A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about nashville

Nashville Day 2: "For the First Time"

CMA Fest is the largest country music festival in the world. It lasts four days. During the day are free concerts on various stages around downtown Nashville and each night, there is a paid stadium concert with numerous big stars. Concerts kick off at 10a each day. We were planning to spend most of our daytime hours at the Riverfront stage. Admission was free but new for 2022 was a VIP section called Riverfront Retreat. For an extra fee this section provided separate drink vendors with reduced prices, separate air conditioned bathrooms, and some chairs with umbrellas. We didn't quite know what to expect so we arrived around 830a for the 9a gate opening. We were early but that turned out to be a really good thing.

The stage was right on the riverfront and the grassy area just in front was first come, first serve, free admission. Our VIP section was off to the side on terraced hills. They had sold several hundred tickets but it looked like only about 50 umbrellas and maybe 100 or so chairs. Although we were there early, we snagged some of the last chairs available.

20220609_085138.jpg

20220609_085412.jpg

Side view of stage
20220609_085051.jpg

Views across the river
20220609_085334.jpg

20220609_085400.jpg

20220609_090901.jpg

Each of the singers performed for 30 minutes with 15 minutes between each one. We planned to spend all day Thursday here. We were particularly excited about the first act - Jimmie Walker. Before he got started, Melissa walked around and explored while I saved our seats.
20220609_091327.jpg

The area containing the air conditioned bathroom trailers.
20220609_141439.jpg

Additional places to rest (without stage view), separate bar area, and misting fans.
20220609_141443.jpg

The grassy section starting to fill up.
20220609_141624.jpg

Some boats even pulled up to have a listen.
20220609_142012.jpg

After she came back, I left to get us some lunch. Unfortunately, I decided to do this right before Hardy came on stage and the place was filled to capacity. I had to muddle thru the crowd and wait in a long line but I managed to come back with some really good cheeseburgers and hand cut fries. We spent the afternoon listening to music and trying to moving our umbrella with the sun in order to stay as cool as possible.

We left before the final act of the day to walk around on Broadway before dinner. I made dinner reservations for 530p each day so we could make it to the stadium concerts by 730p each night. Broadway was a hot, crowded mess. Think Mardi Gras in the sweltering heat. Definitely not our scene. We arrived at Nashville Diner, a six story diner a block or two from the bridge we would cross to get to the stadium. We ate on the 4th floor.
20220609_170328.jpg

After dinner, we went to the lower level to have a pina colada at the counter which was a little weird. It felt like we should be ordering a milkshake instead. It wasn't the best idea to drink something so heavy before walking in the heat. We joined the crowd walking across the bridge to Nissan Stadium. We would come to love and hate walking across this bridge each night. There was a slight hill at the start then it flattened out across the bridge then slightly downhill after that. It was about a mile across by the time we reached our seats on the floor.
20220609_190501.jpg

The show started with the National Anthem and a flyover. The first act of the night was Shenandoah (each night the show was opened with an older country star). These guys were popular when I was in college in the early 90s. They did a great job opening the show.
FB_IMG_1656177770701.jpg

Next up was one of our favorites, Darius Rucker. He even sang a Hootie song!
FB_IMG_1656177779035.jpg

20220609_203234.jpg

Then it was Zac Brown Band.
FB_IMG_1656177782511.jpg

Jason Aldean
FB_IMG_1656177788280.jpg

20220609_230816.jpg

And the night capped off with Keith Urban who did a spectacular job.
FB_IMG_1656177796051.jpg

20220609_235121.jpg

Keith walked thru the crowd to a platform stage on the floor during part of his set.
20220610_000048.jpg

The show ran until after midnight. We walked back across that bridge with the crowd and everyone descended on Broadway which was already crowded. We were ready for bed so we took off towards our condo which was about a mile walk along the riverfront. This would be the last night we would make this walk. It was very dark and very creepy. We felt alone and freaked out, especially when a truck followed us, honked, and then came back around. We were thankful to make it back and vowed to come up with another plan for the following three nights.

Posted by zihuatcat 00:34 Archived in USA Tagged melissa nashville cma Comments (0)

Nashville Day 1: Kickin' Off CMA Fest

Melissa and I had been waiting two years for CMA Fest. Originally, we bought tickets in January 2020 for the June 2020 festival. We'd even booked our condo for the week on vrbo. Then a terrible tornado hit downtown Nashville and took out the building where our condo was booked. So I found a new place and we were set. Then COVID shut everything down and the festival was canceled. The owners of the new condo offered us a free night if we rolled the booking over to 2021 so that's what we did and waited for the new year.

The new year came and the festival was again canceled due to COVID. Then 2022 rolled around and we were pretty hopeful since many other concerts we'd booked were finally happening. They finally announced the festival was on, we booked our flights, and were excitedly awaiting the line up to be announced. Then a couple of months before, I get an email from the condo management company stating they were canceling our reservation because the condo owner was no longer doing short-term rentals. I personally think that was a lie and they now regretted their decision to give us a free night and they canceled our reservation so they could re-list the condo and jack up the rates. Back to vrbo I went and of course, everything was much more expensive because the concert was delayed for two years and it was only a couple months away. I was able to find something reasonable I could live with and after booking, I realized it was the original condo we'd booked two years prior. They had rebuilt it after the tornado and it was back on the market. So it all worked out in the end.

Our flight didn't leave until 230p so around noon, Melissa showed up and Alex dropped us off at the airport. We had lunch at the airport (Campisi's for me and Mo's for Melissa) then took off about 30 minutes late. We arrived in Nashville around 430 or 5p. We got our luggage and headed for the taxi stand. We asked the driver if he'd take us to the grocery store and wait on the way to the condo and he agreed. We stopped off at a Kroger about a mile from the condo for supplies. This was the worst Kroger I've ever seen but it did the job. The taxi driver even did some grocery shopping on his own!

He got us to our condo and we hauled our luggage up to the third floor. Thankfully the a/c was on and set low! We had a view of the Cumberland River from the front.
20220608_184116.jpg

And a sketchy view of the railroad tracks from the back.
20220608_184024.jpg

Otherwise, just a normal, one bedroom condo.
20220608_183519.jpg

20220608_184132.jpg

20220608_183459.jpg

20220608_183542.jpg

20220608_183533.jpg

We had just enough time to put away food and change clothes before it was time for our dinner reservation at Oak Steakhouse. We called an uber and made our way there.

We started with a couple of cocktails.
20220608_195730.jpg

And some incredible bread we couldn't stop eating.
20220608_202216.jpg

Then it was on to steaks, brussel sprouts, and mashed potatoes.
20220608_203236.jpg

We were a couple of blocks from Broadway and we considered exploring to get the lay of the land but we were tired and needed to get up early. The uber back idea won out so we chilled watching some TV before falling asleep.

Posted by zihuatcat 19:53 Archived in USA Tagged melissa nashville cma Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 2 of 2) Page [1]