Upcoming Events in Nashville 2021

Following a quiet 2020, Nashville is roaring back with a fine slate of upcoming events in 2021. Scroll toward the end if you’re interested Nashville soccer or baseball schedules. More events will be added as announcements are made.

National Museum of African American Music

Credit: Twitter@theNMAAM

Now open. Okay, it’s not a special event (actually the events are on-going) but, at long last, the museum is welcoming visitors. Covering everything from field hollers to hip hop, the museum is home to more than 1,500 items including musical instruments, stage wear and priceless memorabilia. We spent two hours there and could have spent at least one more although they say 1.5 hours is the average visit. The interactive exhibits are fun and you’ll even come away with your own personalized playlist of hit songs.

Music in the Vines at Arrington Vineyards

Arrington Vineyards
Credit: IG/ArringtonVineyards

Every Saturday and Sunday, 3-7pm. Admission is FREE but you might want to buy a bottle of wine and some of the on-site food offerings. Arrington, co-owned by Kix Brooks, is a 30-40 minute drive south of Nashville. There’s bluegrass in the barn through October and jazz on the hillside through November. It’s a lovely setting made more special with live music.

Musicians Corner

Musicians Corner concert in Centennial Park, Nashville

September 30 and October 1. These free Thursday and Friday night concerts are billed as the September Sundown series with live music 5-9pm. They’ve added a Saturday noon-6pm concert on September 25 in celebration of AmericanaFest. Bring your lawn chair or blanket to Centennial Park.

Nightlight 615 Movies in the Park

Amphitheater at Bicentennial Mall, Nashville
Photo credit: Nightlight615.com

October 13, 14, 28. What’s there to do on a Wednesday or Thursday night in Nashville? How about a night out in the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park amphitheater for a movie? To make the evening more celebratory, things kick off with a DJ. Each week food trucks and a local brewery serve up their finest. Cost is $10 in advance; $18 day of show. 21+ only.

Pilgrimage Festival

Pilgrimage Festival banner

September 25-26. While you’re in town for Americanafest, you might as well stick around for this new tradition held on a farm in Franklin. Who’s playing? So far, the roster includes Dave Matthews Band, the Black Keys, Maren Morris, Cage the Elephant, the Black Pumas, Tanya Tucker, Better Than Ezra and about a dozen more artists.

Nashville Film Festival

September 30-October 6. This year’s festival brings a series of changes. Instead of being based at Regal Cinemas, screenings will take place at the Belcourt Theatre, Marathon Music Works, Rocketown and the Belmont University Theater. There will also be a virtual component to this year’s programing. Details available on their website.

Nashville Brew Festival

October 1. Head out to First Horizon Park near Germantown in the company of more than 50 breweries showcasing more than 150 brews. Will there be live music? Is this Nashville? And food too so you don’t get lightheaded. Plus lawn games. Octoberfest was cancelled so this is your next best option.

Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival

October 2. Discover the world that is Nashville at this festival that demonstrates the diversity of our city. Immerse yourself in the many flavors of our city’s cuisine, shop the world bazaar, delight your kiddos with special activities and take in a wide variety of entertainment on three stages. There’s even a parade!

First Saturday Art Crawl

October 2.The link will take you to the Downtown Crawl, cluster of galleries on or near 5th Avenue N. (aka Avenue of the Arts). If you’re not into downtown, visit the roughly dozen galleries welcoming you on the same night at Wedgewood-Houston, only a mile or so south of downtown.

“You Got Gold: Celebrating the Life & Songs of John Prine”

Celebrating the music of John Prine
Credit: JohnPrine.com

October 3-10. POSTPONED TILL OCTOBER 2022. Few Nashville songwriters are revered more than the late John Prine. To celebrate his legacy in song, his family has scheduled a week of special events culminating in a series of concerts held at the Ryman Auditorium, the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum Theatre and Basement East. Artists have not been announced but good bets would be Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Sturgill Simpson and Old Crow Medicine Show. I’ll update when the actual rundown is announced.

Tennessee Craft Fair 

October 8, 9 and 10. What could be better than roaming Centennial Park on a lovely fall day? How ’bout adding 100 or so artisans to the mix? And food. And kids’ activities. It’s a Nashville tradition and it’s FREE.

Southern Festival of Books

October 9 and 10. Same weekend as the Craft Fair. Some people just known Nashville as Music City. Others know us as the Athens of the South. Nowhere is our more literate side better showcased that with this perennial favorite. Do some early holiday shopping, listen to authors reading selections from their latest releases and gain the insights of leading thinkers in forums and panel discussions. FREE.

Jason Isbell residency at the Ryman

October 16, 17, 19, 20, 22, 23 and 24. After forced to take a year off due to COVID concerns, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit set up shop again at the Ryman for eight performances. His concerts have received rave reviews and will sell out fast. Each evening he’ll welcome a different guest to the stage. Among them are Amanda Shires, Mickey Gupton, Brittany Spencer, Adia Victrola and Joy Oladokun. Note: proof of vaccinations or negative COVID test required for admission.

Immersive Van Gogh Experience

Immersive Van Gogh Experience
Photo: Immersivearteditor, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

November 4-February 2022. They haven’t released the location yet but this looks amazing. More than a half-million cubic feet of art are projected on the floor and giant walls.

First Saturday Art Crawl

November 6.The link will take you to the Downtown Crawl, cluster of galleries on or near 5th Avenue N. (aka Avenue of the Arts). If you’re not into downtown, visit the roughly dozen galleries welcoming you on the same night at Wedgewood-Houston, only a mile or so south of downtown.

Tin Pan South

Songwriters all over town for Tin Pan South
November 16-21. Normally this is one  of our signature spring events but Tin Pan South has moved to late fall, allowing for the world to become virus-resistant. What hasn’t changed is a dizzying array of songwriters playing at roughly a dozen venues over six days. Some tunesmiths are just emerging while others have written mega-hits. Both have stories to tell and songs to play.

Rock’n’Roll Nashville Marathon and Half-Marathon

Expo and registration: Music City Center, Nashville
Music City Center: home for the Nashville Marathon registration and Expo

November 20. Runners from around the world proclaim Nashville as one of the friendliest, most fun hosts on the marathon circuit. Rather than cancel the annual spring event, they’ve bumped to late fall. Still, expect Nashville neighbors to turn out en masse to cheer on runners. The marathon route includes downtown, Music Row, dignified historic homes and funky revivals.

Jack Daniels New Years Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash

New Years Eve fireworks in Nashville
Photo credit: Melinda Gales

December 31. Most years we’ve had an arena-level artist like Keith Urban perform to ring in the New Year. This year, even before the huge fireworks display, things will be blowing up big with a five-hour concert that includes Dierks Bentley, Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Zac Brown Band, Dan + Shay, Jimmy Allen, Kelsi Ballerini, Brooks & Dunn, Elle King, Cole Swindell, the Fisk Jubilee Singers and others to be announced later. The show will be also televised live on CBS and streaming service Paramount+


Nashville Soccer Club matches

Nashville SC player
Photo: Nashville SC Instagram

Until their spiffy new stadium is completed, home games are being played at Titans Stadium. Watch out, world. Nashville is becoming a soccer city.

  • Wednesday, Sept. 29 at 7:30 PM vs Orlando City SC
  • Wednesday, October 20 at 7:30 PM vs Columbus Crew SC
  • Sunday, November 7 at 2:30 PM vs New York Red Bulls

Tennessee Titans

  • September 26 vs. Indianapolis
  • October 18 vs. Buffalo
  • October 24 vs. Kansas City
  • November 14 vs. New Orleans
  • November 21 vs. Houston
  • December 12 vs. Jacksonville
  • December 23 vs. San Francisco
  • January 2 vs. Miami

Nashville Predators

Nashville Predator fans
Credit: IG/predsnhl

Not even COVID can ice out the fervor of Fang fans. Even if you don’t know anything about hockey, you can have a great time at Bridgestone. Home games:

October 14, 7pm vs. Seattle
October 16, 7pm vs. Carolina
October 19, 7pm vs. Los Angeles
October 21, 7pm vs. NY Rangers
October 26, 7:30pm vs. San Jose
October 30, 12:30pm vs. NY Islanders
November 13, 7pm vs. Edmonton
November 22, 7pm vs. Anaheim
November 24, 7pm vs. Vegas
November 26, 5pm vs. New Jersey
November 30, 7pm vs. Colorado
December 2, 7pm vs. Boston
December 4, 6pm vs. Montreal
December 14, 7pm vs. Calgary
December 16, 7pm vs. Colorado
December 21, 7pm vs. Winnipeg
January 1, 1pm vs. Chicago
January 11, 7pm vs. Colorado
January 13, 7pm vs. Buffalo
January 18, 7pm vs. Vancouver
January 20, 7pm vs. Winnipeg
January 22, 7pm vs. Detroit
February 1, 7pm vs. Vancouver
February 24, 7pm vs. Dallas
February 26, 6:30pm vs. Tampa Bay
March 8, 7pm vs. Dallas
March 10, 7pm vs.Anaheim
March 12, 11:30am vs. St. Louis
March 13, 5pm vs. Minnesota
March 15, 7pm vs. Pittsburgh
March 19, 6pm vs. Toronto
March 27, 5pm vs. Philadelphia
March 29, 7pm vs. Ottawa
April 2, 7pm vs. Washington
April 5, 7pm vs. Minnesota
April 9, 5pm vs. Florida
April 12, 7pm vs. San Jose
April 14, 7pm vs. Edmonton
April 16, 5pm vs.Chicago
April 17, 5pm vs. St. Louis
April 24, 7pm vs. Minnesota
April 26, 7pm vs. Calgary

Also of interest:

The Complete Guide to World-Famous Honky Tonks on Lower Broadway

30+ Activities for Kids and Families

Outdoor Options to Explore

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