Rock Nashville: Q&A With Andrea Shirk

Rock Lititz, an entertainment industry complex with huge rehearsal studios, was founded in 2014 as a collaboration between Tait and Clair Global. It has been hugely successful, expanding to include myriad concert and production services and vendors, as well as a hotel, and spawning its first sibling, Rock Nashville, a 55-acre campus scheduled to open in 2025. Ground has been broken, and Live Design chats with Rock Lititz president Andrea Shirk about this exciting new production hub in Music City. 

Live Design: What was the impetus for creating Rock Nashville?

Andrea Shirk: The need for purpose-built live entertainment production and rehearsal spaces has only increased in the nearly 10 years since Rock Lititz’s inception. Every year, artists want to do more – meaning bigger, better, and more innovative and complex performances. With the emergence of social media, touring acts need to be performance-ready by their first show. As Rock Lititz looked to expand its presence due to demand for spaces like these that support innovative creativity for this industry community, Nashville made sense as a natural next step. We’re excited to bring this unique offering to the expanding presence of live entertainment professionals that call the area home as Nashville evolves into a true “Music City” embracing more than the country genre it’s most known for.

LD: How does it differ from or echo Rock Lititz?

AS: Rock Lititz is a hub for innovation where the most intricate details of show design are developed and tested. Rock Nashville's offerings are community-driven and will be developed to suit the needs of the local live entertainment artist and crew community. Like Rock Lititz, Rock Nashville will contain creative offices and production facilities of various sizes to accommodate the varying production specifications for live shows, including one up to 95ft tall to replicate arena or stadium venues.

LD: What technical services/companies will be part of this new campus?

AS: Rock Nashville will be home to leading production vendors in live events, streaming, TV/Film, and more. We are working to finalize our tenant list and will have more to announce soon. 

Confirmed tenants so far include SoundCheck, the largest rehearsal studio complex under one roof in the world and the rehearsal venue of choice for many touring and recording entertainers, and Clair Global which provides live production services, innovative systems integration, and exceptional audio solutions. SoundCheck will be moving from their current Cowan Street location in Nashville where they have been based for over 30 years. 

LD: Can you describe the rehearsal venue - what’s in there as part of the lighting, audio, video, automation package?

AS: The Rock Nashville campus will include:

  • 13 band and production rehearsal studios ranging from 600 sq. ft to 2100 sq. ft. to provide space for events of all sizes, from band rehearsals to stadium productions

  • One full-sized arena / stadium production rehearsal facility, measuring 200’ x 125’ + 95’ with a rigging grid at 80’ clear

  • One full-sized amphitheater / Arena size full production rehearsal facility, measuring 125’ x 100’ + 75’ with a rigging grid at 60’ clear.

  • Backline Rental

  • 300+ Lockers 

  • Palletized storage

  • Set Storage

  • Artist relation offices

  • Community cafeteria and collaboration spaces

  • Space for tenants supporting live event production

LD: How will Rock Lititz integrate and add to the music scene in Nashville?

AS: We are excited about the opportunity to help Nashville become the premier destination of live event production. As Nashville transitions from the capital of country music to the center of the global music scene, we’re offering a new product to the market to support the growing needs of Nashville’s live entertainment community. Rock Nashville will be a space where production companies can physically collaborate in person; an intentional community and a centralized home for this growing industry. The Rock Nashville team is passionate about supporting the healthy development of the live entertainment community and helping raise awareness about careers and opportunities for interested individuals of all ages.

While Rock Nashville won’t be open to the public, there’s no doubt that it will become a premier destination for touring acts to prepare for tour.

LD: What were the biggest challenges along the way?

AS: Nashville is an exciting market, but it is also a growing market with high cost of land, increased construction costs and higher interest rates. Finding a partner and financing were challenging but we have successfully partnered with Al Neyer to make this project a reality. Unlike many projects we have heard about in this space, we have secured land, secured financing and have started construction.  

Related content: Rock Nashville Music Campus To Be A New Home For Live Entertainment