Music City Brand Champions
Brand Champions are so noted as local Nashville businesses that have successfully integrated the Music City brand into their day-to-day activities. The Music City brand represents all genres of music - from country to blues, rock to jazz, gospel to bluegrass and classical to songwriting. And the businesses below have used signage, events, advertising, exhibits, live music offerings and even language and nametags infused with what makes us Music City: the music. These honored businesses are recognized for their efforts and originality in building the Music City brand. Check back frequently to see new additions to this stellar lineup.
Icon Entertainment Group
Icon Entertainment Group founder and owner Bill Miller operates Nudie’s Honky Tonk, Johnny Cash Museum, Patsy Cline Museum, Skull’s Rainbow Room, Music City Threads, House of Cards and the later-to-open Merle Haggard Museum. The Music City brand is clearly central to his business ventures. For example, this is what he says about Nudie’s: “They’re going to feel like they’re walking into a museum that happens to serve cold beer and food. The rhinestone cowboy couture was founded in the hands of Nudie Cohn. Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams Sr., Bob Dylan and Elton John all donned his creations throughout their career where he supplied the fashions for some of their most iconic images.”
Bridgestone Arena may be home to the Nashville Predators, but as importantly it is a major player in Nashville’s music industry that integrates music into everything it does. It’s a top concert arena in the country: Pollstar’s Arena of the Year; 2017 Arena of the Year – IEBA; 2017 Arena of the Year – CMA; and 2017 Large Capacity Venue of the Year – ACM. It’s ranked No. 4 in the United State and No. 12 worldwide for concert ticket sales by Pollstar. It is home to the CMA Awards and the CMT Awards and houses SiriusXM Radio, along with the Nashville Visitor Information Center and Music City Shop. Its 13,500-square-foot rehearsal hall is used more than 200 days each year by national touring acts. The Arena celebrates concert sell-outs by wrapping a support beam in honor of the tour. Recently, Brad Paisley and Rob Hendon painted a mural together outside of Section 109. The mural features the Predators logo, the Nashville skyline, two guitars, and a catfish. Its iconic glass tower is said to either symbolize a spotlight or is a nod to the WSM tower, which both promote the Music City brand.
Cambria Nashville Downtown
The recently-opened Cambria highlights the Music City brand throughout the property. It promotes live music with a stage in its restaurant. Meeting rooms are named after iconic Nashville institutions, including the Ryman. Its fifth-floor lobby wall is covered in "Nashville Rag" sheet music. Sound waves are incorporated into décor and etched into guest room number plates. Wallpaper behind guest beds feature gold-plated speakers. And side tables are in the shape of guitars.
This 247-room lifestyle hotel on West End Avenue weaves the Music City brand into their accommodations and amenities. The hotel features Analog, a 5,000-square-foot, 300-person music venue and bar. They also offer two Writers' Rooms, which were designed by country artist Dierks Bentley and OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder, to serve songwriters and music industry professionals with space, amenities, and inspiration. The hotel has a Vinyl Library just off the main lobby with a record player and a vinyl selection. As well, the hotel's décor includes a sound waves pattern on custom wallpaper, while other art depicts radios, turntables, and local loves such as Dolly Parton in a hip and modern way.
This 8,000-student university prominently incorporates music into its degree offerings and programs. The GIG is the Gallery of Iconic Guitars with nearly 5,000 of the most rare and iconic guitars and stringed instruments ever known. The university’s School of Music includes nine majors under the Bachelor of Music. Belmont also offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre and Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Music. It has a Master of Music Degree in the areas of Church Music, Commercial Music, Composition, Music Education, Pedagogy or Performance. The Mike Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business was named to Billboard Magazine’s list of Top 10 Music Business Schools in the United States and includes three undergraduate degrees. It offers 11 areas of study and offers a graduate degree (M.S.) with a major in Audio Engineering. It has its own studios -- Ocean Way, Quonset Hut, and Studio A -- for student usage. It also offers the opportunity to work events like the GRAMMY Awards, Sundance Film Festival, CMA Awards, and many more. The Curb College offers 10+ student clubs that are unique to the entertainment industry, including a student showcase series that produces six arena-sized productions annually. Because of Curb’s strong student programs, Belmont was the first to partner with both the GRAMMY office and the CMA office to pilot their first student education chapters.
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum seeks to collect, preserve, and interpret the evolving history and traditions of country music, so it’s no surprise that the Music City brand is infused into everything it does. When viewed from the air, the building forms a massive bass clef. The building’s front windows resemble piano keys. The tower on top of the Rotunda that extends down the Hall of Fame is a replica of the distinctive diamond-shaped WSM radio tower, and the stone bars on the Rotunda’s outside wall symbolize the notes of the Carter Family’s classic song “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” while the title of the song rings the interior of the structure. It offers community performances through Songwriter Sessions, Musician Spotlights, and Artists in Residence. Youth engagement includes Songwriting Camp, a Girl Scout patch, and the Taylor Swift Education Center. At its heart is the Hall of Fame recognizes significant contributions to the advancement of country music in both the creative and business communities.
Fisk Jubilee Singers
In a way, the Music City brand might not be what it is if not for the Fisk Jubilee Singers, students at Fisk University who introduced spirituals to the world and today continue to sing and travel worldwide. The story goes that upon playing for the Queen of England, the queen stated the Fisk Jubilee Singers must come from the “Music City,” hence the foundation of our Music City Brand. The Berklee College of Music hosted a concert by the Fisk Jubilee Singers to celebrate their 150th anniversary in 2016. Their 1909 recording of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” is in the Library of Congress National Recording Registry and the GRAMMY Hall of Fame. They are the recipient of the National Medal of Arts in 2008, the nation’s highest honor for artists and patrons of the arts. They were part of the inaugural class of inductees to the Music City Walk of Fame in 2006 and were inducted to the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2000.
The Aertson Hotel
Located just a few blocks from historic Music Row, Kimpton Aertson Hotel partners with NSAI, the world’s largest not-for-profit songwriters trade association, in their mission of protecting the rights of and serving aspiring and professional songwriters in all genres of music. They offer NSAI’s Songwriter Rounds Experience as part of an event package that includes an exclusive discount for the Rounds Experience, complimentary event room rental, and a complimentary post-show reception. Décor elements in the bar and meeting spaces include work by local artisans, and meeting rooms are named after music legends – just a few ways this hotel incorporates the Music City brand into what they do.
Madame Tussauds Nashville
The Nashville location is the first all-music themed Madame Tussauds in the world. The wax figures span genres and timelines to tell the story of Nashville, covering not only classic and modern-day country music stars but also jazz, rock, and pop artists including Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Miley Cyrus, Bob Dylan, Ella Fitzgerald, Jimi Hendrix, Rayna James and Deacon Claybourne from TV’s “Nashville,” Waylon Jennings, Jerry Lee Lewis, Reba McEntire, Minnie Pearl, Elvis Presley, Diana Ross, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Hank Williams, and more. Backdrops include iconic venues like the Grand Ole Opry and Bluebird Cafe.
The George Jones
At the George Jones, the museum explores the life and legacy of Music City legend George Jones. But the venue goes even further to incorporate the Music City brand in all they do. They use a guitar pick in the logo and guitar picks as navigation items on their website. The restaurant menu includes specialty drinks with names inspired by song titles and lyrics recorded by Jones including Sinner and Saint, High Tech Redneck, Pride in the Back Stretch, and Wrong’s What I Do Best. Photos of music legends are on the walls, and there are multiple stages for live music.
MLS2Nashville is a community initiative to support Nashville’s bid for a Major League Soccer expansion team. Their guitar pick logo reflects the Music City brand, as does their #GoldRecord hashtag, which promotes the goal of breaking the Tennessee attendance record at a soccer game at the Gold Cup match on July 8. They also use the slogan: Music City is Soccer City.
Congratulations to the Nashville Predators for a historic appearance in the Stanley Cup Final and for incorporating the Music City brand into the playoff games. They epitomize a Music City Brand Champion for including a growing list of Nashville artists, including Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Luke Bryan, Vince Gill and his daughters, Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum, Kelly Clarkson, and Trisha Yearwood, to sing the National Anthem before home games during the playoffs. Artists like Hunter Hayes and John Hiatt have played between periods, and Kings Of Leon served as the “Seventh Man.”
Project 615 is a Nashville-based philanthropic t-shirt and apparel company that weaves music and Nashville into most of their products. They hire and train men in Set Free ministries, which assists men recovering from homelessness, addiction, and mental illness, and most of their sales benefit Set Free. Shirts they sell include the Tri-Star Record, Batman Building, and Nashville is Always Live. They recently partnered with country singer Thomas Rhett for a Home Team t-shirt in celebration of two sold-out shows at Ascend Amphitheater.
One of Nashville’s newest honky tonks incorporates the Music City brand into just about everything they do. Of course, they have live music every day, and it was opened by May West, the granddaughter of Dottie West, a legendary country music singer and songwriter. The menu is tied to music and Music City with salads named Dolly, Miranda, and Tanya; sandwiches called Broadway Brisket Sloppy Joe and the Music City Pulled Pork Sandwich; side dishes named SHeDAISY’s Mac n Cheese and Pistol Annie’s Loaded Roasted Garlic Smashed Potatoes; a dessert called Dottie’s Banana Pudding; and drinks named The Groupie, Wrecking Ball, Music City Mule, Wannabee, and Slappin’ the Bass. A mural includes portraits of Willie Nelson, Chris Stapleton, Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, and more. The company’s tagline is “Where Nashville Plays.”
Nashville Symphony and Schermerhorn Symphony Center
The GRAMMY-winning Nashville Symphony is celebrating its 70th anniversary and the Schermerhorn Symphony Center has reached its 10th year in 2017 – both exciting milestones for these iconic institutions. The Symphony performs 170 concerts annually, and serves as a champion to the Music City brand by going beyond symphonic music and incorporating all genres of music thriving in Music City in many of their performances, collaborating with Nashville-based, genre-bending artists including Edgar Meyer, banjoist Béla Fleck, singer-songwriter Ben Folds and electric bassist Victor Wooten, as well as performing with the likes of rocker Peter Frampton and soul singer Gladys Knight. Upcoming concerts include Brahms v. Radiohead: A Symphonic Mash-Up Experience, The Music of Led Zeppelin with the Nashville Symphony, The Songs of Elvis Presley with special guest Priscilla, and Brian Wilson with the Symphony. Each year, the organization spreads the love of music by reaching 80,000 children and adults with more than 20 free or low-cost programs. They offer free music and concerts to the community throughout the year. Additionally, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center incorporates motifs and design elements that pay homage to the history, culture, and people of Middle Tennessee, including a flying lyre motif on the building’s exterior north façade to reference Apollo, the Greek god associated with music.
Acme Radio promotes the Music City brand by featuring mostly local artists from all genres that are thriving in Music City. Their programming harnesses the community spirit of Music City. They say, "Our mission is inclusive of Nashville’s longstanding tradition of music, honoring the past through preservation and the future by discovery. We will reintroduce heritage acts while shining the light on those musicians and artists who subsist on a dream and a day job. Think Spotify married to an underground NPR, with a focus on all things Nashville."
A vintage turntable along with a full library of vinyl records from Jack White’s Third Man Records are among features in the lobby of the hotel. Guests will also be able to buy vinyl records from the hotel’s minibar and use a Third Man-designed map of neighborhood stops to take along on walks from the hotel to that company's record store. Every Monday evening, DJs from Third Man will host a vinyl night at the 12th floor L.A. Jackson rooftop bar for guests and hometown patrons.
Music City Loft
Music City Loft guarantees an authentic Nashville experience as they invite guests to live like a local (even if it is just for a few days). The 16 rental properties have music-related names that promote the Music City brand, such as “Writers Round,” “Dolly,” “Waylon,” “Taylor,” “Willie,” “Johnny,” “June,” “Elvis,” and “Nashville Rock.” The property is located close to the Ryman Auditorium and down the street from the honky tonks on Lower Broadway, as well as walking distance to other essential downtown venues such as Nissan Stadium, Bridgestone Arena, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Altra Salon promotes the Music City brand with their slogan, “That’s music to my hair!” The salon offers cuts, color, styling, and more. It is located at 936 Woodland Street.
The city’s AAA baseball club continues to promote the Music City brand with uniforms that sport a guitar logo on the left sleeve and black jerseys that say, “Music City.” The music-focused rebrand started last year when the Nashville Sounds moved into First Tennessee Park.
The Escape Game
The Escape Game is an immersive entertainment concept where small groups work as teams to escape from a locked room by finding clues, solving puzzles, and working together. Games include scenarios like a Prison Break or Gold Rush, and in Nashville, there is a game centered on the music business. In the “Nashville” game, your team is an up-and-coming band wanting to make it big in the music industry, and your mission is to find a hidden contract in a recording studio. The Escape Game has two Nashville locations: 162 Third Avenue North and 510 East Iris Drive.
This summer, Coca-Cola is featuring song lyrics on bottles and cans as part of Share A Coke and a Song. The campaign features lyrics of artists with Nashville connections, including: “I Don't Want This Night To End” (Luke Bryan); “All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun” (Sheryl Crow); “A Moment Like This” (Kelly Clarkson); “The Way You Love Me” (Faith Hill); “Follow Your Arrow” (Kacey Musgraves); “Always On My Mind” (Willie Nelson); “You Belong With Me” (Taylor Swift); and “I Love You This Much” (Jimmy Wayne). A partnership with My Country Nation, an online country lifestyle destination, promotes country music artists and their lyrics through concerts, online, and through downloads.
Opry Backstage Grill
This dining spot located at The Inn at Opryland (A Gaylord Hotel) opened in July, 2011 with Little Jimmy Dickens on hand to help cut the ribbon. Since then, the Opry Backstage Grill has made music and the city’s Music City brand central to its operations. Not only do they offer live music four nights a week, but patrons are entertained throughout lunch and dinner with the restaurant’s signature amenity – singing servers. Wait staff not only fill drinks and take orders but will hop on stage to belt out a country tune in true Nashville fashion. Auditions are required, and about half the wait staff are singing servers. It’s a popular perk to dining at the restaurant, which is undergoing an expansion. The singing servers will be part of the Mother’s Day brunch, taking place on May 8 from 11am to 3pm.
SOAR Adventure Tower
Located in Franklin, SOAR Adventure Tower includes four levels and more than 110 climbing elements to challenge children, youth, and adults both mentally and physically. The tower incorporates music-themed elements that embrace the culture of Music City, including swinging discs to represent vinyl records and two eight-foot guitar-shaped elements to climb across; a swinging bridge painted like piano keys; and a climbing wall decorated with brightly-colored musical instruments. Keeping with the Music City theme, the outdoor adventure destination has live music during the week performed right there on the tower.
The Hook (now closed)
A new restaurant in Eighth Avenue’s booming Melrose district, The Hook incorporates both a nautical and musical theme. Use a hook for catching fish – or writing a song riff that will catch the ear of listeners. While the restaurant exterior is styled like a boathouse and one of its mascots is a fish to go along with the nautical theme, the Music City flavor comes out inside where the walls are adorned with song lyrics, as well as musical instruments painted all white. The way The Hook puts it, they are “a neighborhood hangout you’ll want to put on repeat.”
Metro Nashville Airport Authority
Using song lyrics and sayings from rock stars as inspiration, the Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Report put together by the Metro Nashville Airport Authority celebrates music, musicians, and Music City. From its opening pages featuring the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards musing about being in a band to a closing lyric from Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze -- "Excuse me while I kiss the sky" -- the 23-page report melds musical references and airport data in music-themed sections titled "Sustaining a High Note" and "Pitch Perfect Performance," among others. Nashville International Airport set a passenger record of more than 11.6 million in 2015 and has expanded air service, making it one of the country's fastest-growing airports.
Andrew Jackson's Hermitage: Home of the People's President
The Hermitage was the home of President Andrew Jackson and opened to the public in 1889. Occupying 1,120 acres, it is one of the oldest and largest historic site museums in the United States, and it ranks as one of the most visited historic-site museums in the country. One of the museum's recent advertising campaigns promotes the Music City brand by portraying the seventh president as "Nashville's First Rockstar" showing Jackson with a guitar slung on his back. Jackson's defeat of the British during the Battle of New Orleans propelled him to rock star status in the United States and eventually led to his presidency.
Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art covers 55 acres and is an historical landmark where beauty and excellence in art and horticulture stimulate the mind and nurture the spirit. Cheekwood hosted the Jaume Plensa: Human Landscape exhibit this summer, which featured outdoor and indoor installations by internationally acclaimed Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. The exhibit included sculptures imagined specifically for Cheekwood's grounds and was the artist's largest exhibition to date in the United States. His best-known U.S. works include Crown Fountain in Chicago's Millennium Park. Plensa's piece, Silent Music II, comprised of stainless steel musical notes and symbols, was purchased by Cheekwood and is being added to the permanent collection there. It will be on display starting in 2017. The piece recalls the continuing impact of music on the artist and reflects the diversity of musical history in Nashville.
Nashville Downtown Hostel
The Nashville Downtown Hostel opened at 177 First Avenue North in 2012 to serve solo travelers, backpackers, international visitors, and groups, including musicians and songwriters who come to experience Music City's dynamic music scene. The hostel incorporates the Music City brand into just about everything it does â€“ from the guitar in its logo to the music notes painted down its hallways. Each of the hostel's 40 guest rooms is named after a notable musician. Visitors can bunk in rooms named for Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, and even the Beatles. Guests can pick up loaner guitars in the community space to strum for fun or jam with others. During the busy summer season, the hostel hosts open mic nights for their guests to participate in and enjoy.
Trattoria Il Mulino
Trattoria Il Mulino at Hilton Nashville Downtown opened in March 2015 as the fourth trattoria location of the acclaimed casual chic restaurant concept from iconic Il Mulino New York. Guests enjoy traditional Italian cuisine from the Abruzzi region of Italy under the direction of Il Mulino New York's Executive Chef Michele Mazza with Chef Thomas Cook adding Nashville influences to the menu. The 5,600-square-foot restaurant features a bustling exhibition kitchen with a brick pizza oven and a lively outdoor patio for al fresco dining. On Sept. 10, in conjunction with the Music City Walk of Fame induction of superstar couple Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, the restaurant offered a “Perfect Pairing” menu and specialty cocktail during its happy hour. It featured Yearwood’s signature cocktail of grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, vodka, and lime and a “Perfect Pairing” appetizer of burrata and watermelon with grilled shrimp.
Nashville Entrepreneur Center and Project Music
The Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC) fosters innovation and entrepreneurship by helping to start businesses and create jobs. The EC connects entrepreneurs with investors, mentors and the critical resources they need to accelerate the launch of startup businesses. Project Music is the Nashville Entrepreneur Center’s leading action to support innovation within the music industry. To meet the unique needs of music-minded entrepreneurs, the EC is providing a year round music-entrepreneurship focus that brings music, tech and business leaders together to nurture startups desiring to grow music industry revenue. The program’s capstone is an annual three month-long accelerator. Music tech startups in social media, big data, content monetization, hardware, distribution, engagement, and others from around the globe will be invited to apply for the accelerator program. Applications opened Sept. 1, 2015.
Nashville Public Library
The main branch of Nashville’s public library system lies in the heart of Downtown. Opened in 2001, the library not only houses thousands of books, it is also home to a stunning local art collection and a free music series in its beautiful outdoor courtyard. Nashville's Main Library includes six integrated public artworks, five posters created by local artists, and photographs by five local photographers - all of which enhance the library user's experience of this beautiful modern classical building. The Courtyard Concert Series runs every year from August to October and allows Nashville more access to free music. Performances range from bluegrass to Latin to classical and provide daytime entertainment for thousands of Nashville locals and visitors. For their commitment to music and Nashville’s local artists we salute the main branch of the Nashville Public Library as this month’s Brand Champion!
Strings for Hope
Strings for Hope, a non-profit organization brings hope to the community by providing financial support to food banks, medical clinics, and schools through promotion of uniquely handcrafted jewelry composed of recycled guitar strings. Strings for Hope partners with formerly incarcerated women from local transition centers to create their products. For partnering Nashville’s music brand with the message of hope and support for our community, we name Strings for Hope this month’s Brand Champion!
As MStreet's premiere Mexican restaurant, Saint Añejo features inspired Mexican cuisine, Latin mixology, and a premium tequila and mezcal menu of over 120 labels. Beginning in February, Saint Añejo will align their Happy Hour with a music program that exclusively features music from artists based in Nashville. Happy Hour will continue to take place every week day from 3-6 PM (excluding 2-for-1 Wednesday), with the addition of an extensive music playlist made up of a vast array of styles by over 80 different Nashville artists. The Local Music Happy Hour at Saint Añejo is designed to showcase what makes up Nashville’s thriving and diverse music scene, as well as introduce Saint Añejo’s varied audiences to more local music. For this reason, we name MStreet’s Saint Añejo February’s Brand Champion!
As the largest hotel in town, Gaylord Opryland takes their reputation for guest service seriously. They have recently taken a step further in that commitment by incorporating the NCVC's All Access disability sensitivity training into their orientation program and making sure each employee went through the training in 2014. In addition, plans are currently being made to bring the new Nashville Backstage training sessions to their staff. This is part of the NCVC Brand Ambassador program, which names those that have completed all five of the sessions offered official Brand Ambassadors. For keeping customer service and the Music City brand top of mind, we salute Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center as this month's Brand Champion.
Kidbilly Music offers musically driven team building programs and icebreaker exercises to organizations in Nashville both large and small. Started by award-winning Nashville songwriters, Kidbilly allows participants to write and record songs that reflect that organization's culture while meeting their specific needs and objectives. The programs are fun and educational and aim to keep employees engaged and entertained. By the time Kidbilly's work is done, employees have a song they are proud to sing and can anxiously await their own copy of the track! For keeping the music alive in the Nashville business community, we salute Kidbilly Music as this month's Brand Champion.
Acme Feed and Seed
Acme Feed and Seed is the newest concept from Nashville restaurateur Tom Morales. A repurposed feed and seed store with historic ties to Nashville, Acme now features four stories of multi-purpose space. Inside visitors and locals alike can enjoy great food, music and a cold beer while also shopping Acme's selection of gifts and products unique to Nashville. Private event space is available as well as a rooftop bar with stunning views of downtown Nashville and beyond. For keeping the connection with old Nashville and celebrating new Nashville, we name Acme Feed and Seed as this month's brand champion.
The Johnny Cash Museum
Dedicated to the life and career of the late "Man in Black", the museum features the largest collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia in the world. Exhibits chronicle The Man in Black's life with stunning graphics, artifacts and interactive technology and include stage costumes, instruments, personal letters, artwork and handwritten songs. Guests are privileged to hear stories from staff members who include Cash family members and friends. The museum recently unveiled its first exhibition, The Legends of Sun Records, featuring Johnny Cash and other iconic rock and roll artists Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and drummer W.S. Holland. For putting a spotlight on Johnny Cash and Nashville’s music history, we name The Johnny Cash Museum as this month’s brand champion.
Live on the Green
Live On The Green is a FREE concert series, presented by Lightning 100, at Public Square Park in downtown Music City. The stage is always set up on the steps of the Plaza and the crowd gathers in the grassy area of Public Square Park to watch performances from local, regional, and national artists. Running three consecutive Thursdays - August 14, 21, 28 and wrapping up with a weekend finale on September 4, 5 and 6, the festival will feature headlining artists Cage The Elephant, The Head And The Heart, City and Colour, Jake Bugg, Ingrid Michaelson, G Love & Special Sauce, and The Wild Feathers. For embracing the Music City brand to offer free live music to Nashville and its visitors, we name Live on the Green this month’s brand champion.
Bonnaroo began in 2002 as a remarkable idea to serve a passionate fanbase and ended up becoming the premier multi-day concert destination of the summer. The four-day festival, which features over 150 musical performances, along with comedy, cinema, sustainability workshops and more, draws 80,000 fans each year. Bonnaroo has evolved into becoming much more than just a concert destination; it has become a cultural touchstone and, for two generations of music fans, a rite of passage. Now in its 13th year, the festival has partnered with Nashville once again to offer a daily round-trip shuttle program that offers Weekend, VIP, and Single-Day Ticket packages. In addition, the documentary, “For the Love of Music: The Story of Nashville” will screen at the festival followed by a panel discussion on the Nashville music scene featuring singer-songwriters and residents Brett James and Amy Stroup and moderator Butch Spyridon of the NCVC. Congratulations to Bonnaroo, which has been named Brand Champion for the month of May.
Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum
Located on the first floor of the Historic Nashville Municipal Auditorium, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum pays homage to the musicians and session players across all genres who played with some of history’s most notable artists. These musicians had nicknames like The A-Team, The Memphis Boys, The Swampers, The Funk Brothers, and The Wrecking Crew and some actually became hit bands themselves, such as Toto and The M.G’s. Their famous recordings come to life at the museum where guests can see instruments on display, such as Jimi Hendrix’s guitar, Hal Blaine’s drum set, the bass guitar used to record "Born To Run" by Bruce Springsteen, or the studio drum set played on all of the STAX hits. For furthering the Music City brand, we name the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum as this month’s brand champion!
The Row Kitchen & Pub
The Row Kitchen & Pub is one of the newest residents to Midtown, located in what was formerly Longhorn Steakhouse, a hangout frequented by the singers and songwriters who shaped Music City. The Row celebrates this history with stories and pictures, Nashville-inspired food, and live local music. Guests can sit in the original "Harlan Howard booth" and fill up on flavorful entrees and the history of award-winning tunesmiths in Nashville told through vintage photos of Curly Putman, Bobby Braddock, Frances Preston, among others. Enjoy Nashville dishes including Nashville Hot Chicken, House Made Pickle Flytes, and Tennessee BBQ and the all local and Southern regional craft draft wall. For embracing the Music City brand and for offering a true taste of Nashville, we salute this month's brand champion, The Row Kitchen & Pub.
Music City Pizza (now closed)
From the guitar pick-shaped logo and music-themed décor to clever menu items and live music, Music City Pizza is serving up Nashville’s music brand in numerous ways. While enjoying live music, patrons can browse the vinyl LP menu and partake in one of the delicious pizzas or calzones, such as The Roadie, The Green Room, or The Groupie Pocket. Music City Pizza also offers “record deals,” a unique opportunity for pizza and music fans to "support the musicians, artists, bands, local businesses, charities, entrepreneurs, and community leaders they believe in." Specific pies are named after a local group or artist and MCP donates a dollar to the pie’s namesake. The restaurant has joined forces and enhanced 12th & Porter, one of the longest standing music venues in Nashville, to offer live music almost every night. What started as a craving for pizza has evolved into an appreciation for all things Nashville! For completely embracing the Music City Brand and for making it so delicious, we name Music City Pizza as this month’s Brand Champion.
War Memorial Auditorium
The historic War Memorial Auditorium is located in the heart of downtown Nashville and sits directly in front of the Tennessee State Capitol. Exquisite, elegant, and versatile, this site has been making history since 1925. Originally built as a memorial to the 3,400 Tennesseans who died in World War I, the auditorium became the first performance home of the Nashville Symphony and the Grand Ole Opry. For nearly 90 years the musical legacy has continued with hundreds of celebrity artists across all genres performing there, including David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust, Procol Harem with opening act The Eagles, Ray Charles, Liberace, Jim Croce, KISS, R.E.M., Barry Manilow, Mumford & Sons, Jason Mraz, Atoms for Peace, Marilyn Manson, Robert Plant, and more. Upcoming acts include Tommy Emmanuel, Lee Brice and Randy Houser with American Young and Parmalee, Buddy Guy with Robert Randolph, The Southern Soul Assembly Tour, Switchfoot, and more. For playing a huge part in Nashville's music history and for keeping the tradition alive, we name War Memorial Auditorium this month's brand champion.
Grand Ole Opry
Nothing says Music City like a night at the Grand Ole Opry. What began as a simple radio broadcast in 1925 is today an entertainment phenomenon showcasing new stars, superstars and legends. Among the Opry's current members are Dierks Bentley, Charlie Daniels, Jimmy Dickens, Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, and Keith Urban. Known around the world as "The Show That Made Country Music Famous," you can count on things happening at the Opry you just can't see anywhere else. For promoting Nashville’s music brand internationally for more than 88 years, we name the Grand Ole Opry this month’s Brand Champion!
Hatch Show Print
Owned and operated by the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum, Hatch Show Print® has been showcasing performers of all types of music and the arts since 1879 and is one of the nation’s oldest working letterpress poster shops. Hatch has created original art for circuses, Grand Ole Opry stars, concerts, and sporting events. Today Hatch continues to produce restrikes of classic posters in addition to creating new work enjoyed by music fans, graphic designers, and art critics worldwide. Recently the shop moved into a custom-designed space within the expanded Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum, allowing for an expanded production area and retail space. The floor-to-ceiling glass windows allow visitors to watch the designers lay out type and print posters on the letterpress. We applaud this month’s Brand Champion, Hatch Show Print®, for embracing and showcasing Nashville’s music brand for more than a century!
Omni Nashville Hotel
Congratulations to the Omni for being named Brand Champion for the month of October! The Omni Nashville Hotel has been open for less than one month, but already it has delivered on its mission to be an authentic expression of Nashville’s vibrant music culture. The new 800-room hotel is located across from the new Music City Center and is fully integrated with the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum on four levels. Its design incorporates local artwork, natural materials, exposed steel and regional limestone – all modern expressions of the city’s distinct character. In addition, the hotel capitalizes on the city’s growing reputation as a foodie’s mecca with four dining options unique to Music City: Kitchen Notes, Barlines, Bob’s Steak & Chop House and Bongo Java Coffee Shop. Thanks to the Omni Nashville Hotel for embracing Nashville’s music brand and offering a one-of-a-kind experience to our visitors.
Tennessee Brew Works
One of Nashville’s newest microbreweries on the scene, Tennessee Brew Works has quickly embraced the music brand through its guitar logo, “Finely Tuned” tagline and even one of its signature brews, the herbal-infused Basil Ryeman. The brewery will be located in a former printing warehouse at Ewing Avenue and Fogg Street downtown – a stone’s throw from the Music City Center and blocks from Jackalope and Yazoo breweries. The company is aiming for an October opening of its Tennessee Taproom and its five brews (Southern Wit, Extra Easy, Basil Ryeman, Cutaway and Country Roots) will show up at bars and restaurants around town soon. Congratulations to Tennessee Brew Works, Brand Champion for the month of September!
Husk Nashville is the newest outpost of the Neighborhood Dining Group and James Beard Award-winning Chef Sean Brock’s renowned restaurant, Husk. Brock, a respected hero of farm-to-table and Southern cuisine leads the culinary team. The restaurant is housed in a building that dates back to 1895, is on the National Registry of Historic Homes, and overlooks downtown. The philosophy at Husk Nashville is to celebrate Southern cuisine, use heirloom produce and showcase regional specialties. Not to mention the Husk logo displays a guitar, honoring Nashville’s musical heritage. Welcome to Music City, Husk Nashville, and congratulations on being named the Music City Brand Champion for the month of August!
Music Moves Festival by PopCause, LLC
Twenty-nine musical acts hitched a ride to play for charity on Nashville Metro Transit Authority (MTA)’s free Music City Circuit blue and green routes on Saturday, July 13, in the 2013 Music Moves Festival, produced by PopCause, LLC. The free mobile music festival was a surprise to some bus riders, while others rode the bus for more than four hours simply to participate in the festival and hear multiple acts. All proceeds from the Music Moves Festival and resulting online donations will go to Notes for Notes, a local charity supporting youth and music. Congratulations to this month’s brand champion, the Music Moves Festival produced by PopCause, for showing locals and tourists that Music City is really living up to its name. Visit PopCause.org to see highlights of the festival performances.
Metropolitan Nashville Police Department
This month we salute the Metropolitan Police Department for incorporating the Music City brand into their promotional items and safety awareness programs. While many locals and visitors were enjoying CMA Music Festival, the police department distributed guitar pics with crime tips printed on them in conjunction with their Park Smart program. Park Smart is a reminder to visitors to put their valuables out of sight of would-be thieves, lock their doors and take their keys with them. The police department uses music-themed promotional items such as the pics to help spread simple preventative tips. For this and much more, we name the Metropolitan Police Department this month’s brand champion!
Music City Center
The Music City Center – Nashville's newest convention center featuring 1.2 million square feet total of public space, a 350,000-square-foot exhibit hall, a 57,000-square-foot ballroom and parking for 1,800 cars – opened its doors on May 19. The Grand Opening celebration featured public tours, free live music throughout the building and family-friendly activities, all culminating with a free outdoor concert headlined by Nashville resident and Grammy-winning artist Sheryl Crow on May 20. The MCC, which houses the largest ballroom in the state and the new Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, will serve as a central meeting point for Nashville's visitors and residents. The center is located in the heart of SoBro, situated perfectly next to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and across the street from Bridgestone Arena, and just steps away from downtown's fantastic restaurants, shops and legendary honky-tonks. For this and much more, we name the Music City Center as May's Brand Champion.
Barbershop Harmony Society
Congratulations to the Barbershop Harmony Society, which celebrated its 75th birthday on April 11. Known for intricate harmonies and showmanship, the Nashville-based organization seeks to promote and preserve the art of barbershop singing worldwide and welcomes any man who wishes to have a life in music. The Music City Chorus members have been entertaining locals and visitors for more than 65 years and it's no surprise they consistently rank as one of the top 10 barbershop group choruses in the world. Nashville looks forward to hosting the organization's 2016 International Convention. We applaud this April's Music City brand champion, the Barbershop Harmony Society.
Bobbie's Dairy Dip
A tasty blast from the past, Bobbie's Dairy Dip has been serving up burgers, hot dogs and milkshakes for generations - all while promoting Nashville's Music City brand. Bobbie's iconic diner atmosphere consists of patrons enjoying treats at picnic tables while listening to old-fashioned music over the speakers. Don't forget to partake in one of the music-inspired menu items like the Ricky Nelson milkshake. Congratulations to this Nashville staple for staying true to the classic treats of the past and for incorporating the Music City brand into your menu and atmosphere!
The Listening Room Cafe
Congratulations to The Listening Room Café, which recently reopened at its new location in downtown Nashville. Since its first opening in 2008, the café has embraced the true Music City brand by offering visitors a place to eat great food while witnessing unforgettable performances by local artists and songwriters. The Listening Room Café recently opened at its new, larger location in downtown Nashville. The new spot at 217 2nd Avenue in SoBro is open for lunch, dinner, and offers live music Monday-Saturday. We applaud February's brand champion, The Listening Room Café.
Music City's professional ice hockey team, the Nashville Predators, has been entertaining families, visitors, and hockey fans for nearly 15 years. While in "Smashville," visitors can experience the raw, gut-wrenching excitement, and yes, even a little live music. The Preds offer in-game music to help the fans get pumped up between periods (and it's Nashville, so you never know who might show up). In addition, the organization has incorporated Nashville's musical heritage into its logos and uniforms. The team's newest logo was designed to represent the state flag of Tennessee and Nashville simultaneously, with a guitar pick shape incorporating the three stars of the state's three grand divisions. In addition, The "Predators Gold" sweaters include elements unique to Nashville – guitar strings in the numbering and lettering and piano keys on the inside of the collars. For embracing the Music City brand, we name the Nashville Predators as January's Brand Champion.
Renaissance Nashville Hotel
New sounds are coming from the Renaissance Nashville Hotel, which recently released volume two of its compilation series RStars. Designed to enhance the guest experience and illustrate the uniqueness of Music City, the album features original music from Renaissance employees, a few of which can be heard live at The Bridge Wednesday and Thursday evenings. RStars is not for sale, but is offered to Renaissance guests. For incorporating the Music City brand into its business, we name Renaissance Nashville Hotel Music City Brand Champion for the month of December.
As the largest professional ballet company in Tennessee, the Nashville Ballet has been entertaining Music City and its visitors since 1986. Throughout the years, the ballet has partnered with many other local artists across genres, including Ben Folds and The Civil Wars. This year the ballet has announced it will partner with two nationally acclaimed, Nashville-based musicians – cerebral singer/songwriter Matthew Perryman Jones and Americana music royalty Holly Williams – to create original works of art as part of its upcoming performance season and for its annual fundraising gala, Ballet Ball. The collaboration will create original performances that combine music and dance from Nashville Ballet company dancers. Williams' performance will be an exclusive, one-time-only opportunity at Ballet Ball, while Jones' performance will be a preview of his larger collaboration with Nashville Ballet to debut February 15, 2013, at TPAC as part of its winter contemporary series, Attitude. For embracing the music in Music City, we name the Nashville Ballet as this month's Brand Champion.
Music City Flats (now closed)
With the goal of providing better service to Nashville and its visitors, one of Music City's restaurants has taken the meaning of "local" to a new level. The restaurant formerly known as Urban Flats Flatbread & Wine Co. has reinvented itself as Music City Flats Stoneoven & Bar. The restaurant has reopened with a new menu, keeping updated versions of favorite items and adding new items guests will love by concentrating on fresh ingredients. Music City Flats will continue to offer excellent happy hour specials and an ample wine list and will continue to participate in and sponsor charitable events in the community. Congratulations to Music City Flats Stoneoven & Bar, Music City Brand Champion for the month of October!
Tennessee Titans and LP Field
The Tennessee Titans have recently teamed up with Phil Vassar to revolutionize the game day experience at LP Field. The award-winning singer/songwriter and his band have signed on to entertain fans prior to kickoff, during selected breaks and during halftime on the new Titans Party Stage at every home game this season. In addition to Phil and his band playing chart-topping songs he's written for himself or other artists, he will also tap into the vast resources of Nashville's music scene and invite artists from rock, pop and other genres to join him on stage to entertain the crowds. This offseason the Titans made significant upgrades to LP Field, including the addition of a performance stage under the new video board in the north end zone. Congratulations to the Tennessee Titans and LP Field for being named September's brand champion!
Music City's minor league baseball team, the Nashville Sounds, have been entertaining families, visitors and baseball fans for more than 30 years at Greer Stadium. The team's name and logo perfectly capture what Nashville is all about – music. Fans can expect to get a healthy dose of music at every game. From the players, who have selected their own unique walk-up music, to the Music Industry Wednesdays with free live music and discounts for music industry professionals, the Sounds represent Music City well. Congratulations to this month's Brand Champion, the Nashville Sounds, for their use of in-game music, post-game concerts and music-themed logo and brand!
Metro Public Works
Nashville's Department of Public Works, which delivers a wide range of services that help define the quality of life for residents of Nashville/Davidson County, has added visitors to its list of customers. Earlier this year, Public Works rolled out a new website and added a new tagline to its logo referencing its efforts to improve the quality of life for both locals and visitors alike. The new tagline reads: "Metro Nashville Public Works: Improving the Quality of Life for Nashvillians and Our Visitors." For embracing the visitors of our city, we name Metro Public Works this month's brand champion.
This month's brand champion is Scarritt-Bennett Center, which receives the honor for incorporating the Music City brand into its programming. A tree-filled oasis located in the heart of the city known for its award-winning architecture built from vari-colored Crab Orchard stone, offers a music-shaped, experiential worship service inspired by jazz music. Vespers & All That Jazz takes place every Sunday at 6:30 p.m. in the Wrightman Chapel at Scarritt-Bennett and is free and open to the public. Congratulations and thanks to Scarritt-Bennett for embracing the Music City brand.
Opry Mills - the largest outlet, value retail, dining and entertainment destination in Tennessee - reopened its doors on March 29 after closing for two years following the May 2010 floods. The month-long, Tennessee-inspired grand reopening celebration featured a series of fashion, lifestyle, musical and family-friendly events, culminating with a free, live concert headlined by Josh Turner on May 5. In addition, the mall displayed musical instrument graphics on signage displays and offered live music in stores such as Old Navy throughout the month. For this and many other reasons, we name Opry Mills as this month's brand champion.
The Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) has consistently embraced the Music City brand through its marketing efforts and live musical performances. Recently, TPAC partnered with Nashville's Music Council to set a new stage in Music City. "The Attic Sessions" at War Memorial Auditorium's Attic Lounge showcases Nashville artists in a historical and intimate setting, offering guests the opportunity to delve into the stories and writers behind the music away from the hustle and bustle of downtown. TPAC has created a truly authentic space by incorporating local art, a bar made out of barn wood and a rug restored from the 2010 Nashville flood. For this and much more, this month's brand champion is TPAC.
Going "local" for Nordstrom didn't stop at opening a new store at The Mall at Green Hills back in September. The store also partnered with Music City's iconic Hatch Show Print to advertise its Grand Opening events and product catalog. The store showcased its connection to Music City with Americana-flavored typography and music-themed imagery. In addition, Nordstrom recently hosted a fashion show at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center as part of Nashville Symphony's annual education outreach program to raise money for the arts in Middle Tennessee schools. For promoting and embracing the Music City brand, thanks and congratulations to Nordstrom. "The Attic Sessions" are posted online at www.theatticsessions.com.
Local residents have likely seen the most recent advertising campaign for vitaminwater, and noticed that it is distinctively talking to 'Music City.' The campaign features music-themed tag lines such as "Music to Your Insides" to promote the popular, vitamin-infused, flavored drinks. The product has also used Nashville native and country superstar Carrie Underwood in its national advertising campaign and promotions. Congratulations and thanks to vitaminwater for embracing the Music City Brand.
Radisson Hotel at Opryland
The recent renovations at the Radisson Hotel at Opryland make it undeniable that you are in Music City. Beautiful art through the rooms and lobby area tout colorful musical instruments. The restaurant provides a tribute to the Grand Ole Opry, with guitars and other string instruments included on overhead light panels as well as benches from the Ryman in the waiting area. Customers are even treated to a live musical number every thirty minutes from one of the friendly servers. Congratulations to the Radisson Hotel at Opryland for embracing the Music City Brand.