What recession? CMA Music Fest attendance was up this year, despite tough economic times. Though sales of four-day passes were down about 4%, the single-day tickets were up a surprising 19%! That makes for a total net increase of 7% from last year. CMA execs think Nashville residents are partly to thank for the boost.

"We were going into this event saying we were going to be flat, and we thought flat was up," the CMA's CEO Tammy Genovese told MusicCityTV.com after Sunday's final show. "But tonight, we've all sat down and looked at the numbers and we are thrilled to say we are up about 7.2 percent over last year ... We feel that this is totally about our Nashvillians owning this event and becoming a part of it."

The CMA averages total daily Music Fest attendance at about 56,000 people this year. That's up from 52,000 last year.