Have you ever been to Blackpool on a wild night out? I haven’t but apparently that’s the closest way of describing how a night out in Downtown Nashville is like. I guess people who have been to both reference the tourism and drunk hen and stag do parties.
All I’ve heard before and seen on TV about Nashville is that a night out on Broadway involves going from bar to bar, listening to live country music in every place – and that’s exactly what it is! Every pub has bands playing all day long, different bands and different time slots. Some bars are more popular than others to play at and because of that more popular to drink in. All the bands and singers play for free in order to try and make a name for themselves and the money they earn, come from the tip they get from generous people.
My cousin and I went on an early Saturday evening, after visiting Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. We were hoping not many people were already out so we didn’t have to elbow ourself to the bar counters. We were wrong! Partying on Broadway in Downtown Nashville starts early and especially on a Saturday with the Nashville Rock N’ Roll Marathon being held previously in the morning. The most popular bars, Legends Corner, Honky Tonk Bar and Tootsies were almost impossible to visit but we made it to some of them.
We went to Tootsies first as it’s the most known, a full on purple building, and has three levels of bars and stages. We managed to get a space on the roof bar to enjoy a beer and later a seat downstairs to listen to some music. It’s incredible how many people can fit in a little place like this (they most definitely allowed more people than capacity) and that anyone is able to hear what people are saying. Honkey Tonky bar is 4-5 levels high and it was so packed, people were almost hanging over the bars on the small balconies outside, so we never bothered trying to get in.
We popped in and out from a couple of other bars instead, where there was room for us to stand. It’s easy to go from bar to bar if you don’t like the band playing and on hot days the windows are open so you can hear the music from outside, not having to go in. The music is really loud but I don’t mind too much when it’s all live.
The later in the night, the more drunk people get and it gets really crowded. I imagine it being really packed after midnight. We ended our evening close by, in an area called The Gulch (the new hip place which is growing rapidly) instead. They have a lot of nice bars and clubs there too, also packed but we got a seat at Bar Louie, a cocktail bar with a jazz and blues live band playing. It was a lot more sophisticated but still a great atmosphere.
I wouldn’t mind going back another time, when there’s less people about. I love live music and being able to hop in and out from bar to bar to listen to it is excellent! I love the hustle and bustle, colourful signs and the street life in general.
Have you been to any of the bars in Downtown Nashville? Would you enjoy a night out like this?