Dierks Bentley Says CMA Fest TV Special Will Have ‘Crazy’ Energy

by Blake Ells

Dierks Bentley is co-hosting a CMA Fest special that will air on ABC on August 3 at 7 p.m. Elle King, who recently collaborated with Bentley on “Worth a Shot,” will share hosting duties. The recap of June’s CMA Fest in Nashville will feature 30 performances from the weekend spectacular at Nissan Stadium.

Bentley has new music on the way, and it’s from a forthcoming tenth studio album. As he gets ready for the special to air, he’s reflecting on his path to headlining that stadium performance.

“You really can count your career based on how many years you’ve had a chance to be part of CMA Fest,” he said. “I remember my first time playing the main stage, you went on at noon and you worked your way up to one of the later slots and eventually got to headline one of the nights. So it’s a really big deal for us as artists, and obviously for fans too.”

Bentley says he can’t wait for the performances from Luke Combs, Luke Bryan and Keith Urban.

It was the festival’s first return since the pandemic. The 2022 edition of CMA Fest was the first in three years. That’ll pent-up energy will make for an electric atmosphere, Bentley promises.

“The first time back after three years of being off due to the pandemic is huge,” he says. “The energy is going to be crazy.”

He’s also excited about his co-host.

“I think Elle brings so much to the table,” he says. “On stage she’s just a riot and also super talented. A great combination of talent with comedic humor. A lot of spontaneous moments between the two of us and just a lot of laughs.”

Dierks Bentley is Bringing the CMA Fest Party to You

The entire evening’s lineup has been revealed, and it’s sure to be an entertaining night. The Luke Combs performance that Dierks Bentley is excited about features a pair of his biggest hits. Combs will perform “Beer Never Broke My Heart” and his latest single “The Kind of Love We Make.” Luke Bryan adds a performance of “Kick the Dust Up.”

Dierks Bentley performs “Drunk on a Plane” for the special. Elle King shares the stage with a couple of folks during the show. She’ll also perform a version of her own “Ex’s & Oh’s” with Ashley McBryde. She also performs “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” on her own. A couple of special collaborations will be featured, including Wynonna Judd joining Carly Pearce for a version of The Judds’ classic “Why Not Me.” We’ll also see Lady A with BRELAND for “Need You Now.” Darius Rucker will join Zac Brown Band for a version of the latter’s “Chicken Fried.” Rucker will also perform his own version of “Wagon Wheel.” It’s sure to be a special night.