This past week, radio programmers and industry professionals from across the US congregated in music city central, Nashville, Tenn., for CRS (Country Radio Seminar). It’s three jam-packed days filled with music, mentoring, learning and networking with country radio’s finest.
This is my third year attending, and every year I feel I’m getting better at finding the pace that works for me. The most stressful part is being pulled in a million different directions. At any given time, there could be 10 events happening all at the same time, and you have to pick and choose which to be at.
My goal this year was to attend a few of the seminars that interested me the most, meet musicians I haven’t met yet – or may not have the opportunity to meet again – and to continue to deepen my relationships with those in the industry that I work with on a weekly basis.
But this is Nashville. And anything could happen.
You see, this year, in order to attend a dinner that I wanted to be at, I had to miss out on the opportunity to meet Kelsea Ballerini. While that was disappointing, I knew there was going to be chances in the future to meet her at a show. So as I’m walking down Broadway to head to my dinner back at the hotel, I look up, and there walking towards me on the street is Kelsea! Before I could even think, I just blurted out “Oh my God, I love you!” She was just as sweet as you could imagine and we quickly talked about how she was on her way to the event I was missing out on. We hugged and parted ways, and I thought ‘Only in Nashville…’.
Another surprise run-in was at the airport on the day I was leaving Nashville. I happened to see and briefly chat with Brad Tursi from Old Dominion. One thing about Nashville is the almost unspoken rule – you don’t interact with artists “in the wild”. It’s part of why Reba McEntire can still go grocery shopping or Dierks Bentley can pick up a coffee. So I definitely didn’t think to ask or even want to ask for a picture. It’s even better to just have a moment, one-on-one, as normal humans without the hustle and bustle of the industry. If anything, it was better than any meet and greet I’ve ever been a part of.
This CRS was definitely one to remember. I met Sam Hunt for the first time, actor Luke Grimes from Yellowstone, and Drake Milligan. I saw some of our Studio B Sessions friends again like Dalton Dover and Josiah Siska. And one of the biggest moments of the week was when Darius Rucker and Brad Paisley led an all-star singalong to Prince’s “Purple Rain” at the legendary Ryman Auditorium. Like I said, only in Nashville!