54th Annual CMA Awards forgoing live audience

Attendance will be limited to essential personnel only

Organizers of the 54th Annual CMA Awards have announced it will forgo a live audience for the 2020 show due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Country Music Association CEO Sarah Trahern shared the news in a memo to CMA Members following the announcement of the nominees this week.

“As we navigate the months ahead, we expect to make a number of changes as it relates to the production of the event,” Trahern reveals to members. “As for the ceremony itself, we remain committed to delivering the safest and most memorable live television experience our artists, creators and fans have come to expect. Regretfully, we are unable to offer CMA Awards tickets to members as capacity inside the event will be limited to essential personnel only, as outlined by local health authorities and CDC guidelines. We understand this news is disappointing, but know the adjustment is necessary in order to provide the safest possible environment for all involved. We are so proud to broadcast the event, not only domestically but internationally, allowing us to expand the growth of country music worldwide. I appreciate your continued support of the CMA Awards through your membership, voting and tuning into the ceremony.”

The annual award show broadcasts live from Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena every November. It’s not yet publicly known where this year’s festivities will take place given tickets won’t be sold to help offset the costs of renting the arena.

Trahern assures its members the organization is assisting with relief efforts for industry personnel affected by the cancellation of thousands of events worldwide.

“Now almost six months into this crisis, I want you all to know that we have not and will not slow down our efforts to support and uplift each and every CMA member and our industry as a whole,” Trahern states. “Through our educational events, our compiled resources, our conversations with government officials, and our many conversations with you, we remain committed, as your trade organization, to continue searching for ways to provide help and relief to our industry.”

The 54th CMA Awards will air Wednesday, November 11th from 8-11 pm ET on ABC. Miranda Lambert tops the list at seven nominations – making CMA Awards history as the first female artist to accumulate a record breaking 55 total career nods. This record was previously held by Reba McEntire, who earned her 51st nomination this year with “Be A Light,” a collaborative effort with Thomas Rhett, Hillary Scott, Keith Urban and Chris Tomlin. Other top nominees include Luke Combs with six nominations – including his first ever nod for Entertainer of the Year, Maren Morris with five nods, Dan + Shay, producer Jay Joyce and Carly Pearce each securing four, and Justin Bieber, Ashley McBryde and Keith Urban each up for trophies in three categories.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.