The Music City Roots team joined Nashville Mayor David Briley, Madison’s Metro City Council member Nancy VanReece and other community leaders to reveal plans for a new venue next to historic Amqui Station. The Roots Barn, scheduled for a grand opening in the Fall of 2020, will be part of a larger Madison Station development, with new housing and street plans poised to solidify Madison as an epicenter of life, work, arts and travel in the growing Metro Nashville area.
The Roots Barn will be one of the premiere mid-sized music venues in the South, with state of the art audio by Sound Image. Its timber and barn wood interior is inspired in part by The Barns at Wolftrap. Capacity is projected as 750 seated or 1,000+ standing. The bars, food service and ticketing areas will be isolated from the music hall, creating optimal conditions for performers and music lovers alike.
Nashville Mayor David Briley said: “For years, Music City Roots has helped Nashville showcase new talent while carrying on and sharing our deepest musical heritage. Reviving this institution in a neighborhood as vibrant as Madison, where it will complement historic Amqui Station and help establish a walkable neighborhood center, is definitely cause for celebration.”
The Barn will present ticketed shows, private events on request and “Music City Roots – Live from Madison Station” on a weekly basis. Adjacent to the barn, a separate building will house a remote studio for MCR partner WMOT Roots Radio 89.5 FM, the 100,000 watt Americana-format public radio station out of Middle Tennessee State University.
Historic Amqui Station makes a charming and appropriate companion to the Roots Barn. Built in 1910, it was the last stop north of Nashville before passenger trains reached Union Station downtown. When passenger service was discontinued, Johnny Cash acquired the structure to save it from demolition and moved it to his property in Hendersonville. After his death, it emerged that Johnny had made provisions to return the antique station and its contents to its original home. It stands there now, not far from its once-functional place along the tracks as a museum and visitors welcome center, operated by Discover Madison, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. The potential synergies for local or city-wide events are many.
The Roots Barn was made possible through a transaction between Music City Roots and Discover Madison, Inc. The property is part of a public/private relationship giving community benefit for generations to come, explained Councilmember VanReece: “The land was originally donated to Discover Madison, Inc. by AT&T with the help of US Rep. Jim Cooper and TN Rep. Bill Beck, with the express intent for such an ongoing benefit. This amazing opportunity not only celebrates our history but ensures our renaissance.”
Ample parking for Roots Barn events has been made possible through a partnership with FiftyForward, the premier provider of innovative and comprehensive services for adults 50+ in Middle Tennessee, with one of its seven locations next door.
Madison has become one of the most exciting growth neighborhoods in Nashville as it builds on its rich history in music. Madison has been the home to an array of country and bluegrass music notables, including Kitty Wells and Johnny Wright, John Hartford, Earl Scruggs, Bill Monroe, June Carter and Hank Snow.