10 Things to Do in Nashville in August

August is one of the hottest months of the year in Nashville and the city vibrates to the rhythm of music festivals, dance competitions in Centennial Park and activities for the whole family.

Matías Rodríguez

Matías Rodríguez

11 min read

10 Things to Do in Nashville in August

Nashville sky | ©James Davies

Nashville is one of the most visited cities in the southern United States and during the summer it experiences the high season, so in addition to the warm weather there is a long list of activities for the whole family, music festivals, outdoor concerts, dance competitions and plays.

Among the best things to see and do in Nashville in August are the Summer Shakespeare Festival, which is one of the city's most famous theatrical events, the Labor Day Parade in Cumberland Park, the Fire on the Water Festival and Family Mondays at the Frist Art Museum.

1. Enjoy the Symphony Under Stars concert

Schermerhorn Symphony Center| ©Stephanie Richard
Schermerhorn Symphony Center| ©Stephanie Richard

Schermerhorn Symphony Center is Nashville's classical music cultural landmark and home to the city's Symphony Orchestra. During weekends in August you can attend this nightly show where each year the local symphony will perform the classics of Respighi, Beethoven and Chopin under the starry blanket of the summer skies.

This show is free, open-air and suitable for all audiences, although you should note that to attend the show in locations close to the stage you must reserve a ticket in advance online. The symphony orchestra will be led by a local conductor each evening.

Schermerhorn Symphony Center is located in the area near the Ryman Auditorium, so to get the most out of your visit you can book a walking tour that includes a walking tour of the main musical highlights of the city.

Details of interest

  • Price... Admission to the performances is free, although if you want to get a seat in the area near the stage you must reserve in advance on the Schermerhorn Symphony Center website.
  • When... Every year during the evenings in August on various dates.
  • Where... 1 Symphony Pl, Nashville.

Book a tour to visit Nashville's music venues

2. Attend the Live On The Green Music Festival

Live on the Green Music Festival| ©Irma Micanovic
Live on the Green Music Festival| ©Irma Micanovic

The Live On The Green Music Festival is a free outdoor event traditionally held each year in August that showcases the city's emerging artistic talent. This festival, promoted by popular local radio station WRLT Lighting 100, is also one of the most numerous and distinctive local events, as it combines locals' passion for music with the talent of emerging artists.

This festival includes live performances, artist interviews, food booths and trucks, souvenir vendors and VIP spaces, as well as two stages highlighting a permanent line-up of local artists throughout the 4-day event.

The Live On The Green Festival is also a family event, making it an ideal choice if you plan to visit Nashville with children, and is a perfect opportunity to get a taste of the city's spirit and musical tradition outside the Country Hall of Fame and the Johnny Cash Museum, which are two of the best museums in the state capital.

Details of interest

  • Price... Admission to the event is free, although you can also purchase VIP spaces.
  • When... Every year for one week in August.
  • Where... Public Square Park, Nashville.

Book tickets for the Country Music Hall of Fame

3. Take a cruise tour at the best time of year to enjoy the Cumberland River

Cumberland River| ©Ken Lund
Cumberland River| ©Ken Lund

Nashville is a city built on the banks of the Cumberland River and this tributary is one of the main protagonists of its success as an industrial center, so you can also enjoy excursions that include water rides, such as the cruise tours that are available throughout the year but are more popular in August due to the city's weather.

In June and July the city organizes different events that use the river as a stage, so the cruise tours are restricted or cancelled for some days, but in August the Cumberland is entirely available for excursions and also the weather is less hot than during the rest of the summer and more pleasant for lunches and dinners on the deck of the boat.

Visiting the Cumberland River on a cruise is one of the best tours of Nashville and is also an ideal opportunity to see the city from another perspective. If you plan to visit the capital of Tennessee in August, you can also enjoy these excursions with pleasant weather and clear skies.

Details of interest

  • Price... Dinner and lunch cruise tours start at approximately 100 euros.
  • When... August is the best time to enjoy the Cumberland with the right weather and the river clear of activities.

Book a Cumberland River Cruise Tour

4. Join in the Big Band Dance at Centennial Park

Centennial Park| ©Bill Badzo
Centennial Park| ©Bill Badzo

Most Nashville events are interactive and the Big Band Ball at Centennial Park is no exception, as you can participate in the competitions for professional dancers as well as beginners held each year in August in one of the city's most famous green lungs.

During this event, beginner dancers can attend classes in the ballroom before the big dance, which takes place each night at approximately 10 p. m., so it's also one of the best things to do during the night in Nashville. 00 hours, making it also one of the best things to do during the night in Nashville

The Big Band Ball also includes food trucks, craft and souvenir vendor booths and street music performances, although the main show is the finale between the best dancers each day.

You can make the most of your visit to Centennial Park by also visiting the Southern Parthenon, which is a replica of the traditional Athenian building. You can get to the show site on the 3 and 50 bus and Nashville's hop-on-hop-off tour bus.

Details of Interest

  • Price... Admission to the dance performances are free.
  • When... Every year during August evenings on various dates.
  • Where... Centennial Park, Nashville.

Book a Nashville sightseeing bus tour

5. Participate in the Tomato Art Festival

Tomato Art Festival| ©Stephen Yeargin
Tomato Art Festival| ©Stephen Yeargin

The tomato is one of the main local productions in Nashville and for this reason the city celebrates every year in August an art festival that has it as a protagonist. This event consists of a show at the city's former Art and Invention Gallery that each year features hundreds of pieces by local artists, with the only requirement being that the works include the tomato.

This festival is free and also includes contests for different activities, live music performances, art booths, food booths and a costume parade in which visitors can participate, making this event one of the best attractions in Nashville.

This colorful festival also closes with the Bloody Mary Garden party, a celebration that is dyed red to pay homage to the tomato and that feeds the public with stages arranged around the main site of the event and pop-up performances.

Details of interest

  • Price... Admission to the event is free.
  • When... Every year during a weekend in August.
  • Where... Five Points, Nashville.

6. Attend the Summer Shakespeare Festival

Perform at the festival| ©NashvilleShakes
Perform at the festival| ©NashvilleShakes

Belmont University hosts the Shakespeare Festival twice a year, once in the winter and once in the summer. If you plan to visit Nashville in January you can attend the winter edition, while if you visit in August you can enjoy the summer version of this theatrical event in which college students perform a play by William Shakespeare that varies each year and offers several performances throughout the month.

This summer festival is held on the Belmont University campus and also on two open stages in Nashville and Franklin, making it a much more popular event than the winter edition that only takes place at the Troutt Theatre.

The Shakespeare Festival, which is one of the most popular in the city, also includes musical performances, art shows sponsored by the arts faculty, and private shows for parents of students.

You can purchase tickets in advance online or at the box office located at the entrance to the event.

Details of interest

  • Price... The ticket for the summer edition has an initial cost of approximately 15 euros per person.
  • When... Every year during August, on several different dates.
  • Where... At different venues on the Belmont University Campus, at 8 City Blvd in Nashville and at 112 Everbright Ave in Franklin.

7. Enjoy the Defy Film Festival

Defy Film Festival| ©Etienne Andreau
Defy Film Festival| ©Etienne Andreau

Nashville is a quintessential arts city and also has a significant circle of local artists, so it's no wonder that the Defy Film Festival has been listed among the best indie film festivals and noted as one of the top 100 events in the country, as it combines local talent with self-funded experiences, a current challenge for all artists.

Defy Film is presented as a festival by filmmakers for filmmakers and includes each year a film marathon and lecture series with the directors, screenwriters, actors and producers of each of the works presented at the festival. The event is held every year during the third weekend of August on the stages of Studio 615.

In addition, Defy Film also encourages filmmakers from around the world to present their works at the event, making it also a possibility to promote cultural exchange for local artists.

Details of interest

  • Price... Entrance to the festival has an initial cost of approximately 30 euros per person.
  • When... Every year during the third weekend of August.
  • Where... 272 Broadmoor Drive, Nashville.

8. Experience the Gallatin Fire on the Water Festival

Fire Show| ©Victor Rodvang
Fire Show| ©Victor Rodvang

Gallatin, just a short drive from Nashville, hosts the annual Fire on the Water Festival each August, an event that combines live music shows, fire circus shows and theatrical performances with food booths and trucks and craft beer bars, which is one of Tennessee's most popular products.

This eclectic event is ideal for braving the summer heat in the city, as you can also take a dip and enjoy the water attractions. Plus, the festival lasts several days and Gallatin is only half an hour away, so you can enjoy the event even if you're planning a short stay in town. If that is your case, here is a list of things you can do to discover Nashville in 3 days.

You can also make the most of your visit to Gallatin by visiting the Opryland Theater, the home of the Grand Ole Opry, the oldest country music radio show in the United States and one of the most traditional. The theater is located on the outskirts of Nashville, halfway between downtown and Gallatin.

Details of interest

  • Price... Admission to the festival has an initial cost of approximately 15 euros per person.
  • When... Every year for several days in August.
  • Where... Lock 4 Park, Gallatin.

9. Enjoy the Arrington Vineyards Food Truck Fridays

Arrington Vineyards| ©Denise Mattox
Arrington Vineyards| ©Denise Mattox

Arrington Vineyards is a modern vineyard but has established itself as one of Nashville's best and holds several events throughout the year. During Fridays in August it hosts Food Truck Friday, a traveling festival of food booths and food trucks featuring live music performances and great food on the vineyard grounds.

During Food Truck Friday you can also taste samples of local wines and take a guided tour of the vineyard to learn about the workings of one of Nashville's most successful industries, which competes with the production of craft beer, another of the city's gastronomic references.

Visiting Arrington Vineyards will allow you to combine a visit to the outskirts of the city with one of the best gastronomic tours in Nashville, which you can put together on your own with a wide range of food and musical performances, which are a constant feature of events in the capital of Tennessee.

Details of interest

  • Price... Admission to the Food Truck Festival is free.
  • When... Every year on Fridays in August.
  • Where... 6211 Patton Road, Arrington.

10. Enjoy Family Mondays in August at the Frist Art Museum

Frist Art Museum| ©taigatrommelchen
Frist Art Museum| ©taigatrommelchen

The Frist is one of the city's most famous art museums and has no set collection, so it changes exhibits on a yearly basis, in an opening party that you can attend if you plan to visit Nashville in February. In August the Frist opens its doors for Family Mondays, where for the cost of a €15 ticket the whole family can enter.

Visiting the Frist Art Museum is an opportunity to escape the city's inclement August sun and also enjoy the exhibits that often include works by Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, René Magritte and many other prominent artists.

The Frist's August Family Mondays also include special programming for children, such as theater series, storytelling and interactive guided tours of the museum's rooms.

Details of interest

  • Price... Admission to the museum has an initial cost of approximately 15 euros for adults. During Mondays in January the whole family can enter for the cost of a single ticket.
  • When... Mondays in August.
  • Where... 919 Broadway, Nashville.

Temperatures in Nashville in August

August in Nashville| ©mathajam
August in Nashville| ©mathajam

In August the maximum temperature in Nashville is 32° and the minimum is 20°, while the average temperature is 26°, making it ideal weather for enjoying water and outdoor activities.

August is also a time of clear skies, although rains are frequent, as in most of the year in the city, so I advise you to always have a light coat on hand.

The tourist flow in Nashville in August

Nashville evening| ©Lynn Josse
Nashville evening| ©Lynn Josse

August is part of the city's peak season, as is the entire summer, so the influx of tourists is high, although it is less than if you visit Nashville in June or July.

To make sure the large number of visitors doesn't disrupt your itinerary you can book tours in advance to reserve your place on excursions and also enjoy outdoor activities.

Prices in Nashville in August

Money in Euros| ©Ibrahim Boran
Money in Euros| ©Ibrahim Boran

August is part of the city's peak season and is not usually an economical month to visit Nashville, so you should be aware that the costs of accommodations and tours are higher than in the winter months.

If you want to tour the city in a more economical time you can enjoy the fall by visiting Nashville in September or October, months in which the weather is pleasant and the prices of accommodations and tours are lower than in the summer.

What to pack to visit Nashville in August

Luggage| ©JamesDeMeyer
Luggage| ©JamesDeMeyer

August offers pleasant temperatures in Nashville and plenty of heat, but there are also rainy days, so I recommend that you pack the following in your suitcase.

  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sun hat
  • Lightweight t-shirt
  • Lightweight coat
  • Lightweight pants
  • Rain jacket
  • Waterproof footwear
  • Waterproof coat
  • Waterproof boots
  • Light sweaters
  • Umbrellas