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Masked fans watch Becca Mancari's show at The Basement East on Aug. 6

As of last week, three of Nashville’s many independent music venues had announced new policies in response of rising COVID case numbers, which health experts have linked to the highly contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Today, word comes that many more venues are joining in, outlining protocols that require proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test before entry.

In addition to The 5 Spot, The East Room and City Winery, you’ll now need to show your vaccination card or a negative test at 3rd and Lindsley, The Basement, The Basement East (where Friday’s Becca Mancari show, pictured above, took place; fans had to show proof of vaccination or a negative test before coming in), Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge, Drkmttr, The End, Exit/In, Cannery Ballroom, The High Watt and Mercy Lounge. All-ages club Drkmttr made its announcement on Instagram this morning, and the other 12 venues sent out a joint press release including statements of their policies in full. Here are those details:


3rd and Lindsley: As Nashville's Good To Go Program and official local health guidelines evolve regarding COVID-19 safety protocols, select events and shows at 3rd and Lindsley Nashville will adopt Proof of a COVID-19 Vaccine or a Negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours of the event for admission with limited exceptions as may be required by law. Select shows will be a co-op between the Venue, Artists, Bands, Event Planners, and Management specific to select shows and events noted at point of purchase at 3rdandlindsley.com. All other COVID-19 protocol in line with Nashville's Good To Go Program and the Nashville Metro Health Department's A Safe Nashville will be in place for all events and shows.

The 5 Spot: Proof of COVID-19 vaccine OR negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entry is required for entry. Masks required for staff. Effective 8/7/2021.

The Basement and The Basement East: Proof of a full course of COVID-19 vaccination, with their final dose at least fourteen days prior to the show, or proof of a negative COVID-19 test, administered by a health care provider, taken in the prior 48 hours. Masks are strongly recommended. Effective 8/15/2021.

City Winery: Proof of COVID-19 vaccine OR negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entry. Masks are required indoors when moving about the building. Effective 8/2/2021.

Dee’s Lounge: Proof of COVID-19 vaccine OR negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entry for all shows. Masks required for staff. Effective 8/12/21.

Drkmttr: Physical proof of vaccination (no photos) OR a negative PCR test within 48 hours of entry. Masks mandatory with the exception of drinking and eating. Refunds for presale purchases will be available for those who can’t meet these requirements. (There’s no “effective on” date, but Drkmttr’s first show since the beginning of the pandemic is a performance by Gatecreeper set for Sept. 5.)

The East Room: Proof of COVID-19 vaccine OR negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entry. Effective 8/6/2021.

The End: Proof of COVID-19 vaccine OR negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entry. Required for entry for all artists, crew, and guests. Effective 8/16/21.

Exit/In: Proof of COVID-19 vaccine, with final dose having been administered at least fourteen days prior to the show OR negative COVID-19 test within 48 hours administered by or under the supervision of a healthcare provider prior to entry. Masks required for staff and strongly recommended for patrons. Effective 8/12/2021.

Mercy Lounge, Cannery Ballroom and The High Watt: Proof of COVID-19 vaccine OR negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entry. Masks required for Staff and strongly recommended for Customers. Effective 8/13/2021.


You’ll note that policies differ slightly on things like the day they go into effect, how old your most recent negative COVID test can be and what the mask policy is in the building. To make sure that you’re on the same page about a show you’re going to see, visit the venue’s website or give a call to get clarification.

“Nashville’s creative working class is our city’s greatest strength,” says Exit/In co-owner Chris Cobb in the joint statement. “We will continue to collaborate to protect and nurture live music. Thank you to all the fans, bands, and venue staff for respecting each venue’s policy decisions. We will get through this together.”

While you can catch the virus and spread it even if you're vaccinated, the numbers of cases have been small compared to numbers among unvaccinated individuals in our state.

“We hope our decision to move forward with this results in more people getting the vaccination, pure and simple,” adds Mike Grimes, co-owner of The Basement and The Basement East. “Vaccinations save lives.”

Several artists, including Bully and Jason Isbell, have announced vaccine protocols for their upcoming shows. Soon, you may see more doing so, especially at larger venues. An internal memo from ticketing and touring giant Live Nation made its way to Variety’s Jem Aswad last week, noting that artists will, within the limits of local laws, have the option to stipulate a vaccine policy if there isn't one in place.

“Our teams have worked together to put new processes in place so that artists doing shows with Live Nation in the U.S. can require all attendees and staff to be fully vaccinated or show a negative test result for entry, where permitted by law,” reads the letter in part. “We believe this is a great model, and we have already implemented this successfully at many major shows including Lollapalooza.”

Just before this story went live, Bonnaroo also announced on social media that patrons would be required to show proof of vaccination (with course completed a full 14 days before entry) or a negative COVID test that was no more than 72 hours old before entering Centeroo. This policy mirrors the one set for Lollapalooza.