AmericanaFest is an annual musical extravaganza that takes place in Nashville, Tennessee. It features many different genres of music, including country, folk, roots, and blues. World-renowned artists, as well as emerging local musicians, perform at various venues in Downtown Nashville.
The festival has been going strong for several decades. AmericanaFest is run by the Americana Music Association, a non-profit organization. The Americana Honors & Awards show, conducted in the Ryman Auditorium, is held during the same week as the festival.
In addition to the music, there is a conference portion that includes various panels, seminars, showcases, and other events. These are spread out over six days. The conference events are open to non-members of the Americana Music Association as well. They provide incredible networking opportunities, which is why industry professionals from all over the country travel to Nashville to be a part of them.
Festival attendees can enjoy over 700 live music performances. Artists who have been a part of AmericanaFest in the past include Mike and the Moonpies, Amythyst Kiah, Jason Hawk Harris, Tanya Tucker, Turnpike Troubadours, The White Buffalo, Sam Outlaw, Humming House, The Infamous Stringdusters, The Wood Brothers, Richard Thompson, and Bonnie Raitt.
If you’re interested in attending just the music performances, you can purchase a festival wristband. They usually cost about $90 and get you access to the music concerts on all six nights. Passes may also be available at the door for individual shows on a first-come, first-serve basis.
If you’d like to be a part of the conference portion, you’ll need to purchase a Conference Registration badge, which costs about $500. Lower rates are available for early birds and members. A limited number of Gold Circle VIP passes are also available, which are priced at about $1000. Get your tickets for AmericanaFest.
The drive to Nashville is most often an easy and pleasant one. AmericanaFest events take place in many different venues across Nashville, including the Basement and the Basement East, Mercy Lounge, the Station Inn, Musician’s Corner, Third Man Records, and Ryman Auditorium in recent years. It may be preferable to park your Airstream in one location for the day and walk or take public transportation between the various events. Monitor road conditions for the region with Tennesee 511 services.
RV parking can be challenging to find in the area. Once you reach the city, head to your chosen RV park or campground and park your motorhome there. Private service providers tend to offer special parking packages during big events, so it's a good idea to see what might be offered during the time of your stay. On-street parking near the various venues is also an option but be mindful of your vehicle's dimensions.
Many of the venues are walking distance from each other. You can also use the AmericanaFest shuttles to get around between venues. These will get passengers from a central pick-up point to the venues that are a bit further away. The downtown area is also well connected by bus. Another option is to use ride-hailing services.
Onsite camping is not available at AmericanaFest. It’s a good idea to book a spot at an RV park or campground close to the downtown area so you can get around easily from one venue to the next.
You’ll find several well-equipped options within a 15-mile radius. These have all the facilities you’ll need for a comfortable stay. Nashville KOA Resort is about 12 miles from downtown and comes with full hookups and sites that are accessible with a large RV. They also offer a paid shuttle service to the downtown area.
Nashville is a very walkable city, and most of the venues have short distances between them. However, you're likely to be doing a considerable amount of walking, so comfortable shoes are a must. Seating at some of the venues limited, so it’s a good idea to get there early. With hundreds of live shows to choose from at AmericanaFest, it can be hard to decide which ones to hit. Review the lineup in advance, so you know where to go for your favorite acts.
Keep your attire comfortable and warm weather appropriate. The vibe is casual, and most festival-goers may be wearing jeans and t-shirts. You’ll also see a few cowboy hats and quite a bit of western attire. It tends to get colder in the evenings, so you’ll need a lightweight jacket. A t-shirt or two with your favorite performers is always a good addition to your AmericanaFest wardrobe.
For your time at the festival, take a small bag with sunscreen, a water bottle, a portable charger, hand sanitizer, and other essentials. A hat and sunglasses will offer some added protection from the sun. Pack a few extra blankets, sweaters, and socks in your motorhome to beat the nighttime chill.
Performance venues are ADA compliant and accessible by wheelchair. Downloading the AmericanaFest app is also helpful for receiving live updates during the activities including road alerts and other safety information. Safety guidelines may vary slightly from venue to venue in Nashville.
Whether you're an accomplished cook or an amateur, it’s hard to go wrong with a one-pot dish cooked on a campfire. Fill your refrigerator with fresh herbs and produce before heading to your camp. Some campsites do not allow open fires, so check with the camp manager before lighting up your campfire.
If you’re enthusiastic about good food, Downtown Nashville is a great place to be. The area is teeming with great restaurants, diners, cafes, and pubs. You can’t leave Nashville without trying some of the delicious Southern Comfort food for which the region is known. While it is a haven for meat lovers, there are plenty of offerings for vegans and vegetarians, as well.
Food and drinks will be on sale at the different venues. The food at each venue varies, so you'll be able to try a range of delicious dishes. There will be beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages on offer, but you’ll need to produce a valid ID to purchase them. Designated locations are available for enjoying adult beverages.
Bags and belongings will be checked at the entrances of the venues by security personnel. Avoid carrying products packed in glass or aerosol containers. Outside alcohol, drugs, and weapons of any kind are not allowed. Anyone disrupting the peace or disrespecting the AmericanaFest guidelines will be asked to leave.
September visitors are likely to enjoy warm and sunny weather with daytime temperatures ranging in the mid-80s in Tennessee. Rain is not likely to affect AmericanaFest, especially since many of the events take place indoors. If the weather turns unexpectedly severe, patrons will be alerted via the festival's social media accounts.
First aid will be available at some of the festival sites. Since the event takes place at many different venues, it’s a good idea to carry a few basic medical supplies that fit your care needs. Also, ensure that the first aid kit in your RV is well stocked and updated. Call 911 if you or someone you know requires urgent assistance.