With the more mainstream music awards already out of the way attention turns to the world of country music, and the first major ceremony of the year takes place in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, courtesy of the Academy of Country Music, usually abbreviated to ACM for convenience.
It's something of a guilty secret of mine to admit that I've always been something of a closet country music fan, even when in my childhood years it was about as far away from being cool as it was possible to get. I think it stems back to long car rides to family holiday destinations throughout my youth where we would be subjected to a pretty much constant stream of country singers, the likes of Perry Como, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton and Glen Campbell were always playing away in top cassette-quality stereo sound!
In later years the likes of Shania Twain and Sheryl Crow kept up my interest in the genre, while more recently I even have to confess a soft spot for Taylor Swift, while relative newcomer Kacey Musgraves is still regularly making it onto my playlist.
So to these awards - well they are very much a big deal, and anyone and everyone from the country scene will be attending, with top live performances throughout the evening too. Definitely a place to see and be seen if this is your market.
There is a big change for 2016, with the ACM awards returning from Arlington in Texas to their spiritual home in Las Vegas, where this year they will be part of a 3 day spectacular including a music festival and spanning several venues including the MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay and The Strip itself.
The title of the whole event will be the ACM Party for a Cause. More details to follow.
The broadcast rights for the awards this years are again held by CBS. The CBS site is advertising an online video stream for the show, but whether this will have live coverage or only highlights isn't clear at this stage. Either way, you will need to be in the US to watch:
If you would like to watch the red carpet as the stars arrive for the awards, it is being broadcast live this year by GAC TV, who will also have extensive video coverage of the show:
There is also a UStream channel advertising the awards but looking at previous broadcasts I think this might just be red carpet coverage too:
The Academy of Country Music do have an official Youtube channel where they upload clips of all the winners after the event so if you miss watching live you'll be able to catch up there, plus view footage from previous years' events:
If you're visiting for the awards then there is the usual vast range of accommodation on offer. You can search for hotels, check availability and make reservations for local hotels here.
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