Local Guide



130+ Bands...10 Venues...5 Days...Sept 5-9

Nashville, Tenn. - August 3, 2007
The second annual Next Big Nashville (NBN) will showcase the best of the thriving Nashville music scene and artistic community on September 5-9. The five-day event will feature well over 130 bands including The Features, Jeremy Lister, Landon Pigg, Eef Barzelay, The Pink Spiders, Elizabeth Cook, Gabe Dixon Band, De Novo Dahl, Butterfly Boucher and many more. Cannery Ballroom, Mercy Lounge, 12th & Porter, Exit/In, The End, The Rutledge, Belcourt Theatre, The Basement, 3rd & Lindsley, Grimey’s Records, Bar23 and Layl’a Ultra Lounge are all on board to host showcases, VIP events, in-stores and after-parties. Proving the sentiment expressed by this year’s theme, “We’re All in This Thing Together” (taken from the song “Red Lights” by participating artist Trigger Code), NBN is truly a community effort. Local management companies such as Nettwerk Nashville, indie labels like Infinity Cat and locally based businesses like Griffin Technologies, are all pitching in to make this event as diverse and dynamic as the scene it spotlights. NBN kicks off Wednesday, September 5 at Belcourt Theatre with “Reel BIG Nashville” presented by NBN and The Documentary Channel. The program will feature locally produced indie documentary clips and live music by some of the film-featured bands. Following five days of live music, after-parties and other official events, NBN will conclude on Sunday, September 9 with a live broadcast on WRLT/Lightning 100 featuring new Nashville transplant and songwriting legend Freedy Johnston. Five-day wristbands are on sale now.

Event History:
NBN debuted in 2006 over Memorial Day weekend at the Mercy Lounge and Cannery Ballroom for a near capacity crowd of fans, bands, media and music business VIP's. The event was universally praised by the local press, music industry and the participating acts including Bang Bang Bang (Warner Bros), Chris Janson (Vector) and Dave Barnes (Razor & Tie). With more venues, more events and more community involvement, this year's NBN is primed to leap from a cool three-day concert to a touchstone annual event.

Serving as a launching pad for many of the participating artists, NBN provides a deserving spotlight for them to showcase their talent not only to Nashville, but to the international music business community at large. Many of last year’s performing acts signed record and/or publishing deals after NBN 2006. These acts, along with numerous other recently signed area artists, display a booming industry beyond country music in Nashville that is attracting international attention. The Pink Spiders (Geffen), Landon Pigg (RCA), Jeremy Lister (Warner Bros) and many others represent a growing and diverse pool of rock, pop, roots and hip hop artists who call Nashville home. A number of these artists, as well a crop of rising stars and "next big things," will be participating in this year’s NBN.

Q&A with NBN creator and producer Jason Moon Wilkins:

Q: What is the purpose of the event?
A: "The inaugural NBN was conceived and executed in three and a half weeks in 2006 as a way to celebrate what was a banner year for Nashville's rock/pop/indie community. It was originally meant to be just a one-night party, but it quickly grew into a three-day festival that drew nearly three thousand people. Obviously, this year has expanded exponentially, which is a reflection of how dynamic Nashville's music scene is at the moment. The basic reasoning behind it was that it seemed like we needed an event like this and the artists, the industry and the city as a whole have overwhelmingly agreed with that assessment. It's a truly exciting time to be a part of the music community in Nashville and to be living in such a vibrant and growing city. More than anything else, I wanted to build an event that echoed that excitement. Nashville is evolving and expanding beyond its former image into something more cosmopolitan and eclectic but still decidedly southern and I wanted to create a musical reflection of that."

Q: Is this a showcase/industry event or a public festival?
A: "It's both. It's an easy 'one stop shop' for any out-of-town or in-town industry professional interested in what is happening in Nashville's music scene at the moment. It's also a chance to showcase the growing community of industry professionals who work outside the Music Row mainstream but whose work helps tie Nashville to the international arena. And it's an opportunity for Nashville music fans to see their favorite acts play together in a festive and communal atmosphere and hopefully to be introduced to their new favorite band along the way."

Q: Is this a strictly non-country event?
A: "No. While the bulk of the artists fall under the rock/pop/indie umbrella, NBN invited numerous country and Americana artists to participate, specifically targeting the artists who are active in the live music scene."

Q: How were the artists selected?
A: "There was no submission process (that may change for next year). We relied on a wealth of music industry sources (managers, label reps, publishers, performing rights organization reps, agents, club owners, other artists, journalists, radio people, lawyers and so on) to help target the artists who best represented this moment in time in Nashville and Middle Tennessee's music community. Obviously the focus was on rock, pop and indie acts, but those artists make up the bulk of the live music scene in Nashville so they logically make up the bulk of the NBN lineup. For sponsored nights we worked directly with the sponsor, such as BMI, to choose acts we both felt fit the festival. We also reached out to out-of-town artists (those tied to Nashville either through members living here or through having business or historical ties to the city) as a way of showcasing not only Nashville artists but the growing community of industry professionals whose work outside the Music Row mainstream and help tie Nashville to the international arena. For the record, we could easily have added one hundred more acts without diluting the quality of the music...such is the incredible wealth of talent here right now."

About Jason Moon Wilkins:
Next Big Nashville creator and producer Jason Moon Wilkins was born in Arkansas and raised in Louisiana, but has been a resident of Nashville for 14 years. During those years, he has worked in various capacities within the music industry, including having his own record deal with the band toybean in the mid-90's, playing bass for other artists such as Josh Rouse and Garrison Starr, acting as a consultant, manager, DJ, journalist and festival coordinator. In addition to Next Big Nashville, Wilkins has helped coordinate music events for the Nashville Film Festival and other entities and is currently consulting, writing and making music.

About Ethan Opelt:
Next Big Nashville co-founder, promoter and venue coordinator Ethan Opelt was born and raised in Indiana, but has been living in Nashville for 7 years. In addition to Next Big Nashville, Opelt has extensive experience booking, promoting and developing Nashville-based artists. Ethan is also the president and co-founder of Movement Nashville, a locally based artist development, booking and promotion community that strives to break the stereotype that Nashville is only home to talented Country and Gospel artists. Movement Nashville has seen success with a number of members signing record deals including: Bang Bang Bang (Warner/Maverick), Jeremy Lister (Warner Bros), Kyle Andrews (Badman Records), Luna Halo (Columbia/American), Paramore (Fueled by Ramen) and others.

Thank you for your interest but all NBN 2007 slots have been filled. Please do not contact us at this time for inclusion in this year's event. We will be posting submission information for NBN 2008 later this Fall.