The 2020 CMA Awards are more than just an award show. This year, they’re serving as a reunion for the country music community.
Taking place at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tenn. and hosted by Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker, the ceremony is decidedly more laidback than year’s past, with the musicians sitting at tables and booths spread across the auditorium. Lights flicker from the tables as performers take the stage, making the mood just right for country music’s biggest night and giving viewers at home a reprieve from the coronavirus pandemic.
While masks aren’t required in the audience, tables are spaced the recommended six feet apart and face covers are available. These precautions are a necessity, especially after multiple performers dropped out citing COVID-19 exposure and, in some cases, positive test results. Florida Georgia Line‘s Tyler Hubbard, Lee Brice and an unnamed member of Rascall Flats were diagnosed with the virus this week. Additionally, Lady A revealed that they had been exposed to the illness by a family member.
But it’s what is going on behind the scenes that is the fun part. After spending months indoors, the artists are able to reunite and chat about everything under the sun, albeit from behind fancy handheld face coverings.