Looking for an exciting festival or special event to add even more excitement to your Nashville visit? From live music to fine food and delightful art, weekends are crowded with something for the whole family.
Thursday, September 26, 5-9pm, Centennial Park
In the final concert of the season, Musicians Corner hosts The New Respects, Daniella Mason, Whoa Dakota, Jamiah and Creature Comfort. FREE
Friday, Sept. 27, 6:30-9:30pm, West of Nashville
Your admission buys you samples of 15 whiskeys, unlimited bacon-inspired food samples from more than a dozen vendors and more. Plan your ride-share, designated driver or cab service responsibly. The location is a bit off the beaten path at 7007 River Road Pike on the west side of Nashville.
Oct. 3-12, Regal Hollywood 27 Cinema, 100 Oaks
Growing bigger and more influential every year, the NFF is THE place to see the buzzed-about festival films along with a great roster of music-centric entries including documentaries. Discussions and presentations with leading filmmakers as well. Expect some special events as the festival celebrates its 50th year. Can purchase per-film or festival admission.
Saturday, Oct. 5, 10am-6pm, Centennial Park
Our showcase of the city’s diversity features more than 60 music and dance performances, a global village, world marketplace, community outreach booths, children’s activities and more than 50 food vendors. As a bonus, free admission to the Parthenon. FREE
Saturday, Oct. 5, 7pm till, Cornelia Fort Airpark
Want a free drink? Bring your banjo, guitar, fiddle, mandolin or dobro and it’s yours. Now the event itself will set you back $12; less if you’re 20 or younger. You can purchase craft beer, wine, cocktails and food onsite. Bring your own lawn chair or blanket. Featured artists are King Corduroy and the legendary Brazilbilly. Gates open at 6pm.
Saturday, Oct. 5, 6-9pm, Downtown and Wedgewood-Houston
Downtown Crawl. Based on the Avenue of the Arts (that’s 5th Avenue N. between Church Street and Union Street, more than 20 galleries participate in this monthly event. You can expect free snacks and live music as you roam about. There’s a free shuttle to make moving about easier.
Wedgewood-Houston Crawl. Although it’s a bit smaller (approximately 10 galleries) and more decentralized, nice weather makes for a fun walkabout. Expect to be welcomed with refreshments as you tour the collections. Diskin Cider and Jackalope Brewery are right in the neighborhood.
Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 10-13, Germantown
Now in its 40th year, this Germantown event has become one of Nashville’s most popular (and largest) festivals. Entire blocks are closed to make room for live entertainment, beer gardens, artisan vendors of all sorts and food trucks. FREE
Friday, Oct. 11, Warner Park Equestrian Center, 7-11pm
Fans of bluegrass and roots music, this is for you. Bring your instrument and huddle up or listen to the featured artists under the stars. Admission fee serves as a donation to the park: Adults: $25, Youth: $10 (cheaper if bought in advance).
Friday-Sunday, Oct. 11-13, Centennial Park
Looking for holiday gifts, something original to add to your home or almost out of your hemp-based products? This 41st annual event hosts as many as 200 artisans as well as live music, a kids’ craft area and food trucks. FREE
Friday-Sunday, Oct. 11-13, War Memorial Plaza and Downtown Library
Nashville isn’t just Music City; it’s also known as the Athens of the South primarily because of its noteworthy institutions of higher learning–not just because we have a replica of the Parthenon. For your literary pleasure, Nashville takes pride in bringing you both notable and rising authors with panel discussions, interviews and readings–plus a lot of books for sale. FYI, War Memorial Plaza is one block north of the downtown library, bordered by Charlotte Pike and Union Street. FREE
Saturday, Oct. 12, 6-9pm, East Nashville/Inglewood
Held on the second Saturday of the month, the crawl extends from East Nashville up to Inglewood. Translation: you’ll need transportation to get from the southern to the northern boundary.
Sunday, Nov. 3, 5:30-8pm, Riverfront Park
Bundle up for some cool jazz at Cumberland Park on the east bank of the river. (The official address is 592 S. First Street; that’s the beneath the pedestrian bridge.) If you get hungry, look for the row of food trucks.
Friday-Saturday, Nov. 29-30, 10am and 11:30am, Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum
Come to the Ford Theater to see the story of country music as told and sung by marionettes, rod puppets and shadow/animation. Artists ranging from the Carter Family on up to Taylor Swift (in her pre-pop era). The show is as fun for adults as it is for kids. Admission to the museum is required but there’s no additional fee for this presentation. First-come, first-seated.
Something beyond a festival? Consider these: