Welcome Back, College Kids: Here’s What You Missed In Nashville This Summer

Back to school, back to schooooooool.

Billy-Madison-Not-Going-Back-To-School-GIF

 Just like our good friend Billy Madison, you might have resisted getting back into the swing of things this fall semester. Maybe you spent your summer in a killer internship you didn’t want to leave; or, you know, maybe your mom made you grilled cheese every day and you slept till noon/watched Breaking Bad all the way through three times. Whatever you did, it can be difficult to get back into the groove of the city after you’ve been gone for three months. Now that the parents have moved you back into the dorm and gotten their fill of Pancake Pantry sweet potato pancakes (because for some reason, there is nothing visiting parents love more than waiting in that famed Pancake Pantry line and chatting up every single person in line wearing a Belmont, Lipscomb, or Vanderbilt shirt and their whole extended family), you’re free to roam and rediscover Nashville – in between classes, of course. Wannado can help get you plugged in (free download here), but we thought we’d go one step further: we’ll fill you in on what you missed this summer. Here we go, y’all!

TMZ set up shop in Nashville.

tmz

That’s right – the paparazzi machine that is TMZ came to the 615 (and not everyone was super thrilled about it). While they first came on the scene in March, the coverage picked up steam this summer. The good news? Most of the Nashville content is pretty much just Charles Esten being nice to people and singing in honky tonks. No harm, no foul! Here is a rundown of some sample stories we gathered for TMZ upon their arrival (like Taylor Swift buying antique doorknobs and Ben Rector losing a chip in his queso at Taqueria Del Sol).

A ton of new restaurants opened up.

flipside

We all know by now that Nashville is a culinary hotspot. Top chefs from all over the country are wisin’ up and moving their trendy NYC and LA restaurant concepts down South to the ‘villa, and we are all benefitting from it. Try some new places (we did a write up on three of them) and do some foodie exploring. Just a handful of places that are new-ish to town? Sinema, Flipside, Boca Loca, Two Bits, Moto, The Crying Wolf, Treehouse, and Union Common.  You’ve got some eatin’ to do, kids. Check out our food and drink places to discover something you’ll love!

You can now carry your beer throughout the airport.

beer
Image courtesy of USA Today

This might not apply to you if you are not quite of age, but you might want to tell your old man that the next time he visits you he can roam the terminal with a local brew in his hand. Nashville announced a new rule that travelers can grab a drink and roam, even allowing you to sip your beverage at your gate as long as you don’t try to take it on the plane. While unconventional, it definitely allows the city to show off the ever-growing brewery renaissance we’re enjoying. And, you know – Nashville likes to (responsibly) party. Have you hit up the Tootsie’s at the airport on a Sunday night? It can get rowdy.

A huge overhaul of Riverfront Park was announced.

tns
Image courtesy of The Tennessean

Mayor Karl Dean has been shaking things up with his get-healthy program Nashvitality, and he made a huge splash when he released the renderings of the new Riverfront Park in mid-May. The new development of Riverfront Park will stretch from Church Street to Korean Veteran’s Boulevard along the banks of the Cumberland River – YEAH. That’s 18 acres of awesome, y’all. What will it include? An amphitheater that can seat 2200, a dog park, ornamental gardens, a lawn dubbed “The Green”, greenways that connect The Rolling Mill Hill greenway and the MetroCenter Levee greenway (so get those bikes ready, kids!). And of course, like the loving, responsible, socially conscious city we are, we’re making the development environmentally sustainable. This is going to be a game changer for downtown Nashville, providing an outdoor community space for locals and tourists alike.

Ben Folds called on Nashville to save RCA Studio A.

Image courtesy of Billboard
Image courtesy of Billboard

Music Row is one of the most historic strips of land in the city, and one of the most historic in the world in terms of popular music. Some of the studios have been transformed over the years, and the music community has fought to preserve the landmarks that are an integral part of our city’s identity as Music City. One of the people tirelessly fighting for preservation is none other than ridiculously talented Nashvillian, Ben Folds. Folds has been set up in RCA Studio A for quite some time, but he had to vacate this year. He penned an open letter to Nashville with a passionate plea to rally around the historic studio (check out some of the musical performances that have been recorded in there), but right now it looks like it might be headed for demolition. Stay tuned as we watch this thing unfold!

There were some epic free shows.

jakeowen
Image courtesy of lockerdome.com

Whether you were a country fan or you exclusively listen to indie bands from Seattle, there was something for you in the awesome free concert department this summer. Jake Owen brought the beach party to downtown Nashville with his second annual (but still kind of an impromptu surprise) Beach Party. There was a Vanilla Ice cover , surprise appearances by Dan + Shay and Lee Brice, and of course the man himself whippin’ that hair back and forth. There were super fun outdoor neighborhood concert series in 12 South and East Nashville, Musician’s Corner in Centennial, and obviously, Live On The Green (which you might have been here for, but if you weren’t, here’s a recap of one of the nights that resulted in an epic slip n’ slide). To keep up with all the shows the fall has to offer, check out the live music listing. It’s going to be a busy season, music lovers.

 

We could go on for days, because Nashville/the times are always a-changin’. Were you here this summer and noticed something we missed? Leave a comment and fill us all in! Now that you’re caught up, we suggest you go exploring. We’ll make it easy for you to find all the things you wannado in Nashville.