The Bluebird Cafe, Country Music Landmark Featured in ‘Nashville’ Show, Reopens Doors for First Time Since March 2020

by Jacklyn Krol

The iconic and historic Bluebird Cafe has reopened for the first time since the pandemic.

The music venue located in Nashville, Tennessee had to shut down on March 12, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. On Saturday (July 17) the establishment opened its doors once again. Things do look a bit differently.

Instead of the typical four artists performing, it’s now three. And instead of performing in the round style in the center of the room, they will be on a stage. Concerts will take place on Fridays through Mondays until the end of the month.  Money at the door goes to the artists while food and merchandise proceeds go to the venue.

“We are in a building owned by our founder so we have a little bit of safety,” General Manager Erika Wollam Nichols told Entertainment Weekly. “We’re like the last remaining strip mall in Green Hills and developers are all or the place. So there’s a bit of a risk.”

According to the outlet, Jelly Roll Johnson, JT Harding, Chris DeStefano, Kent Blazy, and Brett James performed. Nichols said that finding songwriters was surprisingly a bit difficult. Unlike other venues, social distancing can not take place due to its size. The venue can host a maximum of 90 patrons. Aside from the staff, no guests wore face masks.

The Bluebird Cafe And The Iconic Performances

For fans of the ABC series Nashville, you may recall that the venue was frequently used on the show. Although legendary artists have performed there, the series has brought a fan base to visit the venue.

“It’s certainly not the frenzy that it was when the show was new but I think it’s just wrapped up airing in Europe, so we have had a lot of European fans more recently,” Nichols added. “There are still folks who heard about it on the television show and are just waiting to make their way here.” 

Garth Brooks was actually discovered at the Bluebird Cafe. One of his songwriters, Blazy, performed on opening night. Taylor Swift was also discovered at the songwriters’ cafe.

The shows are unlike anything else music fans have experienced. It’s all about the writers and the music. Patrons have a strict etiquette policy. While artists are performing, everyone has to remain silent. If you’re not, prepare to get judged and shushed immediately.

The Bluebird Cafe is so legendary that a documentary about the music venue was released in 2019. The film featured countless famous country crooners who have performed on the stage.