CRS Offers Face Time for Radio Industry, Country Artists
Nashville's annual Country Radio Seminar (CRS) is this week, and The Boot has your daily guide on where to go, who to see and what to do to make the most of the three-day event. Created by the Country Radio Broadcasters (CRB) more than 30 years ago as a media convention for country radio personnel, CRS has grown to include everyone from on-air talent, sales executives, general managers, as well as artists hoping to make a career in the format.
Held March 2 - 4 at the Renaissance Hotel, this year's agenda promises non-stop fun and music from start to finish. (Note: All events are held at the Nashville Convention Center unless otherwise listed. A three-day pass is required for entrance to most events.)
Tuesday, March 1:
It's the unofficial kick-off to CRS activities. The Country Radio Hall of Fame Induction ceremony honors several radio personalities, as well as other key music industry personnel. This year, the Judds will receive the 2011 Career Achievement Award, and former Sony Music Nashville record label chief Joe Galante will take home the President's Award.
Wednesday, March 2:
9:30 AM - Keynote Speech: Carrie Underwood will jump-start the morning schedule with a performance of the national anthem, followed by a presentation by Scripps CEO Ken Lowe and the presentation of the Tom Rivers Award and the Artist and Radio Humanitarian Award.
12:00 PM - Universal Music Group luncheon: The powerhouse label treats CRS-goers to performances by almost every single artist on its roster, including Gary Allan, Laura Bell Bundy, Hayes Carll, Coldwater Jane, Easton Corbin, Billy Currington, Dani Flowers, Vince Gill, Mallary Hope, Jamey Johnson, Josh Kelley, Randy Montana, Kip Moore, David Nail, Randy Rogers Band, Ashton Shepherd, Canaan Smith, Sugarland, Josh Turner and Lee Ann Womack. Taking the stage at the legendary Ryman Auditorium, each artist is slated to perform one song.
4:00 PM - KCRS! Live: Hit songwriters and performers Rivers Rutherford, LoCash Cowboys, Jeffrey Steele and Aaron Lewis will perform an in-the-round show for CRS attendees, hosted by multi-award winning deejay Bob Kingsley.
7:30 PM - ACM Music City Jam: Blake Shelton invites several friends onstage for a show in honor of the Wounded Warrior Project.
10:00 PM - SkyTone Records Showcase: Newcomer Leah Seawright will take the stage in the Renaissance Hotel's Fisk Room, performing songs from her new album, 'On the Backroads.'
Thursday, March 3:
12:30 PM - Arista Nashville Luncheon: He appeared at last year's CRS with his partner of 20 years, Kix Brooks, but this marks the first year Ronnie Dunn will take the stage as a solo artist. The country superstar will be the headlining act for a show that includes labelmate Joanna Smith, and possibly a few surprise guests.
4:00 PM - Broad Jam Acoustic Showcase: The winner of the Broad Jam Acoustic Showcase Concert, who was previously selected by a panel of industry professionals, will take the stage for their chance to impress music industry executives during a 20-minute set. Mark Croft is also slated to perform.
8:00 PM - PCL Music Showcase: Some of country music's newest and most promising talent are set to share the stage at the Cadillac Ranch.
8:30 PM - Wild Night at the Wildhorse: It's the place to be for the night's best line-up in Music City. Colt Ford, Ira Dean, Josh Gracin, Sunny Ledfurd, Corey Smith and JB and the Moonshine Band will all take turns behind the mic for several hours of music. Also scheduled is a special performance by D.M.C., founder of the pioneering rap act, Run D.M.C.
Friday, March 4:
5:30 PM - New Faces Cocktail Reception: Black River Entertainment plays host for a time to mingle and reconnect with new and old friends, as the anticipation builds for CRS's final night of entertainment.
6:30 PM - New Faces of Country Music: It's the hottest ticket of CRS each year, and this year is no different, as the event is already sold out! The New Faces show has been credited with launching the careers of several of country music's biggest stars, including Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Garth Brooks and Sugarland. This year, the Band Perry, Steel Magnolia, Lee Brice, Josh Thompson and Jerrod Niemann will all have the opportunity to shine onstage, no doubt offering thanks to radio folks for their continued support.
10:00 PM - British Invasion: Once again, Digital Rodeo will close out the entire CRS experience with a memorable Brit-themed show at the Cadillac Ranch. The star-studded line-up includes Katie Armiger, Burns and Poe, Due West, Sarah Darling, Ashley Gearing, Josh Gracin, Julie Roberts, Bryan White and Tiffany, with more artists expected to appear.
For more information on the CRS schedule, visit here.