SCENE OF DESTRUCTION: A television news crew works in front of a mural on the heavily damaged club The Basement East in the East Nashville neighborhood after tornadoes overnight. (Getty Images)
‘Building is destroyed, but we will be back!’ club responds on Facebook
Nashville club The Basement East was among the properties severely damaged by the tornadoes that swept through Tennessee early Tuesday.
“All staff working tonight are okay! Building sustained significant damage,” the Twitter account for the 575-capacity venue shared at 2:55 a.m. Tuesday.
“Staff is all safe!” Basement East’s Facebook account posted about a half-hour later. “Building is destroyed, but we will be back!”
In a more detailed statement shared shortly before noon, the venue shared that Tuesday’s Elohim show was canceled but that it was “diligently working on each show to either relocate or cancel,” emphasizing that the process could take days or weeks.
Added Basement East: “We appreciate all the love and support from the Nashville community! Stay safe Nashville!”
Pictures shared by Twitter users confirmed substantial damage to the club.
Several prominent industry figures expressed solidarity on social media, including Tennessee promoter AC Entertainment, which said in a comment on Basement East’s Facebook post: “Thinking of you all today! Glad everyone is safe. Positive thoughts for Nashville!”
“Happy to hear you guys are safe. Sending our love!” AEG Presents Nashville commented on Instagram, and Live Nation Tennessee shared the sentiment, writing, “Glad to hear everyone is safe. We will all get through this together.”
“Basement East is gone,” indie-folk act The Head & The Heart tweeted. “This is so sad. I really hope no one was seriously injured tonight but the damage is extensive here in Nashville…”
As local news station WSMV noted, the “I Believe In Nashville” mural on the building’s wall was improbably left untouched.
The tornado hit the venue soon after it hosted “BERNIEfest: Concert for the Revolution to Elect Bernie Sanders,” a Super Tuesday Eve benefit featuring Lissie, Joel King, Sarah Potenza, Liz Longley and several others.
According to an Instagram post by Basement East, staff remaining at the venue after its Monday night concert took shelter in the building’s basement.
Colloquially known as “The Beast,” The Basement East announced a multiyear booking deal with Live Nation in October.
The tornadoes did substantial damage to Nashville and the surrounding area. At least 25 in Tennessee died, according to the latest reports.
“It is heartbreaking,” Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said at a news conference. “We have had loss of life all across the state.”
The Basement East was one of at least 40 collapsed structures, the Nashville Fire Department reported on Twitter.
Putnam County Sheriff Eddie Farris said on local news station WKRN that several people remained missing, and public utility company Nashville Electric said more than 47,000 in Nashville remain without power.
In the Germantown neighborhood just north of downtown, officials of Nashville’s minor league baseball team, the Sounds, were surveying what the club called minor damage at First Horizon Park. No staff members were in the ballpark when the storm hit, the Sounds said in a release.
Bridgestone Arena, in the heart of downtown Nashville, did not suffer any structural damage, according to Sean Henry, president of the NHL’s Nashville Predators. Today, the arena had a dark day and served lunch to first responders and others in need of a meal that were affected by the tornado, Henry said.
“The best thing that we all do in this industry is give communities something to rally around,” he said. “We have a concert tomorrow, a Predators game Thursday, concerts Friday and Saturday and the SEC tournament moves in Sunday. We’ll be able to use those events to raise money, collect donations and amplify the message.”