Red Bull Skate Nash Stages transforms iconic Exit/In into a skate park to raise awareness for independent music venues — “The soul of our city”
Red Bull teamed up with Exit/In and MVAN (Music Venue Alliance Nashville) to transform the famed rock venue into a private pop-up skate park for a series of socially distant skate sessions. Over the course of three days, nine skate crews from Nashville, Chattanooga and Memphis had the opportunity to ride custom-built features, capture content and listen to live sets from local DJs.
For the first time in over a year, the Exit/In was brought to life. Valued staff members returned to work, security welcomed guests and the bass bumped to the sound of optimism for the family of staff and the creative class who call Exit/In home.
“Independent music venues are the soul of our city,” said Chris Cobb, Owner of Exit/In and President of MVAN, whose mission is to fiercely protect Nashville’s 15 independent music venue owners, operators and the ecosystem surrounding these notable properties. “Pretty quickly we realized it was existential and most of us realized we would go out of business if we didn’t do something about it,” he said. “Thus far we’ve been successful. We’ve been able to fend it off through fundraising initiatives, grant programs and a streaming series. That’s allowed us to collectively pool our resources and our talents to raise enough funds that we can all pay our bills.”
The transformation from rock club to skate park came together with a custom mini ramp built into the iconic Exit/In stage with an adjacent quarter-to-quarter hip feature. The pop-up park also utilized the venue’s outdoor space as a street section to accommodate skaters of all abilities.
Gallatin, TN native and pro Red Bull skateboarder Jake Wooten dropped in on the action alongside local skaters as some of Nashville’s beloved DJs made their return to a live stage, including the Boom Bap’s DJ Rate and DJ Jerry J, drummer for Old Crow Medicine Show.
“Skateboarding has given me everything in my life,” said Wooten. “It’s given me purpose and a way to connect with people; a way to communicate with people that I can’t speak the same language with,” he said. “I know music does the same thing — it’s just something that’s felt. Skate and music are intertwined.”
In true Nashville fashion, The Cadillac Three filmed a music video for the song “Bridges” from their Tabasco & Sweet Tea album (Big Machine Records) on the set of Red Bull Skate Nash Stages. The ACM Awards Group of the Year nominee’s relentless effort to #SaveOurStages over the course of the last year, paired with their roots in rock music made the skate setup a no-brainer for the trio.
“Anything new these days,” said TC3 lead vocalist Jaren Johnston. “I grew up skateboarding, so I thought it was a really cool thing to be a part of and Exit/In is our favorite place.” Fans can check out the video for “Bridges” coming in early April.
Visit mvan.org to donate and support Nashville’s independent music venues.