Brad Paisley’s tweet rocks CMAs in media debate

With a message as commanding as one of his guitar solos, Brad Paisley has reversed a policy by the Country Music Association to close off discussion of the Oct. 1 shootings at Route 91 Harvest festival.

“CMA apologizes for the recently distributed restrictions in the CMA Awards media guidelines, which have since been lifted,” read a statement released Friday by the organization. “The sentiment was not to infringe and was created with the best of intentions to honor and celebrate Country Music.”

The pivot was made public about two hours after Paisley — co-hosting Wednesday night’s awards show with Carrie Underwood — tweeted the message, “I’m sure the CMA will do the right thing and rescind these ridiculous and unfair press guidelines. In 3…2….1…..”

The back-and-forth started when CMA officials, preparing for the 51st Annual CMA Awards show from Nashville, issued specific guidelines for media covering the event. An excerpt:

“In light of recent events, and out of respect for the artists directly or indirectly involved, please refrain from focusing your coverage of the CMA Awards Red Carpet and Backstage Media Center on the Las Vegas tragedy, gun rights, political affiliations or topics of the like. It’s vital, more so this year than in year’s past due to the sensitivities at hand, that the CMA Awards be a celebration of Country Music and the artists that make this genre so great.”

The association threatened to review and revoke the credentials of any media member who strays from these guidelines, with the offending members removed “via security escort.”

The CMAs will be held at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, airing at 8 p.m. on ABC. Country star Eric Church, who closed the first night of Route 91 on Sept. 29, is the only festival headliner also performing at the CMAs. Syndicated radio powerhouse Bobby Bones, who heads up the Raging Idiots band and played Route 91 on Sept. 30, is one of the presenters.

Several country stars have spoken publicly about the Oct. 1 shootings, including Big & Rich, who played the main stage about 90 minutes before to the shooting and returned to town to head up the “Vegas Strong: A Night of Recovery” show at Orleans Arena on Oct. 19.

Just prior to the show, John Rich spoke defiantly about returning to the stage, saying, “I will tell you, I’m sure there will be another Route 91 and I hope they invite us to play in it.”

Paisley had earlier told Nashville Scene, “We’re not going to ignore it, but we’re not going to also dwell on that. We have to make sure we honor those we’ve lost, but we also (have to) celebrate this music, which lives on, and do a good job having the heart we need to have on that night.”

Return of Mr. Worldwide

This was expected, even as securing the dates took a while. Pitbull is returning to Axis theater at Planet Hollywood for 13 dates next January, April and May. Pitbull’s thunderous performances have proven a right match for the club-like Axis design, and he wants to set up for even more partying on the Strip in the coming years.

“I would say within the next two or three years, we’re going to be talking about a very long residency in Las Vegas,” Pitbull said during a chat in March at Sugar Factory at Fashion Show mall. “But for now, you’ll be seeing a lot more of us in the next couple of years.”

Wynn’s Carnivale concept

Steve Wynn’s vision of a Carnivale-style parade through his under-development Paradise Park project is inspired. It’s also been tried before in VegasVille.

The Rio was famous for its Carnivale-fashioned “Show in The Sky,” the signature entertainment production at Masquerade Village from 1997 through 2013. The shows played on the hour as color-splashed floats snaked along rails high over the casino crowd, with professional performers singing and tourists flinging strands of beads at the hordes.

The concept was to use the “Show in the Sky” to drive customers to the hotel, and it was a heck of a time until Caesars Entertainment deemed the project too expensive to continue. Wynn’s concept is for a visitor to navigate the crafts themselves, the attraction will be grounded. Anyone who wants to take a ride will pay admission for this experience to help keep the floats afloat, as it were.

No ventilo-duet

Terry Fator had hoped fellow “America’s Got Talent” champion and ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer could join Fator’s Christmas shows at The Mirage. But Farmer, in town this weekend with the “America’s Got Talent Live” show at Planet Hollywood Showroom, is unable to participate because of scheduling. Fator had mentioned his hopes that Farmer would join him onstage after she won the “AGT” title in September.

Who Was Where

Britney Spears with her brother, Bryan Spears; and her boyfriend, Sam Asghari at Omnia Nightclub inside Caesars Palace. Spears’ backup dancers joined the party, which started around 11 p.m. … Amy Poehler of “Saturday Night Live” and “Parks & Recreation,” among other TV and film projects, Wednesday at Estiatorio Milos inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas … Earl Stevens at Chateau at Paris Las Vegas on Thursday night. Who is Earl Stevens? The hip-hop artist E-40, playing a private party during the SEMA convention.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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