Event Permits Nashville

Nashville is host to many outdoor events on an annual basis. As you start the planning process, it is important to recognize that your event plays a unique part in the relationship with the community. A quality event can make a difference to the City of Nashville. EventPermits works with the City of Nashville and its partners, in planning safe and successful events that comply with city law.

Nashville Event Locations:

  • Sommet Center
  • Nashville Municipal Auditorium
  • Herschel Greer Stadium
  • Ezell Park
  • Vanderbilt Stadium
  • Dudley Field
  • Memorial Gymnasium
  • Hawkins Field
  • Curb Event Center
  • Gentry Center
  • Allen Arena
  • Music City Motorplex
  • The Parthenon
  • Grand Ole Opry
  • Ryman Auditorium
  • Belcourt Theatre
  • Tennessee State Fair
  • Opry Mills
  • Centennial Park
  • Country Music Hall of Fame

Much of the city’s cultural life has revolved around its large university community. Particularly significant in this respect were two groups of critics and writers who were associated with Vanderbilt University in the early twentieth century, the Fugitives and the Agrarians.

Popular destinations include Fort Nashborough and Fort Negley, the former being a reconstruction of the original settlement, the latter being a semi-restored Civil War battle fort; the Tennessee State Museum; and The Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the original Parthenon in Athens. The State Capitol is one of the oldest working state capitol buildings in the nation, while The Hermitage is one of the older presidential homes open to the public. The Nashville Zoo is one of the city’s newer attractions.

Many popular tourist sites involve country music, including the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Belcourt Theatre and Ryman Auditorium. Ryman was home to the Grand Ole Opry until 1974 when the show moved to the Grand Ole Opry House nine miles east of downtown. The Opry plays there several times a week, except for an annual winter run at Ryman.

Each year, the CMA Music Festival (formerly known as Fan Fair) brings thousands of country fans to the city.

Nashville was once home of television shows like Hee Haw and Pop! Goes the Country, and to the Opryland USA theme park, which operated from 1972 to 1997 before being closed by its owners Gaylord Entertainment, and soon after demolished to make room for the Opry Mills mega-shopping mall.

The Christian pop and rock music industry is based along Nashville’s Music Row, with a great influence in neighboring Williamson County. The Christian record companies include EMI (formally Sparrow Records), Rocketown Records, Beach Street and Reunion Records with many of the genre’s most popular acts such as Michael Tait, Jars of Clay, Rebecca St. James, tobyMac, Michael W. Smith, Amy Grant, Steven Curtis Chapman, Mandisa, Avalon, DJ Maj and Newsboys based there.

Riverfront concert
Riverfront concert
Nashville at night
Nashville at night
Ryman Auditorium
Ryman Auditorium

Although Nashville was never known as a jazz town, it did have many great jazz bands including The Nashville Jazz Machine led by Dave Converse and its current version, the Nashville Jazz Orchestra, led by Jim Williamson, as well as The Establishment, led by Billy Adair.

The Tennessee Performing Arts Center is the major performing arts center of the city. It is the home of the Tennessee Repertory Theatre, Nashville Children’s Theatre, the Nashville Opera, and Nashville Ballet.

In September 2006, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center opened as the home of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

Nashville has several arts centers and museums, including the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located in the former post office building; Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art; the Tennessee State Museum; Fisk University’s Van Vechten and Aaron Douglas Galleries; Vanderbilt University’s Fine Art Gallery and Sarratt Gallery; and the Parthenon.

The Gospel Music Association Dove Awards are held each April at various locations including the Grand Ole Opry or the Ryman Auditorium. Leading up to the awards is GMA week where radio stations interview and fans get autographs.

The Nashville Film Festival takes place each year for a week in April. It features hundreds of independent films and is one of the biggest film festivals in the Southern United States.

The CMA Music Festival is a four-day event in June featuring performances by country music stars, autograph signings, artist/fan interaction, and other activities for country music fans.

In September, Nashville hosts the Tennessee State Fair at the State Fairgrounds. The State Fair lasts nine days and includes rides, exhibits, rodeos, tractor pulls, and numerous other shows and attractions. Additionally the African Street Festival takes place on the campus of Tennessee State University.

The Country Music Association Awards are usually held in November, typically at the Grand Ole Opry (with recent exceptions), and televised nationally to millions of viewers.

Other big events in Nashville include the Fourth of July celebration which takes place each year at Riverfront Park, the Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon which normally includes over 25,000 runners from around the world, the Tomato Art Festival which takes place in East Nashville every August, and the Australian Festival which celebrates the cultural and business links between the U.S. and Australia.

LP Field
LP Field
The Parthenon
The Parthenon
Grand Ole Opry House
Grand Ole Opry House

Nashville has several professional sports teams, most notably the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League and the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League. Several other pro sports teams also call Nashville home, as does the NCAA college football Music City Bowl. The Vanderbilt Commodores are members of the Southeastern Conference. The football team of Tennessee State University plays its home games at LP Field.

Will I need a Permit?

If you are asking this question, the answer most likely is, yes!

If you are in doubt about whether or not your proposed activity is an Outdoor Special Event, and are unsure of what is required, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Even though my event is on private property, will some aspects of it spill onto the public space? (i.e. sidewalks, roads, city property or property owned by someone other than you)
  • Is there a remote chance that the safety of the participants and/or the residents of the City of Nashville may be affected if certain aspects of your event are not properly constructed, installed, or handled (i.e. food, electrical wiring, tents, stages, generators)
  • Does your event require any City of Nashville services? ( i.e. trash pick up, closing of streets, etc.)
  • Will I be erecting a stage, tent (10 x 10 or larger), bleachers, or booths?
  • Will I be vending? (food, beverages, merchandise)
  • Will I be selling/serving Alcohol? Will my event include advertising and/or product sampling?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you will need an event permit in the City of Nashville and EventPermits will facilitate all of your needs on your behalf.

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