Photos by Michael Weintrob

All Star Musical Benefit to Preserve an Independent Exit/In Set for Memorial Day Weekend at East Park

“Nashville Helping Nashville” — a musical benefit to preserve the independence of the Exit/In — takes place this Sunday, May 30, in East Park from 2-9 pm.

The campaign to preserve the legendary venue — and, hopefully, its success — has consequences reaching far beyond Nashville, with implications for not only independent music venues but also the ecosystems they support. “The fight to sustain Exit/In’s 50 years of independence is not just a pivotal moment for Music City and Nashville’s creative working-class performers, artists, musicians, songwriters, and those who support them — hospitality workers, audio/visual techs, security staff, who are the beating heart of Music City,” says Chris Cobb, who has operated the venue for the last seventeen years. “This has national implications for local independent music venues all over the country, and it’s great to see Nugs.net and the entire music and arts community pulling in one direction to ensure Exit/In is able to continue serving Nashville’s creative working class for another 50 years.

“It’s not lost on me that it’s the working-class musicians who are stepping up to help on the show — especially ones based in East Nashville,” Cobb goes on to say. “I’m making decisions every day that aren’t necessarily bottom-line based. I feel for the people who go to work every day — the servers, bartenders, security, etcetera. I’m thinking about the community because it’s the community I live in.”

Chris Watts, whose band Dirt Reynolds will serve as the backing band for the Uncle Tupelo tribute set, says, “It’s part of a bigger thing going on around the country. Culture is important, and the threat of losing independent venues is a direct assault on our culture.”

A recent donation of $45,000 from Paramore’s Hayley Williams led to a decision by Cobb to increase the fundraising goal to $500,000; the current total sits just north of $270,000.

Premier live music platform Nugs.net joins Michael Weintrob’s Instrumenthead Live, Volume, High Five Productions, and Max Directs, to produce and stream the event, with seventeen local music venues and all five major local radio stations supporting the effort.

“To say we’re excited to be partnering with Nugs.net to bring this event to fans and supporters all across the globe to keep Exit/In independent would be an understatement,” says Alex Morgan of Heavy  Pedal Productions. “Chris and Telisha Cobb and the Exit/In family have been bringing together musicians and fans from all over the world so it makes sense that we bring this once-in-lifetime collaboration of Nashville’s most talented musicians into the homes of music fans everywhere, not just here in Nashville.”

 

No More Depression serves as the headlining tribute to alt-country godfathers Uncle Tupelo with Steve Poltz, Lilly Hiatt, Smooth Hound Smith, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Peter Keys of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Luke Schneider, Joey Fletcher, Joe Andrews, Charles Butler, India Ramey, Brian Wright, Jon Latham, Andrew Leahey, and Zach Setchfield sitting in for a song each with Dirt Reynolds as the backing band.

Pete Levin, who plays keys for Gregg Allman Band and Blind  Boys of Alabama, joins Jimbo Hart and Chad Gamble of Jason Isbell’s 400 Unit for an all-star tribute to the Allman Brothers with local favorites End of the Line backing them up.

Both the all-star Uncle Tupelo and Allman Brothers tributes will be streamed in their entirety by Nugs.net beginning at 6 pm.

Opening the day are back-to-back bluegrass powerhouses Airshow and Trevor Clark with Sicard Hollow, followed by the unmistakable blues guitar work of Andrew White. A thick helping of southern rock from the original Tennessee jam band Old Union takes things up a notch, and The Cordovas bring the afternoon steam home with a very special Grateful Dead called, Cordovas Are Dead. Performances from 2-6 pm will be streamed on Volume.com.

It was announced today that guitarist Todd Sharp will join the lineup of special guests. Sharp, who owns the high-end amplifier company Sharp Amplifiers, cut his teeth when he began touring with Hall & Oates at 19-year-old as their lead guitarist. He’s also played/toured with Christine McVie, Mick Fleetwood, and Eric Clapton, among others.

General admission tickets are $25 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under and are available for purchase now at nashvillehelpingnashville.eventbrite.com. If you’re unable to attend in person, this all-star concert will be streamed live and for free (donations welcome here) at 2nu.gs/ExitIn and volume.com. 100% of all proceeds will go to Music Venue Alliance Nashville, a local non-profit that represents fifteen local music venues in the city. Those funds will be made available to current operators of the Exit/In as part of any purchase of the property if the Chicago-based hotel developer, who recently put the venue under contract, chooses not to purchase the building. 

In the event the Cobb’s are unable to negotiate the purchase of the Exit/In, the funds will be split evenly between Music Venue Alliance Nashville and the National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) that will provide direct relief to local Nashville musicians.

The event is family-friendly, rain or shine, with a safe and responsible environment provided during the continuing pandemic.

East Park
700 Woodland St.,
Nashville, TN 37206
Sunday, May 30, 2021
2-9 pm

Livestream beginning at 2 pm at volume.com and then at 6 pm on Nugs.net