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What Did Aussie Artists Get Up To In Nashville? CMA Fest, Writer’s Rounds & More.

15 June 2023 | 12:51 pm | Mallory Arbour

And yes, there are more than you think!

Casey Barnes

Casey Barnes (Image: Supplied)

More Casey Barnes More Casey Barnes

We, like I’m sure many of you too, have been following the social media journeys of our Aussies artists in Nashville over the past couple of weeks in complete envy. From the epic performances – both performed and seen – to the superstar meet and greets, writer’s rounds and more.  

While we have highlighted Casey Barnes, Lily Grace, Brittany Elise, Cassidy-Rae, Melanie Dyer, James Johnston, Jade Gibson and Chloe Styler, other Australians in Nashville during CMA Fest included Zac & George, Billie Rose Copeland, Loren Ryan, Damien Baguley, Max Jackson, Jake Davey, Kirsty Lee Akers, Chelsea Berman, Imogen Clark, Kaylee Bell, Christie Lamb, and not forgetting our talented expats Blake O’Connor, Sinead Burgess, Katrina Burgoyne, Troy Kemp, Morgan Evans, Seaforth and more.


Casey Barnes

Casey Barnes headed to Nashville at the beginning of June to play on the Reverb Stage at CMA Fest. Which, we dare say, looking at the social media photos, the crowd turned up for. Keen eyes would spot, he was joined on stage by Troy Kemp – a fellow Australian singer-songwriter (and one half of powerhouse duo McAlister Kemp) who now lives in Nashville.

Barnes later headlined at Summer Nights Series festival in downtown Monterey, Tennessee along with Lily Grace and others. He and Jeremy Barnes played a cover of the Kenny Loggins’ classic, Footloose, to the eager crowd. Barnes then caught up with Morgan Evans and Danielle Blakey to cook “up something pretty special” – our money is on a co-write but we’re hoping is a collaboration.  

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Lily Grace

According to her social media, Lily Grace has been living in Nashville since early February. Attending her first ever CMA Fest this year, she shared an artist recap video. Grace played at Whiskey Bent Saloon in Nashville and later did a meet and greet where she got to catch up with fans old and new. Her next show is on July 4th with Craig Wayne Boyd and Shane Profitt in Cookeville, Tennessee.

It’s not the first time the singer-songwriter has been to the United States, however, according to her social media, last time she was there she played at The Bluebird Café, attended Freedom Fest, participated in a writer’s night and more, so clearly, she’s making waves with every trip she takes.

Brittany Elise 

Brittany Elise also performed at Whiskey Bent Saloon in Nashville as part of the ‘Introducing’ portion of the night and did a meet and greet at Fan Fair X where, as well as meeting a number of fans, she also got to meet fellow musicians, Andy Griggs, Cowboy Troy and Priscilla Block.

Earlier in the year, Elise travelled to the United States as part of her Gympie Music Muster Talent Search prize, where she performed shows at Vinyl Archaeology and Maxwell House in Nashville, recorded some new music and met a number of fellow country artists including Carrie Underwood (whom she got to see perform at the Grand Ole Opry), Tigirligy Gold and Dozzi.


Cassidy-Rae clocked up the steps at CMA Fest. Her day one schedule alone had us exhausted as she checked out back-to-back stages to see some of her favourites, including RaeLynn, Casey Barnes, MacKenzie Porter, Seaforth, Brittany Elise, Lily Grace and more. The shows didn’t stop there with Cassidy-Rae mentioning she seeing Callista Clark, Melanie Dyer and more during the week.

Cassidy-Rae also took the opportunity to play a couple of writer’s rounds while in Nashville including Copper Brand and Bad Axe Throwing. You can follow along her journey via her social media.

Melanie Dyer

Melanie Dyer was lucky to play her CMA Fest set on the Hard Rock Stage as all outdoor stages were cancelled shortly after because of a bad storm. She was joined on stage by Troy Cartwright who jumped up for their duet Between You & Me. More talented Aussies made up her band including Jackson James, Isaac Leong Loon, Jeremy Minett and Liam Donoghue. Dyer also got to meet fellow artists like Priscilla Block, Tenille Arts, Warren Zeiders, Jordan Harvey, Seaforth and more as part of her CMA Fest experience.

Before wowing the crowd at CMA Fest, she made her debut at Nashville’s iconic The Listening Room Café alongside Phil Barton and Emily Shackelton. Dyer also attended Sounds Australia and APRA AMCOS’ A Taste Of Australia event with Max Jackson, Jade Gibson, Jake Davey and Chelsea Berman.

Jade Gibson

While on an extended vacation, which also took her to Los Angeles before Guadalajara, Tlaquepaque, Cancun, Tulum, Isla Holbox and Mexico City, Jade Gibson caught up with fellow Australians Max Jackson, Melanie Dyer, Jake Davey and Chelsea Berman for Sounds Australia and APRA AMCOS’ A Taste Of Australia event in Nashville and more. She’s also on the bill for a number of Writer’s Rounds while in Nashville – which you can find information about here.  

James Johnston

As well as interviewing some of his favourite artists, catching up with fellow Australians, and attending the Restless Road and Friends Charity Dunk Tank event, James Johnston played his first CMA Fest and immediately, after coming off the stage, felt the urge to song write.Talk about inspired!

Johnston said, “Truth be told I didn’t think anyone was going to be there! But they were and it was people from around the world and a hell of a lot of Aussies! Here I am on the other side of the world, and you were there to support me… that moment right there made me realise how truly lucky I am to have the incredible support I do!”

Chloe Styler

Chloe Styler left for Nashville with her dad in early June. Within the first 24 hours of being there, she saw Dierks Bentley and Molly Tuttle in concert, performed for Apple Music, caught up with Jake Davey and Chelsea Berman and went on a studio tour. She later played her first international show for Sounds Australia and APRA AMCOS before hitting the CMA Fest spotlight stage performing to a large crowd. Styler also saw some of Nashville’s iconic sights and caught up with many fellow Aussies.