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The inaugural Big Machine Music City Grand Prix will commence a festival near Nissan Stadium on Friday, Aug. 6, whose opening day is sponsored by economic program administration firm Wesley Financial Group in Franklin.

Founded in 2011, Cool Springs-based presenting sponsor Wesley Financial announced Thursday that the event will feature a so-called Freedom Friday concert to honor first responders and frontliners, including firefighters, police and active-duty military service people.

The firm also characterized the event as an opportunity to raise awareness for military philanthropies like Middle Tennessee State University’s Charlie and Hazel Daniels Veterans and Military Family Center. Thousands of tickets will also be provided free for the aforementioned frontliners.

“We are especially excited to be able to honor our military and first responders and provide tickets to those who protect us everyday,” said WFG Founder and CEO Chuck McDowell. “The Big Machine Music City Grand Prix is a landmark event for our city and we look forward to being a part of it.”

Wholly entitled, Freedom Friday Tribute Concert: Music City’s Best Honor All Those Who Serve and Protect, the stage will feature a handful of Nashville’s top artists, such as Brooks & Dunn, Jamey Johnson, Tyler Farr and Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil.

They will close the night for the first day in a “three-day international festival of speed and sound” ending Aug. 8—a weekend projected to generate between $20 million and $40 million in visitor spending. The reference to speed alludes to arguably the most anticipated race on the 2021 IndyCar Series schedule.

“Our hope is this performance shows a small token of appreciation to those in the service that work so hard to allow us to live lives of freedom,” Big Machine CEO Matt Crews said.

This begins the NTT IndyCar Series' multi-year agreement with Music City Grand Prix for a 2.17 mile, temporary street circuit in 80 laps to travel 173.6 miles through a downtown area localized around Nissan Stadium, Korean Veterans Memorial Bridge. Crossing the Cumberland on Korean Veterans Boulevard will make it a globally first-in-kind motorsports course of its type to cross a major body of water.

WFG specializes in liberating clients from timeshare cancellation debt and boasts of freeing 15,000 families from $243 million of timeshare debt to date. The firm’s sponsorship of the Music City Grand Prix’s opening day may demonstrate pandemic recovery like many other businesses and individuals after applying for and receiving a Paycheck Protection Program loan of over $2 million in April 2020.

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