Tennessee Music Venues Disagree On COVID Policies

Photo: Ray Stephenson performs at Backstage Nashville

Photo Credit: Backstage Nashville / Facebook

The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –

Following in the footsteps of Moon River Music Festival in Chattanooga, and City Winery Nashville, several music festivals and venues in Tennessee have announced policies requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccinations or a negative test (between 48 to 72 hours ahead of show time) before admittance. 

Tennessee Capitol Building in Nashville

Pilgrimage Music Festival in Franklin and Nashville’s iconic Bluebird Cafe have shared their new policies on social media. 

Reactions to the new requirements on the Bluebird Cafe’s Facebook page vary. Janice King said, “That’s fantastic. I don’t want to [be] in that close of [an] environment with unvaccinated people. Wish more places would do this…”

Rodney J. Simmons questioned the safety of test results. “So I can get a negative test within 48 hours but can be in contact with hundreds of people… and by show time you have no idea if I am negative or not… So how is that effective?” 

Even some vaccinated patrons took issue with the policy. Sharon Berghorn said, “I am fully vaccinated and have been since January but will not give my money to businesses that require me to prove [it.] None of your business.”

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City Winery Nashville, when asked how their policy has been received provided the following statement from CEO Michael Dorf: 

“We have both lost some customers who are taking a stand against the policy and gained customers who feel safer in our creating a bubble of no Covid.  We have heard overwhelming support from the performing artists who are grateful we are implementing this so they have a safe stage to play, as they need venues to play again.  We are very glad to see more and more indoor venues and F&B establishments following this important protocol to combat and hopefully end this damn pandemic!”

Not all festivals and venues agree with this approach. Backstage Nashville at 3rd and Lindsley announced via Facebook on August 11th that they “will not be requiring patrons to show a vaccination card to enjoy our shows.” 

Birthplace Of Country’s board of directors and organizers of Bristol Rhythm and Roots Festival penned a letter August 18th stating that “after numerous conversations with state, regional and local leaders,” they believe that imposing requirements to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccines or negative tests “is specifically prohibited by Tennessee State law (Senate bill no.858 section 6.)”

In addition, they acknowledged that “we understand that everyone must do what they feel is best to keep themselves and their families safe.” Ticket refunds for the upcoming festival are available upon request. 

In contrast, Pilgrimage Music Festival has ticket holders asking on social media how they can get a refund after unveiling their new policy on August 16th. 

Ashley James Renouf asked, “Why are you removing peoples comments on Instagram, or blocking them when they ask how they can get their money back?” 

Other once hopeful attendees are putting their tickets up for sale.

A request for a statement from Pilgrimage Music Festival was not received by the time of publication.

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About the Author:

Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and contributor to The Tennessee Conservative.

You can reach Paula at paula@tennesseeconservativenews.com.

4 thoughts on “Tennessee Music Venues Disagree On COVID Policies

  • August 25, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    I sent an email to City Winery in Nashville. The CEO’s “hope” this will help end the pandemic is baseless, foolish and ignorant. How sad. People prefer to listen to authorities rather than think on their own, “blind obedience to authority is the enemy of truth.” Einstein.

  • August 25, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    We will not be attending / giving money to any establishment over stepping and requiring unlawful health information.

  • August 26, 2021 at 1:50 pm

    i will NEVER attend any show or venue that requires proof of an unproven vaccination!!!!
    That’s discrimination! It’s not my job to take care of your health!

  • August 31, 2021 at 6:07 pm

    Why are businesses still following this fantasy that the vaccine prevents transmission? It doesn’t! Nor does it prevent illness. When hospitals are choosing to not test their vaccinated patients, we aren’t even getting a representation of what is going on in our community. Not to mention, the PCR does not differentiate between live virus… only DNA material. Furthermore, if someone shows their vax card with their second dose received TODAY, do the business owners and patrons truly feel safer? This is ludacris!


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