For the sixth year during the month of April, Music City rolls out the red carpet and celebrates spring’s arrival like no other city. With scores of festivals, concerts, award shows and exhibitions—each unique to Nashville—the city has officially designated April as “Awesome April in Music City.”
“It’s going to be another awesome month for this city,” said Butch Spyridon, president of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Six years ago we began to collectively market all of the unique events happening in April. We have seen strong growth in attendance at each event and visitor spending has increased dramatically.”
Here is just a sample of details regarding this year’s star-studded, chart-topping, month-long extravaganza:
Awesome April Kick Off and 103 WKDF Birthday Bash—For the fourth year, Nashville’s premier country music station will officially launch Awesome April with a spectacular concert March 30 at the Sommet Center. With performers Lee Brice, Bucky Covington, Stephen Cochran, Trailer Choir, Marshal Reign, Randy Owen of Alabama and the launch of Restless Heart’s 25th Anniversary tour already confirmed, the Awesome April Kick Off and 103 WKDF’s Birthday Bash will get the month off to a good start. The concert starts at 7p.m. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster beginning February 23.
Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival— The 16th Annual Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival, presented by Regions Bank, features over 75 shows with 250+ songwriters performing in small venues throughout Nashville. From April 1-5 songwriters from across the country come to Music City to celebrate the home of songwriting and to raise money for the Nashville SongwritersAssociation International (NSAI). Past festivals have included performances by hit writers and stars such as Garth Brooks, Loretta Lynn, Richard Marx, Kenny Loggins, Richie Sambora andmany more. Already confirmed for this year’s festival are Josh Turner, (“Long Black Train”-Josh Turner), Carolyn Dawn Johnson (“Single White Female”-Chely Wright), Jim Peterik, (“Eye of the Tiger”-Survivor) Kip Winger, (“Seventeen”-Winger) and ‘The Hitmen’ of GAC fame, (Jeffrey Steele, Bob DiPiero, Tony Mullins and Craig Wiseman). Five day, “Fast Access” passes on sale March 5 at www.tinpansouth.com or call NSAI at 615-256-3354. Full festival lineup will be available on the website, March 7.
GMA Music Week— The GMA Dove Awards is Christian and gospel music’s biggest night of the year, where top artists from every style of gospel come together for a national night of music and celebration as the GMA bestows the industry’s highest honor — the Dove Award. This year’s show will be held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville on Wednesday, April 23, 2008. The Gospel Music Channel, the nation’s first and only 24/7 all-gospel/Christian music television network will produce the Dove Awards in high definition and broadcast live on GMC from 8 – 10 p.m. (ET/PT). The Dove Awards are just one of the key highlights of GMA Music Week, held in Music City from Saturday, April 19 to Thursday, April 24, 2008. With literally hundreds of exclusive music performances, leading key note speakers and a diversity of professional, educational and spiritual seminars, GMA Music Week is the only event of its kind that brings together all aspects of the Christian and gospel music industry: agents, signed artists, independent artists, church leaders, managers, promoters, radio personnel, record company executives, retailers, songwriters, and other industry visionaries. For more info, visit www.gospelmusic.org.
Music City Walk of Fame— Music City, Inc. will celebrate the fourth class of inductees to the Music City Walk of Fame presented by founding sponsor Gibson Guitar on Sunday, April 20 at 3:00 p.m. The Music City Walk of Fame is an official project of Music City, Inc., the charitable foundation of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau (NCVB), and is produced with the support of presenting sponsor Gibson Guitar and sponsors GAC, the City of Nashville and Metro Parks. Permanent sidewalk medallions made of stainless steel and terrazzo, with each honoree’s name displayed in a star-and-guitar design, will be installed in the sidewalk along the Music Mile, the roughly one-mile stretch of Demonbreun Street from 4th Avenue South to the Buddy Killen Circle at 16th Avenue South. Nominations are open to the public and accepted in the categories of Artist, Musician, Songwriter, and Producer/Music Industry Executive. Application forms are reviewed by the Music City Walk of Fame selection committee. Past inductees include: Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Fisk Jubilee Singers, Emmy Lou Harris, Jimi Hendrix, Wynonna, Michael W. Smith, Bob DiPiero and many more. For more information, visit www.visitmusiccity.com/walkoffame.
CMT Music Awards— Country music’s biggest stars will rock Nashville’s Curb Event Center at Belmont University when the 2008 CMT MUSIC AWARDS premieres LIVE on Monday, April 14 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT* on CMT and CMT.com. CMT’s seventh annual awards show honors country music’s elite for the year’s most outstanding music videos and performances and continues to be the genre’s only fan-voted awards. Tickets to the 2008 CMT MUSIC AWARDS at The Curb Event Center at Belmont University in Nashville go on sale Saturday, February 23 at 10 a.m., CT and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 615-255-9600, online at www.CMT.com and ticketmaster.com.
Nashville Film Festival—(NaFF), taking place April 17 through 24 at Regal Green Hills Stadium 16, is one of the longest-running — and one of the most prestigious — film festivals in the South, continually garnering notice from a wide range of entertainment and trade publications including MovieMaker Magazine, Film Festival Today, IndieWire, Variety, Billboard, New York and Script Magazine. Last year, more than 20,000 film lovers, entertainment professionals and industry insiders from all over the world — a staggering 26% increase from the year before — made the trek to NaFF to enjoy 240 films from 44 countries, incisive industry panels, music showcases and spirited party mixers. Among the diverse group of celebrities who have attended NaFF in the past either as film presenters, award recipients or film fans are Rob Thomas, Craig Brewer, Al Gore, Ashley Judd, Kiefer Sutherland, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Peter Falk, Paul Reiser Patrick Swayze, Rick Schroder, John Waters, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Redford and Oprah Winfrey. For more information, please visit www.nashvillefilmfestival.org.
Country Music Marathon & 1/2 Marathon—The ninth annual Country Music Marathon & ½ Marathon is set to hit the streets of Nashville on Saturday, April 26, 2008. On Friday, April 25, 3,000 kids will kick off race weekend in the YMCA Country Music Kids’ Marathon. The musically themed road race is expected to attract 35,000 runners, walkers and junior racers and over 100,000 spectators. Both the marathon and half marathon courses start in Centennial Park on West End Ave. and finish outside of LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans. Runners are treated to Nashville’s Music Row, Belmont University and Bicentennial Mall. Marathoners also run along the Cumberland River and through beautiful Shelby Park.
The event features 50 live bands playing along the course, 25 high school cheer squads to keep energy pumping, a free two-day Health & Fitness Expo held on Thurs., April 24 and Fri., April 25 at the Nashville Convention Center, a fantastic finish line festival and a post-race concert featuring one of country music’s name acts at the Sommet Center. In addition, the Country Music Marathon & ½ Marathon receives extensive national, regional and local media coverage and will be taped to broadcast nationally on FSN and regionally on Comcast Sports Southeast. In its eight-year history with the Nashville-based event, Team In Training has raised over $16 million (net) for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® and will raise approximately $2 million (net) this year. www.cmmarathon.com.
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