You might know that I occasionally host shows at my house venue Noa Noa. For several years, my roommate Tommy Stangroom (who moved out in March) and I would lend our basement and backyard to local and touring experimental and rock n’ roll bands.
My current housemate and I decided to put house shows on hiatus for an indefinite amount of time. The final show will be Saturday, June 21st, 2014 for Regdar and the Fighters, AllOne, Cher Von, and Mr. Collins’ Bollocks. We’re doing this so that we can focus on personal projects. We do still hope to occasionally host small gatherings at our place — game nights and whatnot.
I’m also putting my show-booking at other venues on hiatus. If a band asks you for recommendations for people in Nashville to contact about booking shows, I’d like to request that you do not include me in that list. Booking shows and meeting people from around the world has been an incredibly rewarding experience. I don’t regret a single show I’ve helped book. I just want time to focus on other stuff.
If you’re an out-of-town band looking for a show in Nashville, I’ve compiled a list of venues to contact. I am not including house venues or names of individuals because I don’t want to give out their contact info without permission. Here’s the list of places I’ve had success booking shows in the past:
Betty’s Grill, 407 49th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37209, (615) 297-7257, call or message on Facebook.
Dino’s Grill, 411 Gallatin Ave, Nashville, TN 37206, (615) 226-3566, call.
Cafe Coco, 210 Louise Ave, Nashville, TN 37203, (615) 321-2626, see page for booking instructions.
The Stone Fox, 712 51st Ave N, Nashville, TN 37209, (615) 953-1811, firstname.lastname@example.org, call or e-mail.
The End, 2219 Elliston Pl., Nashville, TN,(615) 321-4457, email@example.com, call Mon–Sat / 12n–5pm or e-mail.
The Springwater, 407 49th Ave N, Nashville, TN 37209, (615) 297-7257, see page for booking instructions.
The East Room, 2412 Gallatin Ave., Nashville, TN 37206, (615) 335-3137, BenJonesEastRoom@gmail.com, call or e-mail.
Be forewarned, if you don’t have some sort of following, most of the venues will not reply to your messages. They get inundated with requests. But if you contact enough venues, if you’re good, and if you provide links to your music (Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Youtube, etc), you just might receive a few replies. Make it clear to them that you know you’re responsible for bringing the fans in. Venues can grow weary of being blamed for nobody showing up when the out-of-town acts didn’t put in the work to promote the show. Yes, I know, in a perfect world, the venues themselves would promote the show. But outside of a mention on their show calendar page and maybe a Facebook event page, they don’t. So you need to.
I also recommend asking local bands to share the bill with you. They’re often the best connection for finding a place to play. Also, take some time to research the local scene. Ask around (not me 😉 ) where house shows are happening these days.
Also seek out unconventional spaces. Some of the best shows I’ve seen in Nashville have been at art galleries, warehouses, and restaurants.
I hope this helps a bit. Good luck!