Historic Nashville music venue 12th & Porter to close next month - WSMV News 4

Historic Nashville music venue 12th & Porter to close next month

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A legendary music venue in Nashville announced it will close its doors for good.

The historic 12th & Porter will host its last act on Feb. 28. For more than 20 years, the location has served as springboard for thousands of aspiring musicians. A array of musicians have played the venue – artists ranging from Vince Gill to Kings of Leon to Ke$sha.

"I feel sad," said Crash Wilson, a production manager who's worked at the business on and off for 15 years. "Nashville is going to lose part of its music heritage."

Owner Keith Hayman said several factors such as time, energy and personal issues prompted his decision to shut down the club. In the past several months, Hayman has spent much of his time in Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, rebuilding sites after a hurricane.

"We put a lot of love into the venue in the last year, and the return on the investment is slow," said Hayman in a phone interview Saturday evening.

"We gave it careful consideration. We got a good offer, so we're getting out of the business," Hayman said.

Hayman would not say which business will move into the building. He said the agreement is still in the works, but the potential new tenant would serve as a positive force in the North Gulch area. His neighboring venture, Music City Pizza, closed earlier this week.

Barbara Ferguson, who identified herself as one of the owners of the building, said the news comes as a shock. In a phone interview Saturday, she said she has no idea what business will replace 12th & Porter.

"The sad part is, this venue was a bridge for a lot of people," said Wilson, whose own band was discovered at 12th & Porter more than a decade ago. "It's where people go their starts, where people met their management companies and got their record deals."

Some fear this closure symbolizes the latest trill in a series of historic shutdowns, comparing the fate of 12th & Porter to that of CGBG in New York.

"The cities themselves should do more to keep places like this," said William Gauley, a producer and musician. "They're living museums of art, music and history."

Many patrons said they will visit 12th and Porter until the doors finally close.

"I was really sad. They have great artist shows and concert events," Teri Wedel said. "It's like all our little hot spots are disappearing."

For many years, 12th & Porter crooned the sound of starts, and soon it will face its own end. But until then, the bands play on.

“It's going to be hard trying to squeeze everyone in, but we want to go out with a bang instead of a whimper," Wilson said.

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