Neighbors, concert-goers upset about traffic at First Bank Amphitheater in Williamson County

First Bank Amphitheater
Posted at 10:58 AM, May 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-06 07:55:32-04

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WTVF) — Neighbors and concert-goers are upset about traffic at First Bank Amphitheater in Williamson County.

Before the Miranda Lambert concert, music lover Gina Patton was stuck for two hours in traffic.

"This is insane," Patton said. "This is only a 7,500-seat amphitheater, and it seemed like there was only one way in and out."

She also had to park far away when they arrived at 9 p.m. "It was gravel, and then it was torn up asphalt, and I actually took a little tumble," Patton said.

Neighbor Jane Sadler sent NewsChannel 5 a video from before the Miranda Lambert concert last week to detail what they’ve been experiencing on event evenings.

"I don’t see traffic as a way to get people from point a to point b, but as a health and safety issue," Sadler said.

We emailed the venue about their concerns and CEO Rick McEachern said they’re getting ready to start construction to help the issue. He referred us to their website where they detail the project.

He also followed up with an email saying every large entertainment event has traffic. It said in part, "The amphitheater has done 14 total shows so the event traffic isn’t that often; however, the venue is working on plans with the city, county and state on road improvements that will help."

On Friday, the venue is hosting the Willie Nelson concert at 7:30 p.m. The website states the property opens at 12 p.m. and concert-goers can tailgate early to avoid traffic delays.

“Who is going to a 7o’clock concert at noon?" Patton said.

Kenneth McLawhon, the town administrator for Thompson's Station, said, "Related to this undertaking, the property owners were required to address traffic with both a more current study and to also make new road improvements, at their expense. They are working on these improvements at this time."

It includes an extra lane on Harpeth School and Les Watkins roads. Neighbors don't think the new plan will help. "That would require him parking a car every 5 seconds, Disney can’t park a car every 5 seconds, you’ve got to get people in, you’ve got to get them parked, I think there’s still going to be a bottleneck," Sadler said.

She would like for them to host more Sunday concerts or decrease capacity on weeknights.

"Help us out because this is in our backyard, and we’re tired of being disrespected and neglected," Sadler said.