Yesterday, the ACM Party for a Cause Festival, hosted by Kix Brooks, was a full day of show-stopping performances and a dedication to the military in the East Parking Lot of the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.  The outdoor music festival, which was part of THE ACM EXPERIENCE, was headlined by Dierks Bentley, with performances by Lee Brice, Kix Brooks, Hunter Hayes, Dustin Lynch, Eli Young Band and Love and Theft, and included surprise guests Sheryl Crow and Tim McGraw

Lee Brice, who is getting married in 2 weeks and “cannot wait for that honeymoon,” performed “Ring in My Pocket,” and ended his set fittingly on “Parking Lot Party.”  Hunter Hayes sang a country music-inflected version of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” and Eli Young Band thrilled fans by tossing out guitar picks, sweaty towels and drums sticks after their set. Angie Johnson, who was a contestant on Season Two of “The Voice,” and is also a military veteran, belted out the National Anthem with the honor guard in the background.

Kix then introduced Willie, Jep, Korie and Jessica Robertson from A&E’s “Ducky Dynasty” to greet fans before bringing out Academy of Country Music CEO Bob Romeo, along with the ACM Lifting Lives® team, to present a $10,000 check to Nellis Air Force Base Force Support Squadron, $25,000 to Wounded Warrior Project® and $25,000 to Folds of Honor.

Dierks Bentley was all about the fans during his headlining performance. Not only did he bring an overjoyed fan up on stage to “play guitar,” but he proceeded to hop off the stage and greet fans and also hand out a signed guitar to a very lucky girl at the end of the concert.  The surprises and fun continued when Sheryl Crow came out to perform a song with him, as well as her hit song “If It Makes You Happy.”  While Dierks started singing “Home,” Tim McGraw appeared to introduce the crowd to Army Sgt. Mathew Pickar and his wife, who received a brand new home through Operation Homefront. He then proceeded to shock them by awarding an additional $10,000 to get them started in their new home.