The world’s best concerts in Nashville

Written by CNN Staff

Museum-goers typically flock to be regaled by a wide range of great singers and songwriters at a variety of venues in Nashville, Tennessee. So many musicians are spread across four venues — the Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry, the Tennessee Theater and the Tennessee State Opera House — that getting an insider’s viewpoint on the culture can be a chore.

But with its reopening this year after a multimillion-dollar refurbishment, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center now has a claim on being the world’s top destination for music and theater.

During the holidays, the David Lipscomb University Concert Hall at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga draws record crowds. This autumn, the Music City’s newest venue opens its doors — the 18,000-seat Bridgestone Arena. One of the world’s largest indoor sports stadiums, the arena will host one concert a day.

The Bridgestone Arena will host one concert a day when it opens in October. Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP/REX/Shutterstock

“With the opening of the Bridgestone Arena, we’re now just a few miles outside of downtown Nashville,” said Amy Soles, CEO of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. “From that viewpoint, it will take us a little bit more to really have Nashville penetrate the international music market and make people think of Nashville as a place to go out and see shows.”

In addition to superstar acts, the Bridgestone Arena will host some historic performances. In November, opening-night music guests include Buddy Guy, Sam Hunt and Florence + the Machine.

Eric Church performs at Nissan Stadium on the last night of the 2018 MLB All-Star Game . Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP/REX/Shutterstock

“It has everything that a championship sports stadium needs and then some,” Soles said. “A 38,000-seat arena will host every type of show that you can think of from the comedian to the ‘ACM Awards,’ so it’s the perfect venue for any show that you need.”

The 1,100-seat Broad Stage, on the edges of downtown Nashville, is an efficient and welcoming venue. And the 2,000-seat Belcourt Theatre, offering intimate concerts as well as more intimate theater productions, is often at capacity.

The Opry House, the oldest public house in Tennessee, is back in a spruced-up condition. Credit: John Shearer/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

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