With British Airways’ fastest new route to increase to a daily service in a decade, the NFL Draft coming to Nashville in April, a new National Museum of African American Music opening – the only museum dedicated to preserving the legacy of music by African Americans – and a brand new water experience attraction, as well as plenty of new hotel openings coming up, Nashville is just about as hot as its famous hot chicken right now! Here are just some of the new developments coming up that music city has to sing about…
Nashville celebrates new British Airways’ direct flight increasing to a daily service in summer 2019
Music City has had a landmark year with the launch of the British Airways’ direct London Heathrow to Nashville service in May 2018, the only direct flight operating from Europe. Nashville is celebrating the recent news that British Airways is increasing the three times weekly service to a daily service from summer 2019. It is the airlines’ fastest new route to increase to a daily service in 10 years. The British Airways flight has strengthened connectivity, therefore increasing Nashville’s appeal as both a standalone city-break destination and a gateway destination to the southern US. With a flight time of nine hours, it is now entirely possible for UK travellers to visit Nashville and experience its multi-genre music scene, colourful neighbourhoods, local cuisine and rich history during a convenient short break or as part of a longer US itinerary.
Nashville to host NFL Draft in 2019, one of America’s most celebrated annual sporting events
The 84th edition of the National Football League (NFL) Draft will take place in Nashville from 25th to 27th April 2019, providing a major platform for Music City to showcase its iconic landmarks, visitor attractions and music legacy during the celebrations. The NFL Draft or the Player Selection Meeting, is an annual event which serves as the league’s most common source of player recruitment and has grown into one of the biggest sporting events in the USA. The 2019 NFL Draft is expected to draw approximately 20,000 to 25,000 out-of-town visitors to Nashville, which will significantly boost the number of hotel bookings the city receives in 2019. The NFL Draft is watched by over 45 million Americans over three days of broadcast coverage on national television. The Draft was held in New York City for 50 years from 1965 until 2015. The 2015 and 2016 NFL drafts were held in Chicago, while the 2017 version was held in Philadelphia. The 2018 event, which took place in Dallas, set a record as the highest-rated and most-watched Draft ever. It also created tremendous fan engagement across social platforms with the 2018 NFL Draft being the second-most talked about sports event of the year so far, behind only Super Bowl LII. www.visitmusiccity.com
Nashville’s accommodation offering boosted with significant hotel development
Beyond Nashville’s new British Airways flight route, the city’s tourism infrastructure is experiencing significant hotel development which is rapidly increasing accommodation options for visitors. Nashville has an anticipated 18 new properties opening this year bringing an additional 2,500 visitor bedrooms to the city in 2018 alone. Last year’s hotel development saw nine new properties bringing over 1,200 new rooms to Nashville. Stand-out 2018 Downtown property openings include the boutique four-star Bobby Hotel, with its edgy interiors, rooftop swimming pool and skyline bar, which opened in April and the nearby stylish four-star Fairlane Hotel with its all-American Mad Men-style décor and design details harking back to the 1960s and 70s which opened in March. Looking ahead to 2019 and beyond, there are a further 31 properties currently under construction and 19 properties at the final planning stages. Highly-anticipated upcoming openings include Richard Branson’s Virgin Hotels Nashville which will open in the historic Music Row neighbourhood in December 2019 and the Margaritaville Nashville Hotel due to open in the SoBro neighbourhood in autumn 2019. Meanwhile, construction began this summer on the new W Hotel Nashville which is scheduled to open in Autumn of 2020.
Nashville to welcome SoundWaves premium indoor-outdoor Water Experience in December 2018
SoundWaves, a $90 million high-end Water Experience Park is set to open adjacent to the famous Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Centre in Nashville on 1st December 2018. The three-level SoundWaves Water Experience is set across four acres with indoor and outdoor slides, rivers and dedicated recreation zones for adults, young children and families. The indoor water experience features an adults-only infinity pool and bar, whilst the multi-level play structures both inside and outside are perfect for young children and toddlers. SoundWaves will also offer indoor and outdoor cabanas available to rent for groups of up to 12, inclusive of a refrigerator and TV and with optional food and beverage cabana services. www.gaylordhotelsnews.com/SoundWaves
New Tennessee State Museum to open in Nashville in October 2018
Nashville’s new Tennessee State Museum will open in Music City’s Downtown/Germantown area on 4th October 2018 to become one of the largest museums in the USA. The museum will showcase the art, history and culture of Tennessee housing one of the largest Civil War collections in the U.S. www.tnmuseum.org
Nashville to launch National Museum of African American Music in 2019
The National Museum of African American Music is set to open its doors in 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. Music lovers around the world will be able to explore the many ways in which African Americans have contributed to the USA’s rich musical history. Once open, the National Museum of African American Music will be the only museum dedicated to preserving the legacy and celebrating the accomplishments of the many music genres created, influenced, and inspired by African Americans. The collections found throughout the museum will share the story of the American soundtrack by integrating history and interactive technology to bring the musical heroes of the past into the present. Through galleries, exhibitions, and artifacts The National Museum of African American Music will educate, preserve, and celebrate the rich influence black people have had on America’s music. The museum will aim to narrate a unique story that has never before been told in such an environment and shares how a distinct group of people used their artistry to connect more than 50 genres of music.www.nmaam.org/museum
Nashville’s ever evolving culinary scene, from hot chicken to oysters and whiskey to craft cocktails
Way beyond the comforting Southern fare that Tennessee is renowned for, the city of Nashville is home to a truly diverse culinary scene from high-end and internationally acclaimed restaurants to pop-up street food joints, juice bars and coffee shops. Music City saw 113 new eateries launch in 2017 with a further 98 opening up by autumn 2018, bringing visitors a huge variety of new cuisine, price points and neighbourhood options. Nashville’s most renowned restaurants range from the legendary Hattie B’s, serving up special recipe hot chicken, to hip newcomer Henrietta Red with its contemporary dishes and oyster bar. Other new restaurants which have had international attention this year include FOLK, Café Roze, Bastion and Martin’s BBQ. In addition to its food offering, Nashville is proud of its whiskey heritage including the city’s recently revived Nelson Brothers Greenbrier Distillery and of course the world-famous Jack Daniels Distillery in nearby Lynchburg. The city is also home to many flourishing craft microbreweries such as the Fat Bottom Brewery and the Yazoo Brewing Company, as well as artisan bars like Black Rabbit which serves up new-American small plates and creative cocktails. In terms of events, Nashville’s annual three-day Music City Food + Wine festival, founded by Nashville residents Kings of Leon, takes place each September to celebrate the city’s delicious local fare and legendary live music acts.
Nashville increases music tourism offering with new behind-the-scenes experiences
Nashville is world-famous for its multi-genre live music shows, gigs and concerts as well as its legendary recording studios which have produced hits for artists such as Elvis, Jonny Cash, Kings of Leon and Taylor Swift. Beyond visiting one of the city’s many Live Music Venues to see celebrated acts or as-yet undiscovered artists, Music City now offers two new behind-the-scenes music experiences; witnessing the process of recording a live song and taking the official Music Row Walking Tour. Looking ahead, 2019 will see the launch of the new National Museum of African American Music, the only museum dedicated to sharing the story of the rich influence that black people have had on the American soundtrack.
In summer 2018 Imagine Recordings launched a new backstage experience offering visitors the chance to watch and listen as a song is recorded live at Sound Stage studios on Music Row, where such artists like Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert and Foo Fighters have recorded. The 90-minute experience is priced at $35 ≈ £27, and the sessions will return for the summer season next year from May to August 2019. This summer also saw the launch of the first-ever guided Music Row Walking Tour (priced at $85 ≈ £65) in conjunction with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The tour strolls by some of the most prolific recording studios and publishing houses in the music industry to give a real feel for Nashville’s musical heritage and the music still being written and recorded in the converted homes and studios along 16th and 17th Avenues.
For more information on Nashville go to www.visitmusiccity.com