Independent Nashville venues, bands team for virtual concerts

Thirty concerts featuring 120 musicians will be performed in 15 venues in one city

The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp, in partnership with Nashville’s Music Venue Alliance, has launched Music City Bandwidth presented by Jack Daniel’s to help independent music venues and Nashville-based musicians survive the pandemic’s economic damage and also provide inspiration for visitors to travel to Music City when it is safe for tourism to return.

Music City Bandwidth will host 30 virtual concerts in September and October starting September 14th. Fifteen independent Nashville music venues will provide gigs for approximately 120 Nashville-based musicians of diverse genres. The concerts will be streamed around the world at musiccitybandwidth.com. At this time, there will be no live audiences due to physical distancing and crowd size limitations mandated by the city.

“We have crafted a unique, Nashville-branded virtual experience to go to a worldwide audience that promotes the Music City brand, the diversity of Nashville musicians and all the iconic independent music venues that are the soul of Music City,” shares Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. “If these music clubs don’t make it, our Music City brand and music ecosystem will be in great peril.”

Confirmed artists include Andrew Combs; Brett James; Creature Comfort; Devon Gilfillian; Giovanni Rodriguez & 12 Manos; Jason Eskridge; Kalie Shorr; Marshall Chapman with Tommy Womack & Will Kimbrough; Patrick Sweany; *repeat repeat; The Last Bandoleros; The Pink Spiders; The Shindellas; The Wild Feathers; Trigger Hippy; Victoria Shaw; and Wooten Brothers.

Shows will air at 8 pm EDT on certain dates in September and October. Each venue will host two shows and must book Nashville-based acts representing diverse genres. Participating venues include 3rd and Lindsley, DRKMTTR, Exit/In, Mercy Lounge, The 5 Spot, The Basement, The Basement East, The Bluebird Cafe, The East Room, The End, The High Watt, The Listening Room, Rudy’s Jazz Room, Springwater, and Station Inn.

The creative marketing initiative is being paid for by Tennessee CARES Act funds earmarked for destination marketing organizations such as the NCVC to support tourism recovery.

These 15 independent music venues have averaged a 90 percent revenue loss since mid-March. The Music Venue Alliance estimates 15 percent of them will permanently close in one month; 38 percent in six weeks; and 13 weeks from now all but one will permanently close without financial assistance. That could result in the loss of 5,600 annual concerts; $5 million paid to 46,000 musicians annually; 389 lost jobs; and more than $2 million in lost city and state taxes annually. The city recently approved $2 million in CARES Act funding for small music venues.

“Nashville’s independent music venues have been devastated by the pandemic,” states Exit/In owner Chris Cobb, president of Music Venue Alliance Nashville. “We have been closed since March, and even though we have operated frugally and responsibly, have been forced to lay off 90 percent of our employees. We fear many of us will close permanently. We know there are many people rooting for us to survive, and this marketing initiative is one of the first pieces of assistance to finally come through. Thank you to the State and the NCVC for this much-needed shot in the arm. We can’t wait to start booking shows again, supporting our ecosystem, and sharing music with the world from some of Nashville’s most beloved stages!”

“During the global pandemic, the music stopped – for fans, venues and musicians themselves. But Jack is here to help keep the music playing,” says Ed Carias, Jack Daniel’s U.S. brand director. “Music has always been at the heart of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, and we are excited to support talented artists at these iconic venues in Nashville while celebrating the friendship and fun that makes live music so special.”

Donations to a relief fund for local venues and musicians can be made at musiccitybandwidth.com, where Music City Bandwidth t-shirts will also be available for purchase with proceeds benefiting these venues.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.