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If you haven’t been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard that a total solar eclipse will pass through the U.S. this Monday, Aug. 21, and Nashville happens to be the largest city in the path of totality. While that means a massive influx of tourists are expected to descend upon Music City to take in this once in a lifetime experience, it also means an extraordinary amount of happenings to partake in as well.
Parks, libraries, science and nature centers, schools, restaurants, bars, breweries, honky tonks, and an unbelievable number of other local businesses and establishments are all getting in on the action, most opening in the morning to give you time to arrive and prepare for the celestial event. Set to begin around noon CDT, the eclipse will last roughly three hours, with the few minutes of totality taking place around 1:30.
While we can’t begin to round up every option (checking out the Facebook event tab might be your best bet if you want the full rundown), we’ve decided to highlight a few for locals still trying to make plans, paying special attention to eclipse parties with a music theme, and ones where, as of writing, tickets are still available. Check out a handful of promising events below!
For more info on the eclipse head here and here. For more about the special glasses you’ll need to observe all but the few minutes of totality, head here (eclipse glasses are becoming nearly impossible to find, but many events will be providing them and selling them on-site in limited quantities – just be safe). For why it’ll be a life-changing event to witness, head here. And for the city official eclipse info, including a rundown of more events, head here.
COLD LUNCH BLACK OUT ft. PUJOL, RON GALLO, WESTERN MEDICATION, LEAN, MICROWAVE MOUNTAIN
@ The Pavilion East | 11am | $10-12 | All Ages
If music quality is your top priority, it’s hard to beat Cold Lunch Recordings’ Black Out party at The Pavilion East. Besides performances from some top notch local faves like Pujol and Ron Gallo, you can also expect DJ sets from Vinyl Tap, free eclipse glasses from Look East (likely in limited supply), beer and food options onsite, and more. This will probably be off most tourists’ radar, so if you’re looking for an east side hang catered to fans of local music, this is your best bet. Find out more.
OCCULTING THE SUNN WITH QUINTRON’S WEATHER WARLOCK
@ Third Man Records | 10am | FREE | All Ages
New Orleans musician and inventor Quintron will make Third Man’s free eclipse party one of a kind, utilizing a weather controlled drone synthesizer called Weather Warlock to allow the eclipse to actually “play” music live. After an introduction from poet Janaka Stucky, the Warlock will be activated on the rooftop, and broadcast through speakers, with the totality portion set to be recorded direct to acetate, planned for a special release. You can also expect food trucks and beverages, special merchandise, and eclipse glasses for the first 200 attendees. Given Third Man’s fame and downtown location, this one could get pretty packed. Find out more.
PINK BOWIE TIE DYE (Covering Dark Side of the Moon) w/ SECRET CLUB
@ The Crying Wolf | 12pm | FREE | 21+
Pink Floyd’s psychedelia certainly conjured up cosmic vibes, so it’s no surprise that several eclipse parties are themed for the legendary group. Local tribute act Pink Bowie Tie Dye will be tackling their classic Dark Side of the Moon at The Crying Wolf, along with a performance from site faves Secret Club. With no cover, $1 PBRs, and free eclipse glasses, this is a good no-frills option for a fun hang. Find out more.
FUTUREBIRDS w/ ALIAS CHAMBER ENSEMBLE
@ Warby Parker | 12pm | FREE | All Ages
Warby Parker will be celebrating the eclipse with a party at their Edgehill Village store, featuring performances from Futurebirds and ALIAS Chamber Ensemble, who’ll provide the backdrop to the 2 1/2 minutes of totality. A limited number of free eclipse glasses will be available, and Martin’s BBQ and Las Paletas will be on site. Find out more.
ITALIAN LIGHTS FESTIVAL
@ Bicentennial Mall Capitol State Park | 10am | FREE | All Ages
The four-day Italian Lights Festival concludes with an epic eclipse party- billed as the largest in the city- with live music, Italian food vendors, wine tastings, beer gardens, artisan vendors, grape stomping, and more. Adjacent to the city’s event at the baseball stadium, which is sold out, this is free and has been deemed an official party by NASA, who will have experts in attendance to speak about the eclipse. Of the more tourist-geared events to brave the crowds for, this one might be your best bet. Spazmatics, 11th Hour, and Gino Fanelli will provide the music. Find out more.
BACK PORCH GROVE AT FONTANEL
@ Fontanel | 11am | FREE | All Ages
If your priority to find the best spot to get the purest eclipse experience, you might want to venture a little bit out of the city, to best avoid the light pollution. The path of totality extends to our north, and though traffic and crowds are expected to be unprecedented, there are plenty of options in nearby parks, the city’s outskirts, and smaller nearby communities. One of the best options that caught our eye doesn’t require straying too far, but is just far enough to escape the downtown lights- Fontanel will be hosting a free viewing party on their grounds, with food trucks, bars, lawn games, DJ sets by 102.9 The Buzz, free glasses, and more! Find out more.
ANIMAL OBSERVATION EXPERIENCE
@ Nashville Zoo | 9am | $11-16 | All Ages
Aside from visible stars, Bailey’s beads, shadow bands, Corona rainbows, a temperature drop, and all of the other cool things you can expect to experience during totality, animals’ behavior is also expected to be altered, many reverting to nighttime activity. The Nashville Zoo is providing a chance to experience this firsthand, encouraging guests to help observe and record what they see. 5,000 pairs of glasses will also be handed out, and if you’re looking for a bit of an unconventional eclipse experience, and especially if you’re interested in animals, short of wandering into a forest, this is your coolest option. Find out more.