• Atlanta Northcutt

Burlap Room Shines a Positive Light with Summer Solstice Celebration

By: Atlanta Northcutt -- Reporter for the Southern Standard

The Burlap Room will be holding a special Summer Solstice Shindig with craft beer and live music to bring a much-needed break from the darkness of the pandemic by shining light through a joyous celebration of the beginning of summer.

On Saturday, June 20, the family-friendly event, including children and the four-legged animal members of the family, are welcome at attend the Summer Solstice Shindig being held on the grounds of Bert Driver Nursery located at 175 Hurricane Ridge Road in Smithville.

Gates will open at 4 p.m. with music by East Nash Grass taking place at 6 p.m., and Soulfish taking the stage at 8 p.m. Tickets purchased in advance are $10, while tickets purchased the day of the event will be $15.

The Summer Solstice Shindig presented by the Burlap Room will bring individuals together in a safe manner and create a feeling of hope and community during this unprecedented time of fear and negativity. However, certain precautions, including social distancing, the handling of serving craft beer and number of people on the grounds, will be taken to ensure the safety of visitors and staff.

The Burlap Room is located on the Bert Driver Nursery in Smithville and is a true hub for creatives of all kinds to gather and enjoy live music, peruse the work of a variety of local artists, have a cold glass of craft beer and purchase locally-made CBD products.

There is a genuine feeling of comfortability and friendship inside of the premises. Bert and his team care about making those who gather on the property feel at home and provide an enjoyable time for all. Besides having a good experience, the focus at the Burlap Room is on showcasing all of the local talent in the area.

The Burlap Room sits on seven acres of land with all of the beautiful nursery items lining the entire property. It truly encompasses the meaning of a beer garden. A pond filled with fish is located behind the tap house, along with a sand pit for children to play in or adults to sink their feet into.

The main stage is 20 by 20 feet and called the Red Bud Stage. The other three primary stages include the indoor Burlap Room stage inside of the tap room, the Wisteria stage on the front porch outside of the tap room and the Solstice Stage inside of a large greenhouse with professional lighting, heaters for cooler nights and cover from the elements to keep the music coming despite uncooperative weather. A warm and cozy fire pit sits right outside of the Wisteria stage where music floats through the air and wraps itself around you.

Bert Driver, the owner of the nursery, the Burlap Room, hemp farm and beer garden, began the process of turning his nursery into an outdoor concert venue approximately seven years ago and held the first show on the premises on Earth Day of that year. He strongly supports local businesses and creativity. The care he has for Smithville and the surrounding regions is apparent when speaking to him. His personal love for art and music has progressed to sharing it with others who are looking for a place to enjoy those same things and gain a sense of community.

“I wanted to feature local talent, to crow about what we’ve got here and show people they don’t have to go anywhere else to enjoy good beer and a good time,” says Driver.

Previous to the pandemic, the Burlap Room was busiest during the summer months. The venue is working to return to the flow of business during summertime once again but with safety precautions in place. The large shows begin on Earth Day and last through October, occurring once a month. Smaller shows happen during this time and throughout the year with all of the information being updated regularly on their website and Facebook page.

The majority of the musicians who play at the nursery are from around the region. Many different art vendors come to display their wares and offer them for sale. A variety of music is played onstage including classic and modern rock, bluegrass, jazz, country and reggae.

During many events, Tio’s Taco Truck is on site serving authentic Mexican cuisine. The Burlap Room is a great location for pulling up a chair, relaxing by a fire, enjoying the sounds and products from the creative community and drinking a Calf Killer Brewery or Von Seitz Theoretic Ales craft beer.

The ability to buy CBD products on the grounds of the nursery, which are grown on the property’s own hemp farm and made in Smithville by the Hemp Brothers, allow for an array of fun times and relaxation. There is no rush on the premises of Bert Driver’s Nursery and the Burlap Room when it comes to enjoying oneself during musical performances, art displays and spending time taking in the natural splendor of the surroundings.

A variety of the Smithville-based craft beer, Von Seitz Theoretic Ales is on tap, along with an array of rotating Calfkiller brews out of Sparta. The Burlap Room continues to expand their selection and provide more beer on tap.

“Smithville itself is such a nice little area, and it really deserves to have something different here to show off what it has and what it can be,” says bartender Kevin Zalesak.

The Burlap Room has a local crowd and regulars who come in to have a beer, get their growlers filled or purchase CBD products. Others visitors come from Centerhill Lake, Cookeville, Sparta, McMinnville and areas around the Upper Cumberland region.

Previous to coronavirus, the nursery was open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Thursday’s and Friday’s, the bar was open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Saturday, the tap room was open from noon to 8 p.m. However, the pandemic may affect the days and hours of the business.

The coronavirus may also have changed the venues’ original schedule of the last Saturday’s of each month offering performances of all different genres of music, such as country, classic rock, jazz, alternative, folk and many other forms of musical acts.

Following COVID-19, the Burlap Room will return to its previous routine of holding events, concerts, a variety of performances, selling of wares by local vendors and the many unique activities the venue and tap room provides.

However, a taste of all the Burlap Room offers will be represented by Saturday’s Summer Solstice Shindig.

The Burlap Room is located at 175 Hurricane Ridge Road in Smithville, TN, 37166. To discover more information about this blossoming location and stay up-to-date on the concerts and events, along with how the venue is making changes for the safety of the visitors and staff due to COVID-19, contact the the Burlap Room and Beer Garden online at bertdriver.com, through email burlaproom@gmail.com or by calling (615) 597-9560.

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