Wannado October? Your Guide To Nashville’s First Month Of Fall

It’s no secret: we’re pumped for fall.

Just like the enthusiastic gentleman/creature above, thinking about cool weather, breaking out our turtlenecks, carving jack-o-lanterns, and most importantly choosing our Halloween costumes has us in a fall frenzy. We’ve been perusing all our local coffee shops for their seasonal lattes, sending out our preemptive pumpkin patch evites to our 25 closest friends; basically being on the constant lookout for all things cozy. We know it can be hard in a city this awesome to find all the things you love, so we thought we’d do some of the leg work for you. We got so excited thinking about October, we almost spilled our pumpkin spice latte. Here are some of the highlights if you want to:

Have A Musical Moment

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LEGENDS:

10/4: Sometimes we forget that some of the founders of rock n’ roll are still among us. Come see the legendary Jerry Lee Lewis sing through a catalog that defined music as we know it at The Ryman.

10/15: This is going to Kickstart Your Heart. Motley Crue is taking over Bridgestone, and it’s going to get rowdy.

10/16: Sir Paul Freaking McCartney is playing Bridgestone Arena. If you’ve never seen the Beatle in person, get ready to be struck by insane levels of true delight. He’s known to break out into jigs.

POP/R&B:

10/3: Don’t pretend like you don’t want to dance along to “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips at Wildhorse Saloon with your best friend like Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids. You shan’t tell a lie.

10/7: Sam Smith, the male answer to Adele is going to break your heart at The Ryman,  and you’re going to LOVE it. Bring the Kleenex and get ready to be blown away by that soaring falsetto (though we hope you already got your ticket, because it’s sold out  – try Craigslist, folks).

10/20: We tried to say goodbye, but we choked. Say hellooo to Macy Gray – she’ll be playing the brand new City Winery this month!

10/28: The “Same Love” songstress is headed to Mercy Lounge! Mary Lambert is on the rise, and you’re going to want to see her now before she starts playing bigger venues.

COUNTRY/AMERICANA:

10/15: Nashville dudes makin’ it big! Dan + Shay are going back to “Where It All Began” on their tour this fall, which means you can see the country duo at Cannery Ballroom.

10/15: Not only will you get to see country’s favorite family man croon, but it’s for a good cause. Josh Turner and Striking Matches play Ryman Auditorium for the annual Concert For Cumberland Heights, benefitting an addiction center.

10/24: If you haven’t seen Jason Isbell live before, we hope you got tickets to his show at The Ryman already, because it’s sold out. His opening act, Amanda Shires, can draw a crowd in her own right. Gonna be amazing!

INDIE:

10/5: Allen Stone is a self-described “hippie with soul”, and dude can draw a crowd. He’s playing 3rd and Lindsley – openers are Bad Rabbit and The Shadowboxers!

10/6: Put your new shoes on, and suddenly everything’s right. Paolo Nutini is back with a new record, and you can hear him live at Marathon Music Works!

10/17: You know you want to see the world’s most creative band in person. Who knows what OK Go! is going to come up with at Mercy Lounge?

10/21: Julian Casablancas is an intimidatingly cool dude with talent for days. Hear him play from his new record “Phrazes for the Young” at Marathon Music Works (The Voidz are playing too)!

10/25: ANOTHER sold out show at The Ryman. St. Paul & The Broken Bones are super fun to watch, and are surpassing the ‘band on the rise’ title to full-fledged household name.

10/29: BLEACHERS. Could we be more pumped? Jack Antonoff, of Fun & Steel Train fame, has formed a solo project that is well worth the ticket price. Check him out at Cannery Ballroom!

LOCAL LOVE:

Schermerhorn Shows: We’ve got Coffee & Classics, The Music of Queen, the list goes on! Great programming from Nashville Symphony this month.

10/3: Was there ever a better time for a communal bluegrass party under the stars? This is the month you go to Full Moon Pickin’ Party, champ.

10/3: Judah and the Lion has taken Nashville (and the whole country) by storm with their tight harmonies and high energy live shows. They hit a milestone this week when they play Exit/In, and the openers are KILLER: The angelic Penny + Sparrow and the infectiously joyful/talented Matt Wright. This one’s worth it, y’all!

All month: Musician’s Corner is a local favorite, and this season has an amazing lineup. Melinda Dolittle, Dave Barnes, Steve Moakler, Magnolia Sons, & more!

10/4: Alanna Royale is a force to be reckoned with. The lady has killer soul, pipes to match, and a stage presence that will knock you off your feet. She plays Exit/In this week, y’all!

10/9: The brainchild of Ben Lovett is back for a monthly event! Get your fill of Communion with some of your favorite local artists at Mercy Lounge. Can we get an amen?

10/25: Coin is some swirly party indie pop, so you best bring your dancin’ shoes. The Nashville-based bros play Exit/In with The Lonely Biscuits and Dana Swimmer late this month!

There are about a million more EDM, hip hop, indie pop, classic rock, etc. shows, and we want you to find one you love! They don’t call it Music City for nothin’.

Get Your Foodie Fix

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TRY A NEW RESTAURANT:

There are some awesome new places poppin’ up in the 615; here are just a few to visit: Sinema (an Old Hollywood throwback with a killer steak), Flipside (all the chicken EVER and a retro RCA sign), Union Common (a sleek art deco steakhouse with a central location), & the new Koi location in Franklin!

GET YOUR GRUB ON AT A FESTIVAL:

So much food (and whiskey), so little time. Nashville is BRINGING IT with the foodie festivals this October, y’all. Hit one of these up and bring your elastic waistbands – you’re going to need some room.

10/4: Mac & Cheese. One of the world’s best side dishes, and a Southern staple. Come to the Mac & Cheese Festival at the Opryland Resort for all the cheesy goodness your heart could desire and plenty of fun & games!

10/10: Nashville Oktoberfest is AWESOME. The Germantown partay has brats, beer, stein holding competitions, kickball with the Nashville Sounds, Yazoo brews, and Monell’s Catering. This is a must-do, folks.

10/11: October is a great month for beer. At Gulch Beer Fest, there will be plenty of seasonal brews to go with your food truck eats. So much fun to be had, and the community is gonna turn out for this one!

10/11: How does a beer lover treat oneself? Travel safe AND put on those beer goggles with Nashville Brew Bus, a fun tour of Music City breweries in a motor coach provided by Gray Line Of Tennessee. Great way to celebrate a birthday! Or, you know, a Monday.

10/17: The Franklin Wine Festival celebrates its 1oth anniversary, and you better believe there’s gonna be some toasts. Head to The Factory at Franklin to taste 300 wines from around the world!

10/25: Bacon is having its moment right now (and it is well-deserved). Much like 2008’s froyo, 2010’s cupcakes, that weird time in 2004 where everyone exclusively drank bubble tea – right now, we’re all bacon. Come to Nashville Farmer’s Market Bacon & Barrell Festival for tons of bacon from local vendors, 15 bourbon tastings (might want to take a Lyft), and plenty of fun.

10/8-10/11: Nashville loves whiskey. Why not celebrate it? There will be contests, seminars, spirit education, and obviously plenty of sampling sessions at Nashville Whiskey Festival! It all culminates in the grand tasting at Country Music Hall of Fame. So awesome.

Embrace The City’s Art & Culture

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TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ARTOBER:

It’s the most wonderful (artistic) time of the year! You’re going to want to keep up with Artober, a month-long celebration of all things arts & culture in the 615. Here are just some of the events we’re looking forward to!

10/4: Nashville Rep presents Sweeney Todd at TPAC

10/4: An artistic blowout in everyone’s favorite Greek-inspired park, Celebrate Nashville is the place to be!

10/4: Fall Fest at The Hermitage!

10/17: Swan Lake comes to TPAC, accompanied by Nashville Symphony

BRUSH UP ON YOUR LITERARY PROWESS:

Author events at Parnassus Books: Just this month, we have discussions/book signings with Jennifer Knapp, Steven Mansfield, Angela Doll Carson, Scott Bomar, and much more.

Workshops at The Skillery: The Porch Writers’ Collective has been setting up shop at The Skillery for some creative writing workshops. Check em’ out!

CATCH AN INDEPENDENT FLICK:

Every independent film lover should know and love (and frequent) The Belcourt! A few films they’re showing this month:

The Trip To Italy: a surrealist comedy following two comedians on their travels through Europe.

The Skeleton Twins: an already critically acclaimed dramedy, featuring stunning performances from SNL grads Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig as troubled twins Milo & Maggie.

Nas: Time Is Illmatic: a music documentary unlike the ones you’ve seen before. Nas takes us through the creative process and the strong sense of neighborhood in artistry.

Finding Fela: Fela was a revolutionary in music and politics, blurring the line between dynamic performer and radical activist. Come witness the journey of a truly unique and pivotal individual in world history.

THE ROOM Special Event: We hope you’ve had the pleasure of seeing the “worst movie ever made” at Belcourt before, but if you haven’t, this is most definitely your moment. Why is it so special? The guy who played Mark (yes, “I just saw you five minutes ago” Mark) is going to be showing his autobiographical film about the movie, The Disaster Artist. You just need to see this in person.

Make Some Family Memories

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GET THAT FAMILY PORTRAIT:

Head to Gentry’s Farm, mom & dad! You’ll get a precious pic of your kids galavanting among the pumpkins, whether they’re 2 or 32. There are tons of fun activities at this popular autumn spot, and it’s a great Saturday day-cation (you’re going to want to get some food after your hay ride, so check out our listing of Franklin/Brentwood restaurants to strap on the old feeding bag).

SEE A SHOW:

10/2: Odds are, parents, you’ve heard your little on belt out “LET IT GOOO” so many times, you have now enthusiastically joined in. Bond over your mutual love of Frozen with Frozen On Ice at Bridgestone Arena!

10/4: If you’ve got some early risers this Saturday, take the fam to Belcourt to spend the morning with everyone’s favorite nanny (sorry, Fran Drescher): Mary Poppins! Bask in the beauty that is Julie Andrews. Just do it.

10/10: The Frist has some awesome family programs, and this event is no exception. Head to the arts hub for a showing of Coraline!

10/9: The circus is here! The whole family will be mesmerized at Nashville Municipal Auditorium by elephants, tight rope walkers and more.

JOIN IN ON A FAMILY FUN PROGRAM:

10/4: Check out classic cool cars at Country Music Hall Of Fame

10/6: Country Music Hall Of Fame Musical Petting Zoo

10/7: Another chance to get your pumpkin patch on! Come to the beautiful Cheekwood for a special Tuesday For Tots.

10/17: One of the best places to take your kids all year – Nashville Zoo’s Ghouls at Grassmere! Adorable kids in adorable costumes as far as the eye can see. Precious.

10/28: Goblins in the Garden at Cheekwood! Another occasion to dress your kid up as something hilariously cute. Done.

TAKE IN THE SPORTS SEASON:

Tennessee Tians, Vanderbilt Commodores, Nashville Predators – all of your favorites are back in season! Check out live sports and bring the fam out to a game. So much fun!

Get Physical!

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With Mayor Karl Dean’s Nashvitality program in high gear and race season ramping up, there are a ton of fitness activities coming your way this fall. Here are a few:

WORK OFF THOSE PUMPKIN BARS:

10/4: Calling all yogis! Head to The Factory At Franklin this weekend for Music City Yoga Festival.

10/18: Rock & Relay is going to be rockin’. This race benefits a local fave, Friends Of Warner Parks!

10/19: Earn those extra autumn calories by running them off! Chocolate 5K is back in Memorial Park.

10/25: Urban Runoff 5K & Water Quality Festival, brought to you by Team Green Adventure!

GET SPOOKED IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS:

10/11: Take a tour of a historical cemetery. This interactive experience will have you getting reaaaal close to whoever you brought with you. Ghosts abound!

10/18: A self-guided group takes a ghostly river adventure by canoe! Meet at Shoney’s (so get there early so you can grab some quality banana pudding)

HAVE SOME WHIMSICAL FUN IN YOUR CITY:

10/4: RACE THE HILL is this Saturday! Local adults (yep, not kids) will be riding down the streets to the finish line in big wheels to benefit Renewal House. We’re racing – are you!?

All month: Go on an urban night hike with your fellow Nashvillians to see your city in a whole new way!

WHEW. Yeah, October is going to be crazy busy. This is just skimming the surface, so make sure you grab Wannado (and yes, there’s a reason we left Halloween festivities out for the most part – keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming Halloween blog!). We’ve got you covered, and we’ll see you out there, Nashville!