Hayley Williams has a message for tourists thinking of visiting her hometown of Nashville during the ongoing health crisis: Stay away. The solo artist and leader of Grammy-winning Tennessee band Paramore posted a series of quietly passionate videos to Instagram on Monday expressing her frustration with the city’s unabated party culture and the government’s unwillingness to enforce health regulations.
“Please don’t come to Nashville. Plan your bachelorette party somewhere else this time,” Williams said, referencing the city’s continued status as a top bachelorette destination. “The numbers are skyrocketing pretty much everywhere; Nashville is no different. Our people are dying, our local businesses are suffering — so many businesses that make our town special and made it enticing in the first place. Tourists, people from out of town, are coming in and crawling up and down Broadway taking shots to terrible music. I just don’t understand what the governor or the mayor are doing.”
On July 24th, Nashville mayor John Cooper enacted a new public health order that required all restaurants to close at 10 p.m. in an effort to stop tourists from congregating in the city’s Lower Broadway entertainment district. Bars around the city had already been closed, but establishments that serve food were exempt.
Williams shared a video of a press conference held by Nashville’s small bar owners, including the popular Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge in Madison, Tennessee, and the Fox Bar and Cocktail Club in East Nashville, who say their businesses are in danger of closing for good.
According to Williams, the situation is the antithesis of a popular Nashville slogan. “If you really believe in Nashville,” she says, “don’t come here until this shit is handled.”