What to know about the CMT Music Awards’ move to Austin

Get ready, Nashville — Austin’s coming for the crown.

The outside of the Moody Center

The CMT Music Awards will be held at the new downtown Moody Center on Sunday, April 2.

Photo by ATXtoday

Maybe you heard, but the Moody Center is going to be seeing a little more bling this spring — the CMT Music Awards are coming to town.

After more than two decades in Nashville, the awards ceremony is headed to the Lone Star State on Sunday, April 2, a change Moody Center officials said is roughly two years in the making.

The event is one of the three biggest country music awards in the US, and the only one decided entirely by fan votes.

Singer Kelsea Ballernini will return for the third year in a row as co-host. Fittingly, she made the announcement at the Moody Center last week, during country superstar Carrie Underwood’s performance. Underwood has a whopping 25 CMTs, the most in history — she’ll also be performing at the event in April.

A gif of Carrie Underwood holding a CMT Award up to the crowd and whooping

Carrie Underwood has a whopping 25 CMT Music Awards, the most in history.

Gif via Giphy

But if you thought this was just a music awards show, you have another think coming. Producers have teased a weeklong event featuring live music from prominent artists at venues across the city. The ticket sign-up site currently promises access to private tapings and “one-of-a kind events and experiences around Austin.”

So, is Austin taking over Nashville’s crown as country music capital? It’s hard to say, but it’s worth noting that until very recently, the three largest country music awards all took place in Nashville — now, two are being hosted in Texas. (The ACM Awards is moving to Frisco next year, airing on Thurs., May 11. The CMA Awards are still hosted in Nashville.)

Either way, this is big news for Austin — more than 5.8 million people tuned in to the CMT Awards last year.

The show starts Sunday, April 2 at 7 p.m. Tickets aren’t on sale yet, but you can sign up here to stay in the loop, or stream the awards on CBS and Paramount+.

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