What do you think of when you hear the word “summer?” For many of us the smell of grilling hot dogs and hamburgers, the sounds of children splashing in a pool, and the flash of fireworks lighting up a night sky all conjure nostalgia and anticipation because summer means fun.
For those folks seeking a summer filled with events focused on exceptional live music performances and enjoying the company of fellow music lovers, there is no greater place than Nashville, Tennessee.
The summer months in Music City only add to the entertainment residents and visitors expect when the days are warm and long. Whether looking for a country music bar in Nashville or gearing up to attend one of the many music festivals and events, our fair city has you covered for all the fun you can handle.
Let’s take a look at what summer has to offer from having a cold drink and hearing local talent at The Stage on Broadway to large-scale music events across the city and region.
Festivals and Fan Experiences
The CMA Fest. Once known as Fan Fair, the Country Music Association Festival is an annual four-day country music event that takes place in June and is considered one of the biggest country music festivals in the world.
Fans from every state and all over the globe gather in Nashville’s Nissan Stadium for live performances from artists, songwriters, and bands, fan interactions with their favorite stars, and an enormous variety of country music-related activities.
The festival features established and legendary stars as well as up-and-coming artists and musicians. Activities include autograph signings, artist meet-and-greet sessions, and fan club parties.
There are also various exhibits, pop-up shops, and food and merchandise vendors showcasing memorabilia and Southern cuisine.
In addition to the stadium shows there are many smaller stages set up in famous bars in downtown Nashville where country music lovers can enjoy artists in an intimate setting.
The CMA Fest is unrivaled for summer music fun at a honkytonk bar in Nashville or on the area’s largest stage.
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. This music gem is a multi-genre music festival held in Manchester, TN, just an hour outside of Nashville. This four-day June festival is known for its diverse lineup of artists including popular and emerging stars of rock, indie, hip-hop, pop, country, Americana, and electronic.
Multiple stages are positioned throughout the festival area with performances running during the day and night.
In addition to live music, Bonnaroo also incorporates other entertainment and art including yoga sessions, workshops, comedy shows, film screenings, art installations, and other interactive experiences.
Festival organizers extend efforts toward sustainability, eco-friendly practices, and reducing waste. Fans can expect various food vendors, craft markets, and even the occasional dance party.
For more than 20 years, the Bonnaroo Festival has become a destination for music lovers from around the globe to descend on the Nashville area and seek a memorable, diverse, and inclusive festival experience.
While Bonnaroo is obviously a large-scale music event, many fans begin and end their multi-day activities by exploring famous bars in downtown Nashville to extend their music horizons beyond the borders of Bonnaroo.
The Downtown Nashville Music Scene
Not every outstanding summer music experience must involve a huge festival. Nashville is known and loved for its ever-expanding music scene and showcasing artists and bands across many genres.
The summer months are the perfect time to wander down Lower Broad and enjoy what the District has to offer. Honkytonk bars in Nashville, jazz and blues clubs around famous Printers Alley, and pulsating rock and roll venues provide what every music lover wants- great tunes emanating from a local tradition like The Stage on Broadway, a venue immersed in both Nashville history and present-day talent.
Overall, Nashville is recognized for its vibrant music scene, and there are many concerts, tours, events, and festivals taking place throughout the summer months and beyond.
While these larger events are packed with live performances and activities, nothing can match the energy, the diverse range of musical genres, and the excitement of fellow music lovers more than a stroll down Lower Broad and meandering in and out of the famous bars of Nashville where singers, songwriters, and musicians introduce fans to their unique brand of magic resonating with the hopes and dreams of becoming the next big star, the next music legend.
Check current artist schedules and event listings to find up-to-date information about specific events you want to attend, Nashville honkytonks you want to visit, and which artists you want to discover.
The perfect place for a friendly, inviting Nashville experience begins with a stop at The Stage on Broadway. The summer music party begins and ends with The Stage. We are all about rowdy friends enjoying live country music, an ice-cold beer, and an authentic taste of our very own Music City- Nashville, Tennessee.