Cold November wind and rain couldn’t dampen guests’ spirits as they cozied up beneath the shelter of the barn and tents to experience an exclusive new event at Bloomsbury Farm: Gather at the Farm.
The intimate evening, hosted by Experience Nashville and Bloomsbury Farm, in partnership with Food for the Hungry, featured unlimited bites from Chef Brian Riggenbach (The Mockingbird), handcrafted cocktails by mixologist Freddie Schwenk, and an unforgettable acoustic performance by Nashville’s own Moon Taxi.
Matt Niehoff, Experience Nashville’s founder and creative director, says the event is something he and his husband Jason Jenkins, vice president of live entertainment for Curb Records, have always dreamed about doing together.
“His forte is live events, and with my website and social presence through Experience Nashville I’m more connected to the restaurants,” he says. “It’s something that just didn’t really exist and it was a great opportunity to meld our worlds and share our favorite things about Nashville.”
When it came to choosing the band, they knew Moon Taxi was the perfect fit. “We’ve seen them live several times and they nail it every single time,” Niehoff says. “Also, we know several of the guys very well and they supported our vision of this event (and, are quite the foodies themselves).” The night’s performance was a paired down, acoustic-driven set, which allowed fans a totally unique way of seeing the band, exclusively at Gather.
In addition to their love of good food, music and entertaining, the couple is also passionate about giving back to the community, so it only made sense that the event have a charitable arm.
“Food for the Hungry has an initiative to help local communities build sustainable food sources,” he adds, “so it fit really well with the theme of the night and we were all super amped up to be able to support them.”
We caught up with Niehoff to talk more about the inaugural event and what’s to come this spring.
An event like this takes an incredible amount of planning. How did the event compare to the way you originally envisioned it when you had that very first conversation with Lauren Palmer (Bloomsbury Farms)?
The event came together just as we planned, but very much thanks to the partners who stepped up and wanted to be involved in the evening. We wanted to create an intimate experience that blew people’s minds, being mindful of even the littlest details —from art installations and furniture to staging. We wanted to create something different, beyond anything currently happening in town.
Who were the partners who helped realize your vision?
Bloomsbury Farm, The Mockingbird (Chef Brian Riggenbach and Mikey Corona), Hannah Schneider Creative, 22 Pines, Freddy Schwenk (Nashville Ice Labs and Nashville Bar Association), Jessica Sloane, Bon Vivant, Handy Dandy Productions, Carl Denton Designs, Nashville Smile Bar, Please Be Seated Rentals, Nashville Event Lighting, Dulce Vida Tequila and American Born Whiskey.
Tell us a little more about the bites guests enjoyed that night.
Thanksgiving Sliders: Chicken-stuffing sausage, cranberry sauce, OG Hawaiian roll
Sweet Potato Skewers: House-cured bacon, gochujang-date sticky sauce
‘Fancy Pants Ants on a Log’: Chicken liver mousse, muscadine macerated currants, celery
Chicken Pot Pie: Bechamel, all the veggies, truffle butter
Heirloom Squash Caponata: pine nuts, barberry, everything spice cracker
Wild Mushrooms Tartlet: chevre, crispy shallot
S’mores Bar: Cinnamon & salted caramel marshmallows, graham crackers, hazelnut crunch dark chocolate bark, Mexican chocolate
Cookies: Chocolate chip, peanut brittle, peanut butter, kitchen sink
And about the incredible drinks, too.
Rubyfruit Jungle: Bahnez Mezcal, pineapple, passion fruit
Cocomo: Dulce Vida Tequila, toasted coconut, guava, vanilla, lime
Moscow Mule: Old Dominick Memphis vodka with Freddy’s ginger beer
Winter Old Fashioned: American Born Whiskey, Amaro, rock candy
What can we expect from ‘Gather’ events this spring?
What folks can expect for future events is exactly what we set out to achieve with the first —a unique event that is something beyond the typical experience you can find in Nashville (or anywhere!): The chance to be up close and personal with your favorite artists and chefs, and it’s a worry-free evening. All-inclusive tickets include high-end food and thoughtful cocktails, and luxury transportation to and from Nashville.
(For info on future events follow @experiencenash on Instagram, or subscribe to the email list @experiencenash.com)