Thursday, June 13 - Sunday, June 16
Summer kicks off with the biggest musical event of any season: the annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in the sleepy little burg of Manchester, about an hour east of Nashville. Well, it’ll take more than an hour if you get in line with the thousands of music fans trickling into the festival grounds to set up their tents for a weekend of music from headliners like Phish, Childish Gambino, and Post Malone. Be sure to check out local artists and the next generation of leading acts in some of the smaller stages and tents around the grounds.
Cost: $349 and up
Friday, June 14 - Sunday, 16
This yearly festival is a juried exhibition of art from creators across the country. Stroll around Centennial Park and shop from the artists’ tents or just enjoy the music and food from stages and vendors ringing the sales area. It’s a family-friendly and dog-approved event, so make an afternoon of it with the whole family.
Thursday, June 20 - Saturday, June 22
When the moon is in the seventh house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars, well, we don’t know what the hell happens. But you can bet that some of the assembled mystics at this summer solstice happening could probably tell you. Hosted by the excellent brewers at Little Harpeth, it’ll be a weekend of music, interactive art exhibits, collaborative light shows, and an international film festival.
Friday, June 21 - Saturday, June 22
Dozens of colorful hot air balloons will descend (and then ascend) on Fontanel for a weekend of balloon glows, tethered rides, and all sorts of food and drink spread around the grounds. It’s also the weekend of the Victory Cup polo matches, which they promise won’t be the snooty sort of rich-folks sport you’d expect. It’s all down-home fun and a blast to watch the horses and riders play a few chukkers.
Cost: $10 - $100
Saturday, June 22
The concourse around the inside of Bridgestone Arena turns in to the city’s biggest and best beer bar at this annual event featuring dozens of craft breweries from around the country serving up pours of their finest ales and lagers. General admission tickets entitle attendees to unlimited tastings plus a souvenir glass. Step up to the VIP level for access to a special tasting area in the Lexus Lounge with special food and beer options.