New Year's Eve in Nashville: What you need to know before heading to 'Big Bash'

·4 min read

Nashville kicks 2021 to the curb this weekend with a free downtown concert and television special featuring some of the biggest names in country music.

Friday night, CBS airs "Big Bash," a five-hour broadcast featuring the city's annual free New Year's Eve concert at Bicentennial Mall.

Headed to the concert? We've got you covered with information on parking, safety, COVID-19 protocols, fireworks and more.

Who's performing

Concert organizers enlist Dierks Bentley and country trio Lady A to co-headline at Bicentennial Mall. Guest performances include Ingrid and Andress and Breland.

Music kicks off at 6 p.m. with Nashville's own Fisk Jubilee Singers, followed by a half-hour set from DJ Aydam. Co-headliners and special guests begin at 7 p.m., running until about 12:30 a.m.

Zac Brown Band no longer appears Friday at "Big Bash" due to bandleader Zac Brown testing positive for COVID-19, according to a post to the group's social media page. Elle King and Sam Hunt bowed out of Friday's performance due to unspecified COVID-19 protocols, the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. said Thursday evening.

'Big Bash' list of artists: Performers at Nashville's 'Big Bash' New Year's Eve special

Dierks Bentley performs during the CMA Summer Jam concert at Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, Tenn., Wednesday, July 28, 2021. The CMA Summer Jam is a two-night concert for fans to see live in-person.
Dierks Bentley performs during the CMA Summer Jam concert at Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, Tenn., Wednesday, July 28, 2021. The CMA Summer Jam is a two-night concert for fans to see live in-person.

COVID-19 protocols

Those attending "Big Bash" at Bicentennial Mall must volunteer vaccination proof or show proof of a monitored negative COVID-19 test taken Thursday or Friday before entering concert grounds. Beyond entrance protocols, the rapidly-spreading omicron variant had not at publication time impacted show producers' plans for a concert with an in-person audience. Those wanting updated COVID-19 information for "Big Bash" can find it at visitmusiccity.com/newyearseve.

Weather

A risk of severe storms faces Nashville on Friday night into Saturday, the National Weather Service said. Umbrellas will not be allowed at the event, so guests are encouraged to bring ponchos, raincoats, rain boots and other protective wear, organizers said.

"We are monitoring the pending weather situation literally by the hour," said Butch Spyridon, CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp.

They are in close contact with Nashville's Office of Emergency Management and have contingency plans in place, Spyridon said.

"Public safety will remain at the forefront of all our decisions," he said. "We advise attendees to check the weather, follow our social media and listen for announcements from the stage."

Fireworks and music note

Concertgoers can expect a double shot of midnight countdowns this year. A countdown takes place at 11 p.m. for east coast viewers at home and again at midnight for central time zone audiences. The midnight music note drop features a two-minute fireworks show, according to Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp.

People fill up Bicentennial Mall during the Jack Daniel's Music City Midnight New Year's Eve celebration Tuesday, December 31, 2019.
People fill up Bicentennial Mall during the Jack Daniel's Music City Midnight New Year's Eve celebration Tuesday, December 31, 2019.

Parking, rideshare and safety

Those driving to the show can get a rundown of parking lots near Bicentennial Mall at nashvilledowntown.com/get-around/nashville-parking. Neighboring parking options include the Vision Lot, Bowtruss Lot and State Garage, among others. Prices vary.

Concertgoers who plan to bookmark New Year's Eve with a trip downtown can park at Nissan Stadium — across the Cumberland River from Lower Broadway via the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge — for $10, according to visitmusiccity.com.

Designated rideshare stations and taxi stands can be found at the following locations, according to NCVC:

  • James Robertson Parkway between Fourth Avenue and Rep. John Lewis Way

  • James Robertson Parkway from Charlotte Pike to Rosa L. Parks Boulevard (Capitol Hill side)

  • Rosa L. Parks Boulevard from Nashville Farmers’ Market entrance to Tenth Circle North

  • Jefferson Street between Sixth Avenue and Rosa L. Parks Boulevard

Prohibited items inside concert grounds include coolers, backpacks, chairs, pop-up tents, outside alcoholic beverages and "dangerous devices of any kind." A full list of prohibited items can be found at visitmusiccity.com.

Street closures

Roads surrounding Bicentennial Mall closed on Friday afternoon include 7th Avenue and 6th Avenue North between Jefferson Street and Rosa L. Parks Boulevard. Closures between Jefferson and Rosa Parks extend east through 4th Avenue North, which reopens at Harrison Street.

See a complete list of street closures at visitmusiccity.com/newyearseve/road-closures.

More music

"Big Bash" features a satellite stage this year at Assembly Food Hall inside downtown complex 5th + Broadway. A ticketed event, the lineup features Carly Pearce, Jon Pardi, Chris Janson and Riley Green. More information at assemblyfoodhall.com.

Looking for other New Year's Eve concert options? We've got you covered with this list.

How to watch from home

CBS broadcasts segments of the Bicentennial Mall concert between additional performances from Miranda Lambert, Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Kelsea Ballerini and more. Local viewers can tune in via NewsChannel5 at 7 p.m. CST. Music runs until 12:30 a.m., breaking for a half-hour at 10 p.m. for a news broadcast.

Paramount+ subscribers can stream "Big Bash" live or on-demand via the online service.

The Tennessean's Rachel Wegner contributed to this article.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: New Year's Eve in Nashville: Parking, 'Big Bash' lineup and more

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