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Follow this organizer to stay informed on future events Quad Cities Brides Event creator. Following Follow. Events you might like:. Music Performance. Share this event. Bach Weekend attracts repeat customers — Goldsmith told me one woman has now been on four different weekends with four different friend groups. Photo ops have long provided the unspoken structure of tourism: Thorstein Veblen, one of the first scholars to theorize the performance of leisure, argued that travel is always, at least in part, about being seen traveling.
But this feels like something different. You might think that the labor of documenting all these experiences could threaten to overshadow the experience itself. But over the last five years, locals have ceded other neighborhoods and spaces to the bachelorette parties.
It was the point in the night when the friends start to get protective of the bride, who was just a bit further gone than the rest, and very eager to talk about her queer fantasies involving Rashida Jones. Martin grew up in and around Nashville, went east for graduate school, where she specialized in oral histories of segregation and took a professor job at a liberal arts school in New England. Then she left it all to come back home. You could survive. That change, of course, has already happened: the core of Nashville is increasingly white, increasingly rich, increasingly polished.
But they are very white. Same for the bachelorette parties and Draper James. Each vendor that partners with companies like Bach Weekend receives slightly less than they normally would for services drinking, transportation, line dancing. In return, they get a steady stream of customers. She has more bachelorette customers than she can handle. Hall wears her hair in a high topknot and has the centered, soothing demeanor of a power yoga teacher.
But she also has the arms and back of a competitive swimmer — the direct result of years learning how to hold her body above the ground on the pole. Unlike the rest of the bachelorette providers I spoke with, Hall was born and raised in Nashville. A bachelorette party from Louisville, Kentucky, learns how to pole dance at Studio Goddess in the Gulch neighborhood of Nashville.
Recreational pole dancing had already spread to urban areas across the country, but, as Hall told me, its sexualized connotation was harder to shake in the South. Studio Goddess has hosted as many as 32 groups in a single weekend, but the average during bachelorette season is between 20 and Most enter the room bashful and tentative, but exit in a very different state. The bachelorette party streams out of the studio, glowing with a fine sheen of sweat, and picks up champagne glasses filled with mimosas.
Back on Broadway, the sun is setting, and the streets are beginning to clot with crowds. A different country cover band blasts through the open windows of each honky-tonk. These multilevel, choose-your-own-adventure bars, built on the idea of Nashville, are boxing out the places that composed that idea in the first place. On the street, traffic has ceded almost entirely to party transportation. Down the street, a group of Peoria nurses is stalled on a Party Wagon on the side of the street. When our photographer steps toward them to get a shot, they start to woo!
Unlike the traditional bachelor party, whose stated allure is a final, debauched moment of release before settling into monogamy, the bachelorette party — at least in its contemporary iteration — offers a last chance to be a public center of attention in a socially acceptable way.
Some of what happens in Nashville stays on Instagram, but most of what happens gets mothballed in the memory of your friends as that weekend when shit got crazy. When the freeways of the mid—20th century first began to take shape, they were celebrated as great connectors: a way to introduce Americans to so much more of what our vast and diverse country had to offer. Freeways, like cars, and railroads before them, helped democratize travel , but also personalized it. Cheap gas made the entire nation your potential destination.
But watching the bachelorettes of Nashville against the backdrop of citywide gentrification reminded me of how mindlessly I did all of it. Friction, resistance of any kind — whiteness, youth, and money removed it all.
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Which again begs the question: Who can have a city bend to their will, and whose will is bent or blatantly ignored in the service of others? That night, waiting to cross Broadway, I find myself sandwiched next to an older couple, dressed up for a dinner on the town.
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At the stoplight, a Pedal Tavern has just coasted through a red light, holding up traffic in all directions. The wife stares at the women in the Pedal Tavern, who are seated facing inward, so that they look only at one another. This article has been updated to more accurately describe the changing demographics of Nashville.
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Submit it here. A bachelorette party prepares to embark on a Pedal Tavern tour through downtown Nashville. A bachelorette party rides the Wagon down Broadway during a bachelorette trip to Nashville. A bachelorette party rides the Honky Tonk bus down Broadway in Nashville. A bachelorette party on Broadway during a trip to Nashville. But I'm not the reason they're here.
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They're coming no matter what. Bachelorette parties prepare to embark on a Pedal Tavern tour through downtown Nashville. Bachelorette parties take photos around the Draper James store in Nashville. A bachelorette party rides the Honky Tonk bus in Nashville. BuzzFeed News. View Comments.