If you can handle the heat and humidity, you won't be disappointed with Nashville between June and August, the "high season" period that ushers in the most visitors thanks to summer holidays and the star-studded CMA Fest each June, which features the likes of Taylor Swift, Zac Brown Band, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, Sara Evans, and more.
Shoulder seasons run from September through December and April through May. Fall is milder temperature-wise, with a rainbow of leaves starting to peek through, the NFL's Titans taking the field, and music offerings galore. The three-day outdoor National Folk Festival inhabits Bicentennial Capitol Mall in September, and Live on the Green—a free Thursday night concert series—runs for six weeks each September and October in Public Square Plaza. Plus, there's SoundLand, which highlights more than 100 national and regional performance groups over a four-night period spread across 11 venues; the week-long World of Bluegrass festival; and the Americana Music Festival and Conference. Visitors might catch a glimpse of their favorite musicians come early November during the annual CMA Awards.
"Awesome April" is another fine time to enjoy cooler weather and fewer people—as well as take in Pan South Songwriters Festival, Nashville Film Festival, and the Country Music Marathon, which winds its way through the city and features a bevy of local musical talent.
Winter months can be gray, but November and December are filled with holiday happenings for the festive traveler. During this time, Gaylord Opryland—with its more than two million twinkling lights, Living Nativity, towering evergreens, and gingerbread houses that build the foundation for the month-long A Country Christmas celebration—is worth a visit alone; plus, the Rockettes take the stage at the iconic Grand Ole Opry for Radio City Music Spectacular, one kicking yuletide event.