NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s been nearly a year since the first large-scale event of 2020 in Nashville was cancelled due to the pandemic.
With vaccinations rolling out and case totals dropping, many want to know when will events return to Music City?
Butch Spyridon, President and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation said he is optimistic Nashville’s biggest events will return soon in some form.
A number of national events, including the SEC tournament, ACM Awards, the Grand Prix and the NASCAR cup series, have put Music City in the spotlight when it comes to tourism.
The health department will decide if fans can attend events and it will have a good indication sometime next week about future plans for CMA Fest.
Worst-case scenario for those event is postponement.
The second half of 2021 has a number of conventions booked starting in June, which will help more Middle Tennesseans get back to work as Nashville’s hospitality industry thrives on visitors.
“Part of our job is to pick ourselves up and look toward the future and figure out the fastest and best recovery. We’re obligated to be a little more optimistic, but in this case, I truly am optimistic that when we get to June, we’ll start to see real recovery and get everyone back on their feet and that even comes with a little more time, but that will feel like Christmas Day,” said Spyridon.
The issue with events like CMA Fest and the Fourth of July is it is difficult to maintain COVID-19 protocols within large crowds.
If these events are cancelled, NCVC could receive a federal marketing grant to help bring visitors back to Music City.
“Hopefully and maybe more important, we’re going to be able to get fans into some of these events and visitors, but if we can’t, the fact we’re going to be able to put our message out and our name out nationally is invaluable because money is tight we don’t have a big marketing budget for recovery. So we really need both, we need visitors coming to start to prime the pump and we need this marketing assist to remind people that we are here and about to be open,” explained Spyridon.
NCVC’s latest research shows Nashville could make a full economic recovery by 2023.