Music City Roots, the live showcase, radio broadcast and public television series, has revealed plans for a new music venue to open in Fall 2020 in Madison, Tennessee.
On July 11, the Music City Roots team joined Nashville Mayor David Briley, Madison’s Metro City Councilmember Nancy VanReece and other community leaders to reveal plans for a new venue next to 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, with state of the art audio by Sound Image, will hold approximately 750 attendees 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. 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.
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.”
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.”
“I’m really excited about Music City Roots getting started on this Madison music venue and the opportunity for WMOT to be a part of it. WMOT and Music City Roots have worked together for nearly three years to bring Americana and Roots music to middle Tennessee on WMOT 89.5. This new space will allow that partnership to continue to grow and expand, while growing our music community in Madison, middle Tennessee and beyond,” said Val Hoeppner, Executive Director, WMOT 89.5 FM.
“The three greatest exports of Southern culture are music, food and whiskey. Ask anyone from around the world about Tennessee, and their answers will most definitely revolve around these things. Of course, our focus is on broadcasting real music—past, present and future—but in the spirit of true Southern hospitality, we will offer an authentic experience combining the best of all these elements to our visitors,” said John Walker, Executive Producer, Music City Roots.
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