5 Rising Acts Worth Catching at CMA Fest

You won't want to miss these Lower-Broadway gems this weekend

CMA Fest 2022
Illustration by Steven Fiche

    Beginning on Thursday, June 9th, over 50,000 music fans will descend on Nashville for CMA Fest. After the 2020 and 2021 festivals were both cancelled throughout Covid-19 concerns, the 2022 festival marks a return for the four-day event and features a stacked lineup of headliners like Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Mickey Guyton, and many more.

    While the Nissan Stadium headliner lineup is impressive, there are so many other acts worth catching throughout the long weekend in Music City. We’ve highlighted five of them here.

    Hailey Whitters

    Catch the Grammy-nominated artist while you can — Hailey Whitters is the real deal. Beloved for her down-home sound and making waves on a recent headline tour, Whitters offers a slice of the country music genre that feels like a blast to the past in all the best ways. Between her vocals and her heartfelt, honest lyrics, the singer-songwriter is worth making time for at the Spotify House stage.


    After breaking through in 2019 with “My Truck” thanks to some very viral help on TikTok, BRELAND has ensured that he’s stayed an act to keep an eye on. By combining country music with trap beats and his lifelong love of Gospel music, BRELAND has proved himself to be a trusted collaborator for artists across genres and a solo artist who can stand on his own two feat. (Take a look at his two EPs, which have amassed over 150 million streams on Spotify.) Catch BRELAND this weekend in Nashville before the anticipated release of his full-length album, Cross-Country.



    This duo, originally from Australia, is comprised of childhood best friends Tom Jordan and Mitch Thompson. Seaforth is the name of their hometown, a suburb of Sydney. After releasing their debut EP in 2019 via Sony Nashville, the two built up their stateside audience opening for Kane Brown as part of Budweiser’s “One Night Only” concert series. Essential listening before catching their set: learn the chorus to their heartbreaker, “Breakups.”

    Niko Moon

    As with many successful Nashville names, Niko Moon made his way as a songwriter before striking out as a solo artist. With hits under his belt for the Zac Brown Band, Rascal Flatts, and Dierks Bentley, the Texas-born artist joined Sony Music/RCA Nashville in 2019 to introduce listeners to his own sound. His soulful voice and energetic stage presence make him a can’t-miss part of the downtown Nashville landscape this weekend.

    Lauren Weintraub

    Lauren Weintraub is the kind of singer-songwriter whose work burrows under the skin and stays with the listener. After an appearance on NPR’s Tiny Desk series, the Boston-born artist received “Top Shelf” designation, given to the best songs heard year by NPR’s panel of judges (which included fellow Nashville staple Jason Isbell). Since then, she’s continued to pull in fans with her catchy, modern tracks. She’ll be at Spotify House’s Fresh Finds Rooftop on Saturday night.


    Find the full CMA Fest lineup below.

    cma fest 2022