Sounds of Summer: Music City Live and Outside
In the past week, families, couples, ladies in town for a girls’ trip, just about everyone has reached out to our Concierge to ask the question, “Where can we listen to music outside?” This is the perfect time of year to ask this question and I’m happy to share a long list of responses, but wanted to highlight a few in this post. Nashville didn’t become Music City by accident, and we’re prepared to truly represent the name. While CMA Festival and Bonnaroo are the big-name outdoor music options, Nashville has plenty of other, smaller offerings where you can take in the tunes under the sun (or stars.)
Summer is in full swing and that means over the next few months, we have plenty of places to go and many different types of music to hear outside. The Grammy Award winning Schermerhorn Symphony Center offers free pop-up concerts through Nashville at a variety of parks throughout the summer. Check with the concierge desk to see when and where they’re happening.
Entering its 15th season, the Frist Art Museum will continue to hold its outdoor summer concert series, Frist Friday’s, which take place on the last Friday of each month starting June 30th. The museum stays open late, has special themes and welcomes different acts to play on the outdoor stage. It’s a very fun and engaging event to attend and often leads to dancing in the museum’s lovely courtyard.
There are many major one-night-only special events happening throughout the summer, namely Nashville’s BIG 4th of July Celebration. We close a few streets downtown and invite major headliners to play at no charge to you. This year’s Music City Party will include Chris Young, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jonny P, The Sisterhood and The Nashville Symphony. Nashville will also continue its streak of boasting one of the largest firework celebrations in the country and 2017 will be no exception.
We have a festival happening almost every weekend within various venues. The focus might not always be the live music, but rest assured it’s always in the air. For instance, the Food and Wine Festival and the Famous Hot Chicken Festival will have a stage outside at the event for your listening pleasure.
Ascend Amphitheater is celebrating its third season. The outdoor venue holds about 6,600 and rests on the edge of the Cumberland River downtown. The backdrop (unless the performers bring their own) is the always in-style (and ever-changing) Nashville skyline. There are many different listening location options once you are inside, from the pit, to seats, VIP boxes, or the lawn. In addition to the variety of artists that play this venue, my other favorite part is the way they incorporate local Nashville vendors. Along with the ‘traditional’ concert grub, you can also enjoy other famous Nashville delicacies such as Hattie B’s Hot Chicken or Martin’s BBQ. Thirsty? They serve Picker’s Vodka, which plenty of concert goers were enjoying during the last show I attended there. This ‘newer’ addition to music outside sells tickets online and shows do sell out.
The Carl Black Chevy Woods Amphitheater (formerly known as the Woods at Fontanel) is just north of downtown, but if it’s a concert day, you’ll want to allow closer to 45 minutes to reach the free parking lot which also doubles as an excellent place for tailgating. It’s actually a good place to spend the day because once you’re on the grounds you can take a tour of Barbara Mandrell’s former home, tour Prichard’s distillery, zip line and much, much more. The venue is actually in a field-like setting, surrounded by trees, some shows are seated but most are standing room only. If you take a +1 and the band playing isn’t their favorite, at least they can enjoy watching the stars.
Centennial Park – Musicians Corner This event is one of my favorite outdoor events. This event takes place in a recently renovated portion of Centennial Park, the eponymous Musicians Corner. The event takes place on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons.
There is a “Kidsville” for the little ones along with local vendors, food trucks, a small wine & beer garden, and yes, lots of great live music! Expect to hear great independent music, including: up and coming/emerging new artists, local favorites, and some very talented rising songwriters. Like Hutton Hotel, this event is also pet friendly and known for its sustainability initiative.
There is so much more to share and I invite you to contact our concierge desk if there is a show you want to see while you’re in town or if you’re planning your trip around a particular concert. If I’m strolling in a park during the day or spending an evening downtown on Broadway, there’s always music within an earshot. Whether an official event or an impromptu jam, if the mercury is rising in Music City then the good times will be too.
Schermerhorn Symphony Center
1 Symphony Pl, Nashville, TN 37201
Frist Art Museum
919 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203
301 1st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37201
The Carl Black Chevy Woods Amphitheater (formerly known as the Woods at Fontanel)
4225 Whites Creek Pike, Whites Creek, TN 37189
Centennial Park – Musicians Corner
2500 West End Ave, Nashville, TN 37203