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Brooklyn Bowl Nashville is Ready to Roll

The pandemic brought live music to a halt on March 12, 2020—the night before Brooklyn Bowl Nashville's grand opening. Here's how Music City's newest venue survived to finally open this month.

A d&b audiotechnik Vi line array system brings concert performances to multiple floors—and 19 lanes of bowling—at Brooklyn Bowl Nashville.
A d&b audiotechnik Vi line array system brings concert performances to multiple floors—and 19 lanes of bowling—at Brooklyn Bowl Nashville. Rick Smith

Nashville, TN (June 18, 2021)—They say that bad things happen in threes, but for the team behind Brooklyn Bowl Nashville, two was more than enough.

“Our grand opening was scheduled for Friday, March 13, 2020,” recalls Carl Gatti, head of production for the venue. “After the first day of orientation on March 1, we had a horrible tornado come through North Nashville. Structures across the street and behind us were totaled, but our only damage was a broken window, some smashed patio furniture and a knocked-over HVAC on the roof. We encouraged staff to volunteer in the neighborhood for the cleanup, and pushed orientation to the following week—we still had the VIP grand opening party set for Friday night. Thursday, as we were finishing the video install and running some lines for lighting world, we got the call to send staff home because of the coronavirus. We got the double whammy.”

A full 16 months later, Brooklyn Bowl Nashville will hold its long-awaited grand opening June 25 and 26 with a pair of Old Crow Medicine Show concerts, finally seeing the 1,200-capacity venue throw open its doors to the public. Coming 12 years after the original Brooklyn Bowl opened in New York City, the new LEED-certified venue serves up live music, 19 lanes of bowling and a patio overlooking third base of First Horizon Park, the next-door home of the Triple-A Nashville Sounds baseball team.

Tour pros who pull up to the venue can expect to use an audio system outfitted with Avid VENUE S6L-24C consoles at FOH and monitor world, while the crowd is covered via a sizable d&b audiotechnik rig based around Vi8 and Vi12 speakers, Vi SUB and B22 subwoofers, and various Y10p fill speakers; monitoring includes a passel of M4 wedges, V-GSubs and V8 sidefills. Available miking includes usual suspects from Shure, Sennheiser and Audio-Technica, and a variety of Radial DIs are on-hand as well.

There’s also plenty of streaming gear in-house, all of which has been put to good use. “It ended up being our saving grace to get us through this pandemic,” says Gatti. Over the last year, the venue hosted major livestreams by Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Larkin Poe, Maren Morris, Margo Price and Billy Strings among others, and also became a movie studio for a day when Dierks Bentley filmed the video for his hit “Gone” there, using the stage for performance footage while commandeering the kitchen, bar and other areas to film send-ups of classic movies and sitcoms.

The livestreams will continue, but the venue’s looking forward to hosting live audiences—and bowling, which continues during shows. “The pins are on strings so they’re significantly quieter and dampened; you don’t hear pins crashing or being reset while the show is happening,” says Gatti. “Headliners go on around 9:30, play 90 minutes, maybe a two-hour set, and then while people are partying until we close at 2, we do what we call the Disco Load-Out.”

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