The 52nd ACM Awards: The weekend country music crushes Vegas

Academy of Country Music

There’s no doubt the main event in Sin City this weekend is Sunday night’s 52nd Academy of Country Music Awards. But if you think that’s all that’s happening around this year’s ACMs — well, you’re dead wrong.

Brett Eldredge got the party started early Thursday night, taping a surprise CMT Instant Jam inside the Cosmopolitan.

First thing Friday morning, ACM hosts Luke Bryan and Dierks Bentley officially get the party started with the ceremonial rolling of the dice in front of the show’s new home, T-Mobile Arena. Then Friday afternoon, Thomas Rhett kicks off his Outnumber Hunger campaign with a private performance at Sake Rok.

Friday night, the “ACM Party for a Cause: Songwriter Showcase” rocks the Palms, with Old Dominion’s Matthew Ramsey and Trevor RosenDierks BentleyCam and many more playing among a who’s-who of Nashville’s most successful tunesmiths.

On Saturday, the celebration moves to the water, as the “ACM Pool Party for a Cause” takes over the Go Pool at the Flamingo. No word on whether Dee Jay SilverJackie LeeJerrod Niemann or OD will don their swim trunks for their performance.

The evening before the ACMs, the first awards will officially be handed out, as Kelsea Ballerini gives the Academy’s radio winners their trophies, in between performances by Ryan HurdEric PaslayKip Moore and others. The party at The Joint at Hard Rock continues Saturday night as Lady Antebellum previews their upcoming You Look Good World Tour, along with openers Kelsea B and Brett Young.

For those who aren’t too exhausted, there’s still a little awards show happening Sunday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. You can watch it live from the comfort of your home starting at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

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