Lifestyle

Everything You Must Do in Nashville This Summer

Updated On 06/20/2018 at 04:26PM EST Updated On 06/20/2018 at 04:26PM EST
musicians corner nashville
Musicians Corner
Thursday - Sunday
Jun 14-Jul 15
Various locations
After four long years of waiting, the 2018 FIFA World Cup is finally here! The US may not be in the competition this year, but that doesn't mean that the games in Russia won't be a blast to watch. We've rounded up all the best bars in Nashville to watch the fĂştbol magic play out.
Cost: Varies by location.
Friday - Saturday
Jun 15-30
West End
On Fridays and Saturdays throughout June, this popular family-friendly concert series in Centennial Park features local and regional acts performing on two stages. Friday nights are for acoustic acts, and they crank up the amplifiers for Saturday afternoon concerts. Food and drink vendors provide the comestibles, so all you need to bring is a blanket or a lawn chair for hours of entertainment.
Cost: Free
Thursday - Saturday
Jun 21-Oct 6
Green Hills
Ever since the rest of the world discovered the Bluebird Cafe on the erstwhile ABC series Nashville, it’s been a tougher ticket than ever to get into the venerable listening room to hear songwriters tell stories and sing their compositions in the round. Fortunately on select Saturdays each month, the Bluebird on the Mountain takes their show on the road during the summer, inviting troubadours to entertain under the stars atop a tall hill at Vanderbilt’s Dyer Observatory. Bring your own blankets, lawn chairs, food, and drink to enjoy while you listen to representatives of the creative heart of the city.
Cost: $135 for a carload up to eight guests
Wednesday
Jun 20
Downtown
He’s still crazy after all these years, but Paul Simon says he’s hanging up his touring boots after this nationwide swing of concerts. (Of course, KISS and the Eagles say that all the time, too.) Listen to the famed singer-songwriter play through his repertoire at Bridgestone Arena and enjoy the soundtrack of multiple generations.
Cost: $45-$160
Saturday
Jun 23
Marathon Village
Nuit Belge, literally “Belgian Night,” brings together some of Nashville’s finest chefs to create small-plate pairings for exotic Belgian beers and sours at the city’s most prestigious craft beer event. Attendees dress to impress as they dine on dishes from acclaimed restaurants such as Bastion, Black Rabbit, Butcher & Bee, and others along with special guest chef Isaac Toups from New Orleans. You won’t find better brews and tastier food at any beer fest all year long.
Cost: $89-$139
Saturday - Sunday
Jun 23-24
Downtown
Nashville’s LGBTQ community and their supporters will gather in Public Square in front of CIty Hall to celebrate their culture and have a great time doing it. The weekend kicks off with an Equality Walk on Saturday followed by two days of live entertainment on the Nissan Main Stage, an entertainment and drag stage, a Kids Zone and Youth Pavilion, and more than 200 vendors featuring local not-for-profits, artists, and businesses who support the gay community.
Cost: Free-$5/day
Tuesday - Tuesday
Jun 26-Aug 28
SoBro
As much fun as the inside of Pinewood Social is, with their bowling alleys, great cocktails, and excellent food, their outdoors space is pretty special too. Their two splash pools are great for cooling off on a hot day or just dangling your feet while you enjoy a glass of frozè and snacks from their Airstream trailer kitchen. This summer, they’re planning a series of movies starting at sunset where you can catch a flick poolside.
Cost: Free
Friday - Friday
Jun 29-Aug 24
West Nashville
On the summer Friday nights closest to the full moon, the Equestrian Center at Warner Parks encourages you to throw down at a hoedown during their Full Moon Pick’ Parties -- a fundraiser series for the parks system. Headline bluegrass acts take the main stage while small circles of amateur pickers group up under the trees to play classic tunes. All are welcome to come play along or just listen to the old timey music, and musicians pay a discounted rate to attend. Your admission also includes 21+ guests to enjoy complimentary beer to loosen up your pipes to sing and play along.
Cost: $10-$25
Saturday
Jun 30
Franklin
Bigger isn’t always better. At this cooking competition, 10 talented chefs from across the region will present their best versions of the famous slider to a panel of celebrity judges for the chance to win the coveted Goldens' Slider Prize. Attendees will also get the chance to sample the entries, so you can experience what it’s like to sit in judgement.
Cost: $29-$59
hot chicken festival
Music City Hot Chicken Festival
Wednesday
Jul 4
Downtown
Nashville boasts one of the most impressive Independence Day fireworks displays in the nation, and this year country powerhouses Lady Antebellum will provide the spark to get the party going. Along with the Grammy Award-winning Nashville Symphony Orchestra, they’ll provide the soundtrack to an evening of celebration and pyrotechnics. The music kicks of from a special stage set up at Fifth and Broadway at 4:30pm and will continue until they light the fuses at around 9:30.
Cost: Free
Wednesday
Jul 4
East Nashville
The bird is the word at this annual celebration of Nashville’s most famous indigenous dish. Hundreds stand in lines for the chance to try free samples of some of the city’s most beloved hot chicken restaurants, but you can always just break down and pay for your own from many vendors who set up fryers at the event. The day fittingly kicks off with a fire truck parade and ends in time for you to catch the big fireworks extravaganza downtown.
Cost: Free
Saturday
Jul 7
East Nashville
Local football club Nashville SC is scheduled to be the next team added to the MLS in a few years, and our neighbors to the north in Cincy should be the team that follows us to the big leagues, So this could be the beginning of a long-time rivalry as the two sides face off at Nissan Stadium. There will be fireworks on the field and in the sky over the stadium after the game is over, so bring the whole family.
Cost: $20-$50
Saturday
Jul 14
12South
Francophiles unite for this celebration of France’s commemoration of the storming of the Bastille. Sevier Park will look like the French countryside as games of Pétanque share the fields with live music, wine and food. The event is family friendly and les chiens are welcome as well.
Cost: Free
tomato art fest
Tomato Art Fest
Thursday - Sunday
Aug 9-Sep 9
West End
A sure sign of the heart of summer is when the Nashville Shakespeare Festival kicks off their annual month of performances in the bandshell at Centennial Park. This year, they’ve chosen a real crowd-pleaser with the Bard’s romantic farce A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Fairies flit, royals make fools of themselves and Bottom is a real ass! Bring your own chair and enjoy a professional performance of one of drama’s classic plays.
Cost: Suggested $10 donation
Thursday - Saturday
Aug 9-Sep 1
Downtown
Public Square turns into a public party on Thursday nights in August as Lightning 100 presents a lineup of popular bands to entertain the masses at this free concert series. VIP tickets are available if you need some extra special treatment, but otherwise it’s free to enjoy the music and food and beer purchased from local vendors. There’s even complimentary bike valet service if you want to two-wheel it to and from the show.
Cost: Free
Friday - Saturday
Aug 10-11
East Village
Nightshade-lovers from across the city will descend on Five Points in East Nashville for the annual Tomato Arts Festival. A Friday night kick-off concert will get them dancing in the streets, and various events on Saturday include a Bloody Mary Garden Party, recipe contests, a haiku competition, a parade and a beauty pageant. Best of all, nobody takes themselves too seriously at Tomato Fest, so come ready to let your beefsteak hang out!
Cost: Free
Saturday
Aug 11
East Nashville
Kenny Chesney has gotten so popular that arenas can’t hold him and his fans anymore, so he’s taking his country party outdoors to Nissan Stadium. You can expect a festive atmosphere as Chesney channels the spirit of Jimmy Buffett for a new generation of partiers. Thomas Rhett and Old Dominion open for the multiple-time CMA Entertainer of the Year, so it should be a long evening of great music.
Cost: $35-$275
Sunday
Aug 12
Downtown
No, it’s not a Phish concert. (They’re not coming to town until October.) This LSD stands for the first names of Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle and Dwight Yoakam, three legendary performers touring together to bring their rockin’ Americana to the people. Any one of them would be reason enough to enjoy a show under the stars at Ascend, but all three of them should be spectacular.
Cost: $29-$114
Thursday
Aug 23
West End
Vanderbilt football fans are certainly not used to seeing much in the way of star power at their stadium, but there will be plenty of talent on display when The Carters take the stage. It might well be the show of the summer, so you won’t want to miss this one.
Cost: $49-$329
Saturday
Aug 25
East Nashville
Hot on the high heels of Beyoncé’s visit, Taylor Swift will stake her claim as the local diva queen at her show in Nissan Stadium. While she now has homes all over the globe, Nashville still claims her as our own, and her rabid fans should be out in full force as she struts her stuff across the stadium stage. The supporting acts for the tour are Charli XCX and Camila Cabello, so expect plenty of girl power.
Cost: $160-$702
music city food and wine
Music City Food + Wine Festival
Saturday - Sunday
Sep 1-2
Downtown
Prepare to do a little noodle dancing al fresco at Widespread Panic at the Ascend Amphitheater. Panic is always a hit when they come to Music City, and this double-header should feature extended jams that would rock the rafters if you weren’t outdoors. Downtown residents, crack open your windows and prepare to have your faces melted.
Cost: $55
Friday - Sunday
Sep 7-16
Berry Hill
While the future of the Fairgrounds as the home to our state fair is up in the air due to development plans, they’re plowing ahead with this year’s edition. The midway will feature thrilling amusement rides, impossible games based on esoteric skill, and the agricultural buildings are still filled with award-winning livestock and vegetables grown by the 4-H set. But we know you’re going to see what they’re serving fresh from the fryers in the innumerable food trucks.
Cost: $6-$8
Saturday
Sep 8
Downtown
Teams of 20 amateur paddlers race on a 250-meter course along the Cumberland River in the heart of Downtown. Stroking to the beat of a drummer sitting in the back of the boat, these teams compete for the grand prize, but really, they’re just hoping to stay dry.
Cost: Free
Tuesday
Sep 11
East Nashville
Even though the US men's national soccer team didn’t qualify for the quadrennial World Cup this summer (sad trombone), that doesn’t mean they don’t still have their competitive spirit, especially when they’re playing their biggest rivals in Team Mexico at Nissan Stadium. Even though the game is technically a “friendly,” there is no love lost between the two teams. Come ready to cheer throatily for the red, white and blue!
Cost: TBA
Friday - Sunday
Sep 14-16
Germantown
Without a doubt, the Music City Food + Wine Festival is the biggest annual culinary event in town. Organizers showcase both local and national cooking talent under tasting tents set up around Bicentennial Capitol Mall along with cooking demos, educational panels and the big Harvest Night event at Walk of Fame Pak on Saturday night. Local rockers Kings of Leon curate the music and guests for the entertainment component of Harvest Night, and this year they are featuring the sounds of the disco era.
Cost: $85-$525
Sunday
Sep 16
East Nashville
After their first playoff appearance in years, including a first round win against Kansas City, expectations are high for this year’s Tennessee Titans season. They’ll kick off the 2018 home schedule against their division rivals the Houston Texans, so emotions should be high. Cheer on the boys in two-tone blue as they show off their new uniforms for their home fans for the first time on the gridiron.
Cost: $56-$305