You may not like this.  The 41st annual CMA Music Festival is coming up June 7th through the 10th in Nashville and there's going to be a big change to the event's autograph policies.  In the past, fans (thousands of them) would line up and camp for the chance to snag the autograph of their favorite artist.  This year, you won't be able to.  The CMA has decided to institute a lottery of sorts.  So, here's how it's gonna work.

From CMA official press release:

The new system will be a drawing with online sign ups and notification in advance of the June event, enabling Festival attendees to schedule their time during the Festival attending concerts and taking part in free events and activities rather than waiting in line in hopes of securing a signature.

Individual booths will no longer distribute tickets for autograph signings each morning inside the Hall. Instead, fans will enter a random drawing for the opportunity to meet various artists appearing in the Fan Fair Exhibit Hall. Patrons will enter this drawing in advance of CMA Music Festival via an online entry form at Entering the drawing is easy:

  *   CLICK HERE between May 14 (starting at 10:00AM/CT) and May 28 (ending at 5:00 PM/CT).
  *   Patrons enter their contact information and then select from the list of participating artists signing autographs in the Hall.
  *   Patrons may select as few or as many of the artists listed to be entered to win a ticket for each respective signing.
  *   Once the entry has been submitted, it can’t be changed. Duplicate entries will not be considered.
  *   All winners will be notified on Friday, June 1 via email.

The confirmation emails will contain  detailed information on which artist(s) the fan gets to meet as well as the date, time, and location of the signings inside the Fan Fair Hall, plus instructions on where, when, and how to retrieve autograph tickets inside the Nashville Convention Center.

For patrons who can’t get to a computer to register ahead of time, CMA will have a limited number of tickets on-site at the Festival. For information about how these will be distributed, see the Fan Fair Hall page at the CMA website.

All winners must claim their autograph tickets the day before their scheduled autograph signing. The confirmation letter will outline specific pick up times. Any autograph tickets not claimed by the specified pick up time will be forfeited. Autograph tickets may only be claimed by the contact person on the entry form or an authorized guardian/adult.

When winners pick up their tickets, they must present both their confirmation email and a photo ID. For minor winners without a valid photo ID, a guardian/adult must accompany the minor to retrieve the autograph ticket. The guardian/adult must present their photo ID along with the winner’s email confirmation.

The autograph ticket will be a wristband that must be worn in order to line up for each signing. Selling of autograph tickets/wristbands is prohibited.

Not every artist participating in the Fan Fair Hall will be part of the autograph drawing. There will be many opportunities for patrons to obtain multiple autographs from artists by just walking around the Fan Fair Hall.

CMA is committed to distributing the autograph tickets in a fair manner for all our valued patrons. The online drawing effectively removes any physical barriers, providing all patrons fair and equal access for a chance to win an autograph ticket.

Now, I have hunch the CMA Music Fest purists aren't going to like this . . . at all.  Part of the thrill of the festival is the "hunt" for autographs and sightings of your favorite artists.  But attendnance at the festival is growing leaps and bounds and that is becoming more and more difficult anyway.  The average daily attendance in 2010 and 2011 was 65,000.  So, this newly instituted lottery may end up being a blessing.  After all, with a lottery system you have just as good a chance as the next guy of snagging that elusive autograph.   Heck, you have just a good as chance as the other 64,999 people who are going to there when you are!

Happy hunting!