NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Photos of a concert venue in East Nashville are going viral after it as hit by an EF-3 tornado Tuesday.
It reads ‘I Believe In Nashville.’
The tornado hit Basement East, ripping off the roof and demolishing walls.
“We had a show with a lot of local artists and it wrapped up about an hour and a half or so before the tornado hit,” Manager Phil Simpson told News 2.
A few staff members were left inside cleaning, but were able to get to take shelter and weren’t hurt.
“We’re all still alive and that’s all I can really think about right now,” Simpson said.
The Basement East is East Nashville’s staple concert venue, contributing to the area’s popularity and growth over the last five years.
“We started just trying to fill the room,” Simpson said, “We’ve had Kris Kristofferson, John Prine play here, we’ve had Cage the Elephant here a few times.”
Nashville is known for its murals. The ‘I Believe In Nashville’ is one of the most popular.
“It’s kind of funny cause as staff here we see a lot of tourists come through taking pictures of this thing and we’d kind of make fun of them and joke about it,” Simpson said, “But the reality is the message behind that sign does mean a lot to us.”
Them, and the rest of the city. Thousands showed up after the storm to snap a photo with the message that is now much more than just a mural.
“The buildings can be rebuilt, but the people are what make it. The musicians, the artists, the folks who live here every day, and make this dream literal dream happen,” Simpson said, “There’s no other place in the world that thrives on music and is able to grow as a city. And, that’s what this is place all about. That’s what that signs all about.”
Staff spent all day at the venue Friday, salvaging any items they could from the wreckage to take to storage.
It could take months to a year to rebuild, but Simpson says they will be back.