In a statement provided to The Tennessean, the Country Music Association said the decision to enact the policy this year was based on the personal safety of fans and to prevent discrimination.
“This year’s CMA Fest is our first major fan-facing event in nearly three years. We have always had policies in place that protect the safety of our fans and ban discrimination, but we felt it was important to further refine our language to explicitly outline what will and will not be tolerated,” the statement said.
After a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual festival that began in 1972 returns to Nashville, Tennessee, starting June 9. The festival regularly attracts about 50,000 country music fans.
Per the festival’s website, fans displaying any confederate symbols or “other items deemed disruptive, dangerous … or offensive” will be denied entry into the festival.