Nov 29, 2021 - Business

Music venues struggle to survive

The black and white front exterior of Nashville music venue Exit/In.

Exit/In. Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images

The same factors that have pushed mom and pop restaurants to the brink in Nashville are also squeezing out independently operated music venues.

  • Soaring real estate costs and corporatization of the live music industry have made it increasingly challenging for independent venues, which have been pushed out when their leases expire by owners looking to make more money on the building.

Why it matters: Over the last several months, the Mercy Lounge trio of venues announced it was leaving Cannery Row without a new location. And earlier this year, a boutique hotel developer purchased the Exit/In property, apparently setting the stage for the long-time operators to be pushed out.

Driving the news: Metro Councilmember Jeff Syracuse passed legislation earlier this year calling for a comprehensive study of Nashville's concert industry.

  • Syracuse hopes the study will identify which venues are vulnerable, as well as possible tax breaks to help against harsh competition from corporate giants Live Nation and AEG.
  • The study is in a holding pattern as stakeholders wait on their application for federal stimulus dollars, which would be used to hire a consultant to do the research.

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