AmericanaFest will kick off its 18th year this week, spanning six days and featuring over 230 performances at 40 different venues around Nashville. The festival will also include panels with music legends, industry executives and the next generation of rising stars.
Here are five of the biggest events not to miss this week.
Australiana @ Americana
Tuesday, September 12, 6:00 pm – 7:45, 9:00 -10:45 pm
Venue: The Bluebird Café
Get a taste of some of Americana’s best acts hailing from Down Under. Housed in one of Nashville’s most historic venues, the Bluebird Café, this show will include performances from a variety of Australian artists, including All Our Exes Live in Texas, Andy Golledge, and Taasha Coates.
War Memorial Auditorium & Voices of a People’s History Present: The People Sing!
Tuesday, September 12, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Venue: War Memorial Auditorium
This performance, honoring the work of historian Howard Zinn, will celebrate the victories of ordinary people in the fight for freedom and equality in the United States. With performances from Rhiannon Giddons, Blind Boys of Alabama, Billy Bragg, and more, this show seeks to inspire the next generation of people fighting for social justice.
16th Annual Americana Honors and Awards Show
Wednesday, September 13, 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Venue: Ryman Auditorium
The Annual Americana Honors and Awards Show is an obvious highlight of AmericanaFest and will feature legendary attendees including Van Morrison, Robert Cray, and Graham Nash. Jim Lauderdale will serve as master of ceremonies to honor Lifetime Achievement Award recipients while Buddy Miller will lead an all-star house band.
Panel & Performance: Southern Streams
Wednesday, September 13, 11:30 am – 12:45 pm
Venue: Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
This unique panel will explore the rich diversity of Americana’s roots. It will feature conversations moderated by Ann Powers and performances by Don Bryant, Yola Carter, Raul Malo and Joan Osborne. Their songs and stories illustrate an eclectic side of Americana ranging from Southern soul to African-diaspora folk.
Songwriting with: Soldiers + The Women
Saturday, September 16, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Venue: The Bluebird Café
This show may tell some of the most interesting stories of the entire festival. Songwritingwith: Soldiers pairs veterans and active-duty service members with songwriters to help share their experiences through music. This particular round has paired female songwriters with female members of the military to provide what will undoubtedly be a powerful look into what life is like as a female soldier.
Each day of the festival also features a number of shows by individual artists. Some of Tuesday’s highlight performances include Joan Osborne, Robert Cray and Hi Rhythm, and Marc Broussard. Wednesday will feature panels with The Lumineers and John Oates and shows by Sam Outlaw, Deer Tick, and Wynonna and the Big Noise. Thursday will include shows by Van Morrison, Iron and Wine, The Secret Sisters, Lori McKenna, Drive-By Truckers, and Lee Ann Womack. Friday will have performances by Jim Lauderdale, Amanda Shires, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, and The Wild Reeds. Saturday’s lineup includes Elizabeth Cook, Caroline Spence, and Steelism.
AmericanaFest runs from September 12-17. Festival wristbands and conference registrations can be purchased here.