Don’t turn us in but previously we may have dabbled in some dodgy measures to try and watch the CMA Awards live online. This year, there’s enough thread chat to suggest many others will be staying up till the wee hours trying to do the same, but we’ve decided to focus on some less sleep-depriving ways of experiencing the ceremony buzz.
What are the CMA Awards?
In case you’re new to the scene, the Country Music Association Awards are pretty much country’s Grammys. You’ll be bombarded with many, MANY other related awards throughout the year with confusingly similar acronyms. There are the American Country Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, the Country Music Television awards and that’s before all the international and Americana music ones get involved. But the CMA Awards, which began back in 1967, is the big glossy one with best outfits, performances and incredible red carpet build up and outfits.
For the 11th year in a row the event will be hosted by banter loaded country mega stars Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood (pictured) and will feature performances from country A-Listers like Eric Church, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney and Garth Brooks plus those who’ve more recently appeared on our radar, like Lindsay Ell and Ashley McBryde.
When are the CMA Awards?
The 52nd edition of the glitzy ceremony is taking place Wednesday November 14th 2018 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. It’s 7pm Nashville time but inconveniently the action doesn’t start till 01:00 UK time. Some jammier British bloggers like Your Life in a song will actually be over in Nashville for tonight’s glamourfest. We’re not bitter. If you, like us, are unable to A) get a last minute flight to the USA there is hope.
So, how can a humble Brit revel in the CMA Awards mania?
Back in 1997 I taped the CMA Awards on VHS from BBC Two. At the time, as I replayed the Martina McBride & Clint Black duet an embarrassing number of times, I had no idea it would be absent form my telly box for the next decade. But now selected CMA Awards action is creeping back onto the BBC. Here’s what not to miss on this side of the pond is November.
WEDNESDAY 14TH NOVEMBER 23:00, Taste of Country
A few sites like Entertainment Weekly and People will be live streaming the CMA arrivals but our favourite red carpet coverage is from Taste of Country, live from 11pm UK time. You can watch on their website here, via facebbook or their interactive youtube stream and we’re hopeful this footage will work internationally like it has done the last couple of years.
WEDNESDAY 14TH FROM 01:00, Social Media
The CMA Awards ceremony finally takes place. We know if you really look you’ll find a link to watch US TV live, but we’re not going to help your search. Sorry. Instead, we’ll advise that if you’re hoping to avoid spoilers till the highlights are on UK TV, you should stay off of social media feeds, news channels, and google… in fact you should probably draw your curtains too and start browsing Zoopla for a nice rock to live under.
THURSDAY 15TH 21:00-00:00, BBC Radio 2
Bob Harris is over in Nashville, and tomorrow he’ll be broadcasting highlights from ‘Country Music’s Biggest Night of the Year’ plus will have guests and live music in his studio, including Thomas Rhett and Terri Clark. Just a day after the event, this programme is airing with a much quicker turnaround than last year so maybe we’re that bit closer to getting the event simultaneously with the US.
FROM THURSDAY 15TH 06:00, Chris Country Radio
On Thursday the Chris Country breakfast show will be covering the CMA Awards results and allowing you to singalong with the winning songs in the shower. Then over the weekend they’ll be starting ever hour with two CMA winner tracks.
FRIDAY 23RD, 22:25 – 23:25, BBC Four
After obsessively checking the BBC websites to find out the broadcast date of this promised 1-hour CMA Awards special on British TV we have one! We know that an hour is really not long enough and so they’ll have to cut out gems like Chris Stapleton’s acceptance speech where he thanked EVERYONE including his “cousins in Kentucky”. We know that by the time The Country Music Awards Highlights 2018 does air we’ll already know all the winners and have seen the standout performances via social media (remember how quickly the Chris Stapleton & Justin Timberlake performance spread?), but still – better late than never. So tune in to make ratings soar in hopes that this snippet show will herald the return of the full awards to our screens, eliminating the temptation of dodgy streaming links.
In the meantime all the nominees are here. Who are you rooting for?