Long-planned Exotic Pet Expo bumped from spot at Fairgrounds Nashville

Exotic Pet Expo.jpg
Posted at 10:14 PM, Aug 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-31 23:14:44-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The popular Nashville Exotic Pet Expo has been held at the Fairgrounds Nashville for two decades, usually twice a year.

Organizers said the pet show helps support the Nashville Exotic Pet Club, a nonprofit.

The show had become such a routine at the fairgrounds that the Exotic Pet Expo said back in 2018 it gave the fairgrounds dates to hold open for their show, all the way through 2023.

"They plugged them into their calendar, and said OK, you're on the calendar," said Brendan Reynolds, head of the Nashville Exotic Pet Club, who goes by Mr. Brendan The Reptile Guy.

Brendan says what would usually happen next, anywhere from one to three months before each expo, the Fairgrounds would send them a contract to sign to making things official.

But this time, that didn't happen -- because the fairgrounds told them, there's another show in town.

"About a week and a half ago, they came to us and said there may be a conflict with your dates and we may have to move your expo," Brendan said.

But Brendan says that's a problem, with dozens of vendors who are already booked to set up at the expo the first weekend in October.

"It's not something that can be moved," Brendan said. "We've been advertising for two years, our vendors have hotels booked, we have people coming in from all over the United States."

Today the Director of the Nashville Fairgrounds said in part:

The Exotic Pet Show has been a great event partner at The Fairgrounds Nashville. Rescheduling hold dates are never our first choice. We put holds on our event calendar for clients until they are contracted which then gives both parties confidence on dates and details. Contracts are essential for this purpose and why we have them. We have been working with the event promoter to reschedule to another weekend in October and look forward to working with them in the future.
Laura Womack, Fairgrounds Nashville Executive Director

Responding to the fairgrounds' statement, Brendan said:

"But she doesn't say anything why we weren't offered a contract, she dances around the fact that we don't have a contract, but I can't give them a contract," Brendan said. "They have to give me a contract to sign, I would have signed it."

NewsChannel 5 followed up with the fairgrounds director who originally e-mailed us her statement. We asked why the Exotic Pets Expo wasn't given a contract to sign as in years past, and we asked what the event was that's bumping the Expo from that weekend. That email has not been immediately returned.