NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Crowds are taking over downtown Nashville for CMA fest this weekend as hundreds of artists perform free shows from outdoor stages to the bars, and of course, the headlines at Nissan Stadium. The event is a proven money maker for the music city.
The fact that both the NFL Draft and now CMA Fest took place downtown practically within a month of each other is putting a major spotlight on the city.
Two huge events bringing in thousands of tourists— businesses on Broadway say it’s a true reflection of Nashville’s rapid growth and showing the world that it is the “it” city.
News 2 spoke with the general manager at Whiskey Row where Brett Young performed for the kick off of CMA Fest Thursday. He said even though more businesses are popping up, they don’t feel the competition.
“Broadway in general has is a very busy street,” Chase Irwin said, “Since we’ve opened there’s been I think 6 other bars on Broadway and our business level has not been affected for the most part, has not been affected for the most part… With all the business it’s just bringing more and more people.”
Irwin said that Nashville is giving Las Vegas competition on the map. Some people even call it Nashvegas.
Many of the bars and restaurants say they looked at last years CMA Fest numbers and they doubled projections for 2019 with food, drinks, and personnel.
Several bars say they’re expecting a lively crowd, but they’re prepared with extra security.
Nashville Underground is right by the Riverfront stage, and they tell News 2 they did a lot of hiring for the weekend. That includes bar staff, servers, and security. They say it isn’t just temporary work either, with Nashville’s growth and Broadway booming with events such as the draft and CMA Fest, they say there’s a need and they expect these to be continuing paid jobs for local residents.
“CMA Fest definitely creates a bunch of jobs for Nashville and to have a full on group interview yesterday and this morning and to bring on new people is exciting,” said Operating Partner Joshua Pemberton, “We have a need and that’s what’s exciting. We, getting people out here, pulling people off the street when they can create value for the business you can create a long term relationship.”