After 19 years, several venue additions, and thousands of memorable shows, the Mercy Lounge complex, one of Nashville’s most beloved and important independent venues, home of 8 Off 8th and Road to Bonnaroo, the site of several No Country live events, and friend of the site since our earliest days, has announced that they will vacate their Cannery Row home in May of 2022.
Since first opening in January of 2003, the 500-capacity Mercy Lounge has grown to include the 1000-cap Cannery Ballroom, which opened in 2005, and added the more intimate 250-cap High Watt, in 2013, all in the same complex, with a private event space, ONE, also located on the top floor. In their near 20-year run, the venues have played host to some of the most impressive, emerging, and established musical artists from Nashville and across the globe, and have regularly been counted among the best live venues in the nation.
All is not bad news in the case of Mercy Lounge, however, as the venue group have signaled plans to relocate to a new home at some undetermined future date. With independent spaces being priced out city-wide, though, that naturally still gives us some cause for concern, however we recall a similar scenario a few years ago with famed independent Atlanta venue The Masquerade (which had an incredibly similar three-room configuration), who landed on their feet in a new space with a comparable setup. And locally, we’ve seen Nashville institutions like Grimey’s find new homes, so we’re optimistic Mercy Lounge will return better than ever before long, heartbroken though we are at this loss.
Here’s the statement from the venue:
The Mercy Lounge complex will end its near 20 year run on Cannery Row at the end of May 2022. Our lease is ending and we will be relocating the venues to a new location, TBD. We hope to be back better than ever. Let’s make these last 8 months on Cannery Row the best ever!
With growth comes change, and every city has its growing pains, but the frequency at which we’ve lost local institutions, particularly independently owned venues, record stores, restaurants, bars, shops, and creative spaces in recent years has been particularly devastating. It’s especially disheartening to see spaces that spent blood, sweat, and tears turning the city into something so special, only to be forced out by the growth and development their success helped contribute to. As the city’s independently owned venues become increasingly more endangered by developers and new corporate rooms with deeper pockets, it’s now more important than ever to cherish and support the places and things that made Nashville so special in the first place. We have eight months left with this version of Mercy Lounge- make ’em count!