Nashville welcomed 2024 with an energetic New Year’s Eve bash filled with A-list music performances, flashy celebrations, and an estimated 200,000 attendees. The event, held at Nashville’s Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, featured headliners Lynyrd Skynyrd, Lainey Wilson, Brooks & Dunn, and Elle King among other artists.
Five Hours of Non-Stop Music and Entertainment
CBS broadcasted the event as part of their “New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash” special. The free celebration lasted over 5 hours, from 7:30 PM CT on December 31st to 12:30 AM on January 1st.
The special was hosted by radio personality Bobby Bones and “Entertainment Tonight” correspondent Rachel Smith. It featured over 50 back-to-back music performances from Nashville’s biggest stars across multiple stages.
In a pre-event interview, Elle King described the event as “three hours packed with amazing talent and good energy to bring in the New Year.” Based on early reviews, King’s promise was fulfilled.
Country Classics Meet Today’s Rising Stars
The lineup appealed to wide-ranging musical tastes by including both contemporary chart-toppers and time-tested legends.
Country music fans were especially spoiled for choice. Superstar Blake Shelton performed his smash hits “God’s Country” and “Boys ‘Round Here.” Lainey Wilson, one of country music’s fastest rising new artists, sang songs from her album “Bell Bottom Country” like “Heart Like a Truck” and debut single “Things a Man Oughta Know.” Her set also included her vulnerable new ballad “Those Boots (Deddy’s Song).”
Meanwhile, southern rock icons Lynyrd Skynyrd closed out the night with classics like “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird,” capping their over 50-year career with one last New Year’s hurrah.
Other standouts were powerhouse Brooks & Dunn reuniting to sing “Boot Scootin’ Boogie”, breakout star Parker McCollum showcasing songs from his Hollywood Gold EP like “To Be Loved By You”, and King celebrating her new album “Come Get Your Wife” with the bluesy rocker “Wasted Words.”
Tribute to 50 Years of Hip Hop History
In a novel segment called “The Soundtrack of the South,” artists paid tribute to hip hop and its influence. Hip hop originated 50 years ago in the 1970s, blending musical styles like funk, disco, and soul with spoken lyrics.
The Nashville celebration traced hip hop’s evolution with covers spanning iconic jams like The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rappers Delight”, NWA’s “Straight Outta Compton”, and Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On.” Jimmie Allen and Little Big Town tackled Outkast’s explosive “Hey Ya!”, while recent Grammy nominee Mickey Guyton lead a ladies-only performance of Queen Latifah’s “U.N.I.T.Y.”
Other artists like Uncle Kracker, Steve Moakler, Maggie Rose, and CeCe Winans also participated in the hip hop sets. The wide range of covers celebrated Nashville’s diverse musical roots while previewing hip hop’s continued growth.
Parties Across Downtown Keep the Celebrations Going
New Year’s Eve celebrations kick off in downtown Nashville. Photo credit: George Walker IV / The Tennessean
The New Year’s eve excitement spilled beyond the main stage and into Nashville’s lively downtown streets. Popular Lower Broadway bars and restaurants hosted their own celebrations filled with drinks, dancing, and music from local bands.
Theassive, synchronized downtown party gave visitors and locals alike the perfect backdrop to share a New Year’s kiss at midnight. Based on early turnout estimates, over 200,000 people rang in 2024 throughout Nashville’s various public celebrations.
Gearing up for 2024
While the New Year’s Eve musical extravaganza closes out a monumental year for Nashville, 2024 already shows signs of matching or exceeding this success.
The city has several high-profile events on the horizon that should continue attracting visitors and investment. For example, Nashville will host the 2024 NFL Draft in late April, drawing intense coverage and an influx of football fans. Early projections estimate over 200,000 attendees will fill Lower Broadway to capacity for Draft-related events.
Other upcoming events likely to draw big crowds next year include June’s CMA Fest country music festival and the Music City Grand Prix IndyCar race in August.
So while Nashvillians take today to nurse their celebratory hangovers, the city remains poised for another vibrant year of music, sports, and culture. Nashville’s star shows no signs of fading anytime soon.
WTVF NewsChannel 5. “How to Watch the NewsChannel 5 New Year’s Eve Special.” NewsChannel 5 Nashville, 31 Dec. 2022, https://www.newschannel5.com/news/how-to-watch-the-newschannel-5-news-years-eve-special.
Walker, George. “Nashville Celebrates the New Year at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park.” The Tennessean, 1 Jan. 2023, https://www.tennessean.com/picture-gallery/news/2024/01/01/nashville-celebrates-the-new-year-at-bicentennial-capitol-mall-state-park/72075311007/.
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