Music is making a comeback. As more and more people get vaccinated, dozens of local venues have started filling out their summer calendars. Wynonna Judd is performing at City Winery in June, and Sheila E. and The E-Train will be there in July. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Foreigner and Ashley McBryde will be at the Ryman in August. Still, a summer in Music City isn’t complete without taking in a show under the sun and the stars.
Pack your picnic basket and, in some cases, your fiddle or mandolin. Here are five opportunities to take in a concert while enjoying the great outdoors.
This weekend, Musicians Corner is taking over Centennial Park for a free three-day music and art festival. There will be live music, of course, but also local vendors, food trucks, a play area for the kiddos and more. The music starts at 5 p.m. Friday evening and noon Saturday and Sunday, and a few of the weekend’s highlights include soul singer-songwriter Jason Eskridge, R&B rockers The New Respects, blues singer Adia Victoria, and the Americana Award-nominated Allison Russell, who released her outstanding new solo record Outside Child last month.
The next installment of this monthly event is Sunday, June 20, with music from pianist Joey Richey & Friends. The free Father’s Day concert starts at 5:30 p.m. at Nashville Cumberland Park. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own blankets or chairs, and there will also be food trucks, concessions and a Kid’s Fun Play Zone. Pets are welcome, too!
Once a month through August, the Cornelia Fort Pickin’ Party raises money for Shelby Park and Bottoms with an interactive pickin’ party. Guests are encouraged to bring their own banjos, guitars and other instruments to jam after the concert. Yazoo, Banh Mi & Roll Factory, Woodland Wine Merchant and more are on hand for impromptu picnicking. This weekend, on June 12, banjoist Kyle Tuttle will perform with Greenwood Rye.
Every Thursday night through October, Cheekwood is hosting live music in the Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Bars are set up throughout the grounds and tickets include access to The Ann & Monroe Carell Jr. Family Sculpture Trail and Sean Kenney’s Nature POP! exhibit. Larysa Jaye performs June 10, The Northern Lights perform June 17 and The Bluegrass Drifters perform June 24. Advanced ticket reservations are required.
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through October, Arrington Vineyards is hosting live jazz and bluegrass. Upcoming acts include The Howlin’ Brothers, Jimmy Stewart, and Grasstime Band. Fridays are Food Truck Friday; Pie Town Tacos, Jay’s Chicago, and Gypsy Crepe Company will be there June 11, and Simply Living Life has all your picnic needs Saturdays and Sundays.