Way. Sponsored by BMI, the discussion will explore Keith’s career, what inspired him to take control of his recorded and live music, form his own label, and build a business empire on his terms. Keith will also talk about his strong relationship with men and women of the military, and his dedication to charitable initiatives. Leading the discussion will be RJ Curtis and Beverlee Brannigan.

At 5:30 p.m., the New Faces Cocktail reception, sponsored by Big Spark Music Group, will kick off the evening with hosted bars and a powerhouse performance by Olivia Lane.

CRS will conclude with the annual New Faces of Country Music Dinner and Show, which is sponsored by ACM and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The show will feature performances by William Michael Morgan, Maren Morris, Jon Pardi, Granger Smith, and Drake White. The CRB-Country Aircheck Awards will be presented throughout the show.

Additional event features are highlighted throughout the three-day agenda, and include the St. Jude Coffee Cart, St. Jude Internet Café, and located in the Omni lobby, the all new CRS Lobby Bar, sponsored by vCreative.

Parenting Today’s Teens will host a daily brunch, providing attendees the opportunity to know about their mission in Country radio.  Enter-to-win daily giveaways will be offered as well as complimentary Bloody Marys and mimosas.

Rebel Engine Entertainment will provide a space outfitted with charging stations, where attendees are welcome to mingle and relax in between panels and events.  On Friday, Rebel Engine Entertainment artists Lucas Hoge and Stephanie Quayle will host a Corn Hole Competition in the Rebel Engine lounge where attendees can win prizes.

SSM Records will host several events throughout the week in their sponsored space, located in Music Row Room 1; scheduled are a post-panel grab-a-beer event, a cocktail hour and showcase featuring Alexandra Demetree, as well as other various showcases by SSM Records artists.  On Wednesday, attendees will also be able to register to win a Regions Green Bike, located in Exhibitor Booth #10.

Based in the UMG Library Lounge, attendees can experience an immersive concert experience featuring Eric Church. With 8 camera angles, 360-degree audio from DTS, and use of a Samsung Gear VR headset, the stage is set for the ultimate virtual reality experience.

As in previous years, the CRS mobile app, powered by Country Aircheck, will provide attendees with the most up-to-date information pertaining to the seminar’s agenda.  The official app is now available for download on iPhone (link here) and Android mobile (link here) devices. In addition to finding an expanded CRS agenda, the app provides panel descriptions, speaker bios, integrated calendar updates, CRS after-hour activities, CRS TV video clips, and other event news. Users can create their own customized CRS schedule, rate the panels, and post updates and reviews directly to their social media profiles. Individuals that already have the CRS 2016 app on their mobile device, the CRS 2017 is available simply by updating the app.

Registration for Country Radio Seminar 2017 is available for purchase on-site.