Local bands react to Exit/In closing: historic Nashville music venue where many got their start

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. & NASHVILLE, Tn.-A popular music venue is closing its doors for the last time in Nashville, and musicians here in Bowling Green are saddened by the news. 

“I’m stunned honestly, like I can’t believe it. They just celebrated their 50th anniversary and now it’s gonna be gone. It just doesn’t make any sense to me,” said The Josephines singer Zach Lindsey. 

The historic Exit/In is closing its doors after more than 50 years. 

The group Government Cheese, which started at WKU in 1985, played some of their first gigs there. 

“Once we cracked Nashville and started getting a following, we started playing the Exit/In and we were selling it out back then. A beautiful place to play, a big open room, all these great people played there,” said Government Cheese member Scott Willis. 

Some of the big names include Cage the Elephant, Johnny Cash, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Willie Nelson. 

Zach Lindsey played there with his high school band numerous times in the early 2000s. 

“It’s one of the best sounding rooms in the country easily, you can just tell they’ve spent 50 years trying to hone it in and make it sound as perfect as they can and call it a listening room as opposed to a concert hall or something like that,” said Lindsey. 

Government Cheese just played one of the last shows at Exit/In this past Friday. 

“It hurts to play there, but it was so good to see everybody in that situation again, that room, that room sounds great, it’s fantastic,” said Willis. 

People are sad to see the historic venue go, but they say it’s a sign of changing times. 

“You go down there, it’s beautiful old history of great music and they’re trying to pretty much wipe out every club, every place for music, people are moving in for jobs, not really moving there for the scene,” said Willis.