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Las Vegas: Country Music Awards is so much more than a show

March 12, 2013|By Jay Jones
  • Singer Luke Bryan, performing at last year's Academy of Country Music Awards, will be the co-host of the April 7 event in Las Vegas.
Singer Luke Bryan, performing at last year's Academy of Country Music… (Getty Images for ACM )

The 48th Academy of Country Music Awards show takes center stage April 7 in Las Vegas, and although the ceremony is sold out according to Ticketmaster, there will be plenty to do April 5-8.

A series of events known as the ACM Experience takes over the Orleans Arena April 5-7. The centerpiece is the “Party for a Cause,” a two-day, outdoor music festival featuring some of this year’s award nominees. Tickets cost $35 for a single day (April 5 or 6) or $55 for a two-day pass. Proceeds will benefit several charities.

Indoors, the ACM Expo will feature more than 150 vendors selling “country lifestyle” merchandise including crafts. A bucking bull ring will also be featured.

The climax will be Sunday’s Fan Jam, which coincides with the awards ceremony itself at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Country superstar Brad Paisley will host the ticketed event with live performances from top acts, some of which will be incorporated into the live broadcast on CBS, hosted by Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan.

Downtown, there will be plenty of live music,  all of it free, along the Fremont Street Experience.

Several bands will take to two stages at 9 p.m. both Friday and Saturday for free concerts. The performances will be headlined by Gary Allen and Jake Owen.

Back at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the music continues Monday evening with Tim McGraw’s Superstar Summer Night. The concert, which starts at 7:30, will feature stars including Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan and Taylor Swift. Tickets range from $105 to $205, with proceeds benefiting the ACM Lifting Lives charity.

A complete lineup of ACM events, plus ticket information, can be found on the academy’s website.

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