NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nashville New Year’s Eve Bash is officially back and in full swing at Bicentennial Mall, with a number of new protocols in place.

Partygoers started lining up around 8 a.m. Friday morning for the 6 p.m. show. 

“Yup, we have everything needed to get in,” said Angela Zaidman, who came from California with her daughter to the event. 

A negative COVID test or a vaccine card are required to get in, new protocols implemented just days before the bash as COVID cases surge. 

“I have my vaccine card, so I have that ready and aware. I’ve been going to concerts all year,” explained Amanda Morris. 

The regulations didn’t seem to be a concern for the country music fans coming from all over the country. 

“Well, we are coming from California so, you know what, it’s a little bit more lenient here. I’m good with that,” said Zaidman. 

Others we spoke to were checking out the setup, planning to stay home to ring in the new year.  

“Weather, COVID. COVID, weather. Yeah, just need to stay healthy,” locals Greg Walsh and Terry Kucinas explained. 

Organizers say they’ve taken every step possible for a safe New Year’s party, implementing stricter COVID protocols as set up began. 

“Our protocols are as tight and safe as humanly possible. We’ve tested everyday this week. Every crew member that’s working has gone through the right protocols. It’s also why we’ve lost a few people along the way. We’ve lost staff, not permanently lost, but lost them for the week, crew and talent, but it goes with the territory. We were prepared for that,” Butch Spyridon, President of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. explained. 

COVID protocols have already impacted the night’s lineup. Sam Hunt and Elle King are no longer performing, while the Zac Brown Band pulled out of the event after testing positive. 

“Yeah, the lineup has changed a little bit. We wanted to see Zac Brown and Sam Hunt, but you know what, we will take whoever is going to be here,” said Zaidman.

Many were looking forward to celebrating after a virtual New Year’s Eve audience in 2020, all hoping we can soon leave COVID behind in the new year.