Now comes the big goal for Chris Cobb: Buy the Exit/In building from its new owners.
If you’re not familiar with the situation surrounding the historic Exit/In music venue in Nashville, here’s a quick recap:
Back in February when the owners of the property put the building up for sale, Exit/In owner Chris Cobb attempted to buy the property and preserve the iconic music venue. They even partnered with a real estate investment firm, Grubb Properties, to make a bid on the building.
And even though their offer was the exact same as the winning bidder, AJ Capital Properties, the Exit/In lost their bid to buy the building.
So venue owner Chris Cobb pivoted, starting a GoFundMe to raise money in an attempt to buy the building from the new owners. Cobb hoped to raise enough money to add to their existing offer that they could make a bid that the new building owners would accept, and set the fundraising goal at $200,000.
Well in just six days, the GoFundMe has met its goal.
Thanks to support from artists like Margo Price, The Cadillac Three and John Osborne, as well as a donation from the John Prine-founded label Oh Boy Records, the Exit/In’s fundraiser has officially raised over $200,000 to add to their offer to the new owners.
Cobb thanked the campaign’s supporters in a note on the GoFundMe site:
We cannot say THANK YOU enough for the tremendous outcry of support! Every dollar raised will go towards our bid to purchase the property – the higher the bid, the better our chances. We will proceed with a formalized offer shortly and keep you all updated as the situation with the property progresses.
Long live the Rock Block!”
The campaign to save the Exit/In, which has hosted performances from legends like Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash to Billy Joel, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Post Malone, has also seen support from hundreds in the Nashville community, including Congressman Jim Cooper, and even members of the Metro Nashville City Council speaking out in an attempt to save the legendary venue.
Nooooo…! Please help save the legendary @EXIT_IN. I can’t count how many great musicians I saw there. I saw Doc and Merle Watson play 2 shows a night for a week, and went to every show. I recorded the video for ‘Seven Year Ache’ there. They have a GoFundMe, FYI. https://t.co/wvGD4FA5KM
We reprinted 50 of these 2015 posters to help raise money to help save the legendary @EXIT_IN from being leveled and turned into a luxury hotel. They are signed and 100% of proceeds go to their GoFundMe campaign.
At a rally held outside the venue this week, city council members even threatened to push back if the new owners attempt to get a zone change and demolish the building, calling it a battle for “Nashville’s soul.”
So while there’s no guarantee that the new owners will accept the offer for the building from Cobb, it’s pretty clear where many in the music industry and the city of Nashville stand on the issue.
And if they’re not successful and Nashville loses another historic music venue in favor of some luxury hotel, what’s next? Hell, might as well tear down the Ryman and put in an Applebee’s at that point too.