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  Fan Fair 2001 & Nashville [page 2]

-ready for Fan Fair!the wild bunch in a bar as usual
The rest of the group joined us there: Jean & Tracey had been to Memphis, Marie & Grace had been to Dallas and the George Strait Festival, while Kim & Norrie had already been to Canada! On the first day a very happy and excited group set out to find the shuttle bus to the Titan's Adelphia Stadium, where the main part of this year's Fan Fair was to be held.
That's where the problems started: We stood in the wrong queue for 20 minutes before anybody would put us right! Our shuttle stop was up the road and round the corner, where we stood for another 40 minutes! In the blistering heat and sometimes in the pouring rain! (Yes, rain!) The waiting would be the pattern for the rest of the duration of Fan Fair, how we wished that the shuttles would run like they did the last time we where there 2 years ago! Non-stop and you could get on and off where you wanted! This time it was to go there, and back at the end of the show, that was it! I have problems with my knees , and there are people a lot worse off then me, goodness knows how they coped! With great difficulty I would imagine!

The shows were to be at 3 different venues:
river front park stages   adelphi coliseum
the Riverfront Park Stages,
the Titan's Adelphia Coliseum
and the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park and none of them exactly close together, and going to any of them meant standing in a queue yet again!
That first night we arrived at the Coliseum the sheer size of it was simply awesome! It can hold up to 80 000 people! After being checked in at the gate (to make sure we didn't have any drink, not even water!) we found our seats, and were we glad we were in the shade! Really, the sheer size of the place was breath taking|!

The show started sharp at 6pm with a very moving opening ceremony with speeches from Marty Stuart, from Nashville's mayor, and from the CMA's chairman amongst others! Then the Tennessee Pipe Band played! Finally we got what ourselves and the 24000plus other people had come for: The Kinleys, Joe Diffie, Montgomerie Gentrie, Collin Raye, Patty Loveless, Billy Gilman, Ty Herndon, Billy Ray Cyrus, Tammy Cochran, Charlie Robison and Travis Tritt. Quite a line-up! My favourites that night were Patty Loveless, Collin Raye and Travis Tritt! The evening, as all others did, finished with spectacular fireworks!

Friday at the Adelphia saw the highlight for Danny: JoDee Messina! She really was fabulous! Then there was Trace Adkins, Tracy Lawrence, Mindy McCready, John Michael Montgomery, Sawyer Brown and Trick Pony! This was our first sighting of Trick Pony, they are fabulous!

The next day we decided to go to Nashville's Convention Centre, where the star's booth where! Some of them where pretty spectacular, but again walking and waiting - and very few seats to have a break! You had to get a ticket to stand in the queue for the bigger names!

In the evening it was back to the Adelphia, this time it was the turn of Gary Allan, Jessica Andrews, Terri Clark, Vince Gill, Jamie O'Neal, Rascal Flatts, SheDaisy and Trisha Yearwood. Loved Gary Allan, Terri Clark and of course Vince Gill! (A good night, but now I know why they sell the Fan Fair cushions, the seats were getting pretty hard!)

The next day we decided just to walk to the Riverfront Park Stages, it was hot, very hot! We thought it would be worth it, but when we got there, we found no seats - no shade and the Buds where $6.00!! We never made it back there again!
Before we knew it the last day was on us.

coutnry music hall of fameDuring the day we finally made it to the new 'Country Music Hall of Fame andMuseum'. What a place! Its very modern and airy and huge, would have loved to have spent more time there, but it again meant more - yes, walking! My feet by that time really bothered me, so I have to leave it until the next time to have a better look and spend more time there! A lot of work and thought has gone into the displays, there also are video clips from all the stars, you press a button and they talk to you! Modern technology at its best!

adelhpi stageThat evening was an early start at 5pm at the Adelphia , first one on was Alan Jackson. (I wonder how many people missed him, Tracey??). What a show he put on, hmmm, what a hunk! (..sorry about that!)
Then it was Sara Evans, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Tracy Byrd, Andy Griggs, Kenny Chesney and he had a surprise and was joined by his best mate Tim McGraw (the whole place went wild!), Lorrie Morgan and Sammy Kershaw did 2 songs (may be their new restaurant was needing them!), Brad Paisley brought the house down, then Phil Vasssar and what about Lonestar! What about the little blind boy who joined them on stage and sung with him word perfect? Not a dry eye in the house! What a great evening and finish to Fan Fair

alan Jackson and traceyThere were a lot of moans and groans from most people we spoke to and the same people felt that it had a better atmosphere at the Fairgrounds where everything was in the same place and you could wander around and see everything. Things were simply too far apart, a lot of work has to be done on a workable and comfortable shuttle service. A good point was that everything was nearer the shops, restaurants and after hours entertainment!

So, good points and bad points! The organisers say: Its here to stay, but give us a chance and we'll sort the problems! Things do and will change, things don't stand still! So I suppose we should give them the opportunity to do just that! All in All I wouldn't have missed it for the world! Will we be back? You bet!

Next morning at 8 am it was: Branson - here we come! But that's another story!

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