Exit/In to close after more than 50 years

Exit/In is set to close on Thanksgiving. WSMV's Terry Bulger reports.
Published: Nov. 14, 2022 at 9:40 AM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – The owners of the historic and iconic music venue Exit/In have announced it will close after more than 50 years.

The venue will close Thanksgiving, as its lease ends at the end of 2022, its owners Chris and Telisha Cobb announced on Facebook.

“It appears that 51 years of local, independent ownership and operation have to come to an end. We’re humbled to post this last run of concerts with friends from many eras gracing our stage again,” they said in a statement. “There have been too many incredible moments to count over the 18 years we’ve stewarded Exit/In. It’s an incredibly special place that we are so fortunate to have been a part of.”

In April 2021, the Cobbs raised more than $270,000 via GoFundMe in an effort to buy the venue back from a developer. The fundraiser was started to preserve the landmark venue, which has welcomed artists including Johnny Cash, Billy Joel, Chuck Berry, Etta James, Linda Ronstadt and more.

At the time, Mayor John Cooper had encouraged the current and future property owners to work with the founders of Exit/In to protect the venue’s history.

It’s unclear what will happen to the venue after Exit/In closes its doors.

“We don’t have a clear picture of what the future holds for Exit/In. We do know there is a historic overlay on the building (and the Exit/In building only),” the owners said in the statement. “The exact effect of this zoning is dependent on the Historic Commission, but it should prevent complete destruction of the building. The zoning can be charged, like any other local zoning.”

The owners say more than 4,000 people donated to the Keep Exit/In Independent GoFundMe last year. Those funds will be donated to Music Venue Alliance Nashville and the National Independent Venue Association.

“We love this city wholeheartedly but are not ok with many current trends here. We know Nashville needs Exit/In and independent venues like it to continue supporting our community of artists, musicians and the entire ecosystem they center,” the owners said. “Thank you again most humbly and sincerely for all your support, for all the shows, and all the memories.”