Friday, April 20, 2007

Loss of Festivals and Starwood Amphitheatre

Nashville has experienced great loss over the years in the form of cultural festivals. In the last decade or so, we lost "Summer Lights", "The Italian Street Festival", "RiverStages" and "Dancin' in the District." They added so much fun and uniqueness to our city and were events geared toward locals instead of tourists, but they were fun for visitors as well. They provided great music, food, family-friendly activities and a great way to spend a day in the city without spending a fortune.

I see and hear about festivals, fairs, tours and all sorts of things in other cities and see them doing really well. I long for the days when Nashville had the same, and we went out and enjoyed it. I long for the days in the future when we have these sorts of things for everyone to enjoy again.

This also brings to mind Starwood Amphitheatre which was Nashville's only outdoor venue that could hold major events and concerts without using a stadium. It provided many incredible memories for us over the years as we saw concerts of every kind showcased year in and year out. It was far from perfect, but it could still provide a great time.

I hope we come up with someone to buy the venue or maybe we will have another one built in the next couple of years. Keep your fingers crossed and get out to hear all the great music that comes to town. It is up to us to keep our venues open, so that performers will want to come to Nashville for the best fans in the world.

"From the Nashville Post"- 2/13/07
Journalist Kay West spoke for many in 1998 after readers of Nashville Life magazine chose the venue as the "worst place to hear live music" in a poll of local bests and worsts. West's entry read: "Starwood, dear Starwood. How do we hate thee? Let us count the ways.

We hate the lousy drive on the ever-under-construction I-24. We hate the immobile stream of overheating cars in terminal holding pattern. We hate your exorbitant parking fees. We hate your Gestapo seize-and-destroy security force. We hate your carnival sideshow on the plaza. We hate your rip-off concessions. We hate your stinking bathrooms. And, come to think of it, we’re pretty damned sick of your music, too. Hank Williams Jr. again? Yawn."

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