tennessee annual concerts and festivals

Living up to the state slogan, “America at its Best,” Tennessee is home to Elvis Presley’s Graceland, Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum and the Great Smoky Mountains. There’s also Ryman Auditorium, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Music City Walk of Fame, distilleries and wineries, exciting entertainment, and of course, scrumptious Southern food.

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Musical performances throughout Tennessee are also a huge attraction for locals and visitors. The multi-cultural event of the year is Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. This four-day event takes place on more than 700 acres in Manchester, with some 150 performances, covering virtually every genre of music, comedy and workshops. Rolling Stone magazine proclaimed Bonnaroo as “one of the 50 Moments that Changed the History of Rock and Roll.”

On Saturdays in early summer and fall, Musician’s Corner in Nashville fills afternoons with live entertainment, food trucks, and a beer and wine garden. July evenings are typically reserved for Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman, where artists such as Vince Gill, Alison Krauss and Ricks Skaggs have performed as a tribute to bluegrass pioneers Bill Monroe and Earl Scruggs.

A fan favorite, CMT Music Awards in Nashville recognize and award the best of the best during “country music’s biggest night” while CMA Music Festival features 200 artists performing live in this four-day event in Nashville. Fans can request autographs from the country music stars and attend their Q&A sessions.

Music City’s largest one-day event, with about 200,000 attendees, is held downtown on the Cumberland River each Fourth of July with free entertainment and fireworks choreographed to the music of the Grammy-winning Nashville Symphony.

Americana Music Association Festival & Conference in Nashville attracts more than 1,000 music professionals and artists worldwide who convene and network. This celebration showcases approximately 165 live performances that include up-and-coming artists along with well-known performers.

Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival is a full week of activity and fun with over 80 performances at quaint club venues throughout Nashville. Past performers include Loretta Lynn, Garth Brooks and Peter Frampton.

Read more about Tennessee in Mona Hayden’s story, “The Tastes and Tunes of Tennessee: One Dish at a Time in Nashville and Memphis,” in the November issue of Smart Meetings magazine.