By: Brooke Swiacki
Welcome to the Music City. Nashville is a fun town full of good music, great food, and even better people. You will never run short of things to do here, but if you’re looking to fully immerse yourself, honky-tonking downtown isn’t the way to see all that this city has to offer. When you stray from the beaten path, better known as Broadway Street, is when you can see all that this place has to offer. Whether you’re a newly corporate graduate looking to explore your new city or just stopping in for a few days looking to dodge the tourist traps, Millennials in The Music City is your guide to explore Nash like a native and get through the day-to-day grind.
Nashville has a plethora of activities to partake in if you’re trying to live like a local. Let’s start off with the obvious: Music. Nashville’s iconic music scene attracts people from far and wide. But if you think this city is just a hub of country music lovers, you’re mistaken. Everyone has their musical vice. Whether you love Rock n’ Roll, the Blues, Indie, Pop, Alternative, and yes even Rap/Hip-Hop, Nashville is the place for you. Many people know of country music legends such as Johnny Cash, Shania Twain, Jason Aldean, and George Strait who got their start here, but the Music City has also birthed a plethora of legends in other music categories. Musical geniuses such as Kings of Leon, The Civil Wars, Jimi Hendrix, The Wild Feathers, Judah & The Lion, and Taylor Swift all got their start here.
Summer is the prime time to be outside enjoying good weather and great music with friends and Nashville has hands down the best environment to enjoy all of your musical vices. So this summer get out and see your go-to band, or discover a your new favorite at some of the best festivals and concerts the Music City has to offer.
Live on The Green
Public Square Park - Nashville, TN
Aug 10, 17, 24 & August 31-September 2
Live On The Green is a phenomenal free outdoor concert series Thursday nights in August and comes to a close with a 3 day festival featuring performances from local, regional, and national artists. The best part? The entire series is FREE and presented by Nashville’s independent radio, Lightning 100. The stage is set up on the plaza as the crowd gathers on the grass of Public Square Park. I about fell over when the lineup was posted. This year’s lineup is pretty impressive featuring artists such as Sheryl Crow, Spoon, Portugal. The Man, St. Paul and the Broke Bones, and (a personal favorite) The Local Natives, among many more awesome artists. You can see a full schedule and find more information about the festival here.
Pilgrimage Music Festival
The Park at Harlinsdale - Franklin, TN
September 23 and 24
Pilgrimage Music & Cultural Festival is returning to Franklin, TN for its’ third year. A younger contender in the festival category, but surely not overlooked, Rolling Stone called Pilgrimage “a festival to watch” and it was named as “one of the South’s premier festivals” by The Tennessean. This family-friendly festival will highlight Franklin’s spirit with some great art, food, and music. The festival will be held at The Park at Harlinsdale, a century-old horse farm recently purchased by the City of Franklin, on September 23 and 24 for two incredible days of music, art and culture. Tickets start at $175 for a 2 Day Pass. See the full lineup here.
While the Stanley Cup Playoffs may be over with, it is still necessary to start off by saying Go Preds! What you may not know is that Bridgestone is frequently used to host large concerts. The arena is in a prime location being just a spitting distance from some of Nashville’s biggest honky tonk bars to grab a drink before the concert. Upcoming performances at Bridgestone Arena include: John Mayer - Aug 8, Matchbox 20 and Counting Crows - Aug 12, Kendrick Lamar - Aug 30, Lady Antebellum- Sept 9, Ed Sheeran - Oct 6 & 7, and Katy Perry - Oct 18.
The Ryman Auditorium
Formerly known as the Grand Ole Opry from 1943 - 1974, The Ryman Auditorium has hosted some of the biggest names in music. Originally created as a place of religious worship in the late 19th century, the building has now been transformed to a venue where fans can worship their favorite musicians. Upcoming performances at the Ryman include: Judah and The Lion - Sept 8 & 9, Sylvan Esso - Sept 22, Harry Styles - Sept 25, Father John Misty - Sept 26, NEEDTOBREATHE Oct - 16, and The Shins - Nov 15.
Ascend is a great venue to take advantage of Nashville’s beautiful summer weather while enjoying your favorite artist. Set right in the heart of downtown, the amphitheater is only a stone’s throw from Broadway. Upcoming performances for Ascend Amphitheater include: Dashboard Confessional and All American Rejects - Aug 12, Humphrey’s McGee - Aug 19, Young the Giant & Cold War Kids - Sept 8, and Sam Hunt Sept 22 & 23.
Located in Mercy Lounge on Cannery Row in the Gulch, the Cannery Ballroom is a smaller venue, but provides a great viewing atmosphere. The ballroom is standing only and can hold up to 500 people, creating a slightly more intimate setting for viewing your favorite up and coming band. Upcoming performances for Cannery Ballroom include: Rare Hare- Aug 21, Rumors: a Fleetwood Mac Tribute, Tank and the Bangas - Sept 8, and (a personal favorite) MisterWives - Sept 21.
Located near Centennial Park and Vanderbilt University, this venue still sits near the West End & Music Row neighborhoods and can host up to 500 guests. While this venue may be on the smaller side, it is a favorite among some big names in the music industry such as Kellie Pickler and The Police. Upcoming performances for Exit/In include: Drivin N Cryin - Aug 8, Delta Rae - Sept 14, Drab Majesty - Sept 16, and Riley Green - Sept 22.
First Tennessee Park
Kings of Leon will perform the first ever concert at the Nashville Sounds stadium. The stadium was built 2 years ago but has yet to host a concert. The renowned group is proud to call Nashville their hometown so who better to be the first major performer at First Tennessee Park? In addition, Dawes will be kicking off the concert. A folk-rock band hailing from Los Angeles, California, Dawes provides a unique sound that will make for a fun filled night. First Tennessee Park’s pioneer concert will be held on September 29.
Nashville’s music scene is unlike any other city’s. The city is bursting at the seams with new artists on the rise. Though many people may initially think of country music when Nashville comes to mind, there is something to fit every type of musical taste in the Music City.
Brooke is a recent college graduate and local blogger. She loves the Ole Miss Rebels, margaritas with friends at Saint Anejo, and Nashville’s awesome music scene. When she’s not blogging, you can find Brooke snapping photos, listening to music, cycling, or burning a hole in her pocket at Target.
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