Coronavirus Postpones Tortuga Festival, Shutters Ryman, And Sparks A Honky Tonk Standoff

17/03/2020

In the latest impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on NASHVILLE and the Country music industry, the TORTUGA MUSIC FESTIVAL has been postponed from APRIL to OCTOBER, NASHVILLE’s RYMAN AUDITORIUM has temporarily closed down for performances, and the city’s bars — including its Lower BROADWAY honky tonks (several of which are owned by Country music stars) — have been ordered closed, but not everyone is complying.

First up, ROCK THE OCEAN’S TORTUGA MUSIC FESTIVAL has been rescheduled for OCTOBER 2nd through 4th at the same venue, FORT LAUDERDALE BEACH PARK, FL. Headliners will include LUKE BRYAN, MIRANDA LAMBERT and TIM MCGRAW.

The historic RYMAN has closed for shows through APRIL 4th, although fans can still take tours of the venue. Parent company RYMAN HOSPITALITY has also delayed the opening of its OLE RED ORLANDO restaurant/bar, which had been scheduled to launch on APRIL 14th.

The TENNESSEE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER has closed its ANDREW JACKSON HALL, JAMES K. POLK THEATER, ANDREW JOHNSON THEATER and the historic WAR MEMORIAL AUDITORIUM — all in downtown NASHVILLE — through APRIL 12th.

Finally, after a viral video of a packed downtown NASHVILLE nightclub had the city trending on social media (and not in a good way) over the weekend, NASHVILLE Mayor JOHN COOPER issued an order YESTERDAY (3/16) that all bars in DAVIDSON COUNTY must close, and restaurants must limit their capacity. The emergency plan was approved by the METRO BOARD OF HEALTH the same day.

But STEVE SMITH, the owner of TOOTSIE’S ORCHID LOUNGE, KID ROCK’S BIG ASS HONKYTONK STEAKHOUSE and two other downtown venues has refused to comply unless there is a statewide mandate directing all bars and restaurants to be closed. SMITH called COOPER’s directive “unconstitutional,” creating a bit of a standoff for now. We’ll keep you posted as that story develops.


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