Combustion Music President and Vice President Chris Farren and Chris (Falcon) Van Belkom, along with fellow co-owners Mike Grimes and Dave Brown, have much to celebrate. After nearly losing their prized music venue - East Nashville hotspot Basement East - to the devastation of the 2020 tornado, the “Beast” (as it’s affectionately called) has come roaring back, and was recognized at last night’s ACM Honors ceremony, taking home the Club of the Year Award.
"Partnering with Grimey and Dave to open the Basement East was an absolute no brainer for Falcon and I…they are the best at what they do, and was a natural evolution for Combustion to expand its reach into a performance space,” said Farren. “It hasn't been an easy couple of years, but I couldn’t be prouder of the resilience of our whole team, and this award is the perfect capper to all that hard work….and so friggin’ cool!”
Awards aside, the Basement East’s story reads like the script of a movie: though the tornado took out the majority of the venue, it famously spared a wall donning the highly photographed “I Believe In Nashville” mural - and became a pillar of resolve for the community.
“The mural left standing alone truly represents the backbone and spirit of the team that Grimey and Dave lead. Once we rebuilt, the entire staff returned,” added Van Belkom.
Now back and better than ever post-tornado and pandemic, the venue is on-track to see its greatest year yet. Since reopening, it’s played host to more than 130 sold out shows, and since it first opened in April 2015, has seen performances from national touring acts like Kris Kristofferson, John Prine, Beck, Luke Combs, Brandi Carlile, Cage the Elephant, Los Lobos, The Mavericks, Jenny Lewis, Dawes, Alice Cooper, Old Dominion, KRS-One, and Jake Wesley Rogers, to name a few. Media Contact: Elise Anderson, Elicity Public Relations