Many of Nashville’s large events — like Americana Fest and the Music City Bowl — received funding from the Nashville’s Events Marketing Fund on Thursday. But other than CMA Fest, they’re getting less than the usual allotment.
That’s because of COVID. The fund is composed of money from a tax on hotel bed nights, and fewer people stayed in the city’s hotels last year, says Butch Spyridon, president of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp.
“We went from being a 75-80% occupied city to a 20% occupied city for most of last year,” he says. “So the revenue disappeared.”
Spyridon says they put money behind new events like the Grand Prix happening in August, and that concert series Live On The Green was shifted to get funding from the CARES Act.
All in all, they are doling out $3.5 million.
One surprise, Spyridon says, is that a proposal for a pandemic recovery concert withdrew its bid for funding. Instead, the concert series called “Music City Bands Together” says it’s going in a different direction than their original application.
Correction: A previous version of this story included CMA Fest among events receiving lower grants this year. In fact, the festival is receiving the same amount as last year.