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Nashville’s Exit/In Nears End of Indie Status as Longtime Operator Chris Cobb Announces Departure

todayNovember 14, 2022

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Later this month, Chris Cobb, longtime independent operator of revered Nashville music venue Exit/In for nearly two decades, will conclude his work at the 51-year-old music venue due to the lease ending at the conclusion of 2022, as Nashville-based development firm AJ Capital Partners (which purchased the Exit/In property in 2021) are set to begin overseeing operation of Exit/In.

“It looks like 51 years of local, independent ownership and operation have come to an end,” said a statement from Chris and Telisha Cobb. “We are humbled to host this last run of concerts with friends from many eras gracing our stage again. There have been too many incredible moments to count over the 18 years we’ve stewarded Exit/In. It’s an incredibly special place that we are so fortunate to have been a part of.” 

The final 2022 concert at Exit/In is slated for Nov. 23, with the second of a pair of shows from Diarrhea Planet.

A statement from AJ Capital Partners, which recently moved its headquarters from Chicago to Nashville, provided to Billboard says, “The Exit/In will remain open, as it has under the stewardship of dozens of operators over the past 51 years, as its irreplaceable self: an iconic Nashville venue and gathering place for music lovers from all over. We spent the last year securing historic protections for this special and sacred space, which we’re committed to preserving while providing some long overdue physical improvements. We look forward to the next half-century of moments and memories, and to announcing 2023 show dates very soon.”

In 2021, AJ Capital filed a request to designate the Exit/In as a historical landmark, and historic overlays were approved for a section of the property this year.

Last year, the Cobbs launched a GoFundMe campaign with the aim of purchasing Exit/In, shortly after the venue went under contract. The fundraiser received over 4,000 donations and accumulated over $270,000 from supporters. In his statement, Cobb said that the money will be donated to National Independent Venue Association (NIVA) and to Music Venue Alliance (MVAN).


Exit/In, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, opened in 1971 and is located at 2208 Elliston Place, as the anchor of “The Rock Block,” which over the years has been home to businesses including The End, Elliston Place Soda Shop and The Gold Rush. Exit/In quickly became known for the diverse slate of artists who have performed there — with many of their names scrawled on its Wall of Fame at the front of the building. Those artists have included Billy Joel, Etta James, Johnny Cash, Muddy Waters, Paramore, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chuck Berry, The Allman Brothers Band, Jason and the Scorchers, Cage the Elephant and R.E.M., among many others.

Jimmy Buffett was the first performer at the venue when it opened in 1971.

The Rock Block was commemorated with a historical marker in 2020.

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todayNovember 14, 2022

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