Video shows Legend’s Corner defying temporary live music ban

Metro Public Health says they are investigating
Posted at 8:13 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 22:02:33-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Public Health officials say they expected more compliance from the longtime staple of Broadway, but owners of the bar say having one musician on stage is not a threat to public health.

The video captured on Saturday shows a lone musician on stage, just moments after thanking the bar for inviting him as the first musician back.

People can be seen dancing to the music and crowding the bar area, much to the shock of Metro Public Health director Dr. Michael Caldwell.

“As I drove past there, I observed the same thing and I documented it and I followed up with my staff today. So they’ll be hearing from us,” said Caldwell.

The 30 second video shows the tail end of the set, with no indication as to how long the musician was on stage. Dr. Caldwell says at the time he was scouting Broadway for any obvious violations to Phase One.

“You saw what we saw on Broadway, that things are re-opening and that live music adds to the bar atmosphere and the congeniality of getting together,” said Caldwell.

We reached out to co-owner of Legend’s Corner, Ruble Sanderson who has yet to respond to the video. Just days before the video however, we spoke to Sanderson who said he was concerned that Metro Public Health was overreaching for not allowing live musicians.

“If the restaurants can open and have five or six cooks in the kitchen, why can’t we have one or two musicians on stage? It just makes no sense at all,” said Sanderson.

In that same interview Sanderson makes no mention of intending to play live music and instead makes a commitment to work with Metro Public Health.

“We do want to comply with all the regulations. We hope they will be modified very promptly so we can have some music on stage,” said Sanderson.

The admission by Sanderson appears to show he knew that playing live music would not be allowed, but still the show went on.

Dr. Caldwell is willing to offer the benefit of the doubt and says it’s mainly to give businesses time to make adjustments.

As for Legend’s Corner, Dr. Caldwell says they will receive an official notice to comply letter. The letter is intended to put it on the record that Legend’s Corner is aware of the restrictions of Phase One.

No citation is expected, but Dr. Caldwell says they will be back to monitor if live music is being played.

“I did observe though it was a singular performer with a guitar and I didn’t believe it was an emergency. But I would like everyone to know that live music is not a part of Phase One,” said Caldwell.

There were as many as 400 complaints and four citations written in the first week of Phase One. From what Dr. Caldwell observed, he worries not enough people are taking the measures seriously when they do travel to Broadway.

“I was disappointed that the majority of people that I saw walking around the streets were not wearing facial coverings,” said Caldwell.

Dr. Caldwell was encouraged however by the employees wearing masks and taking necessary safety precautions at the door. There were not nearly as many signs promoting masks as Dr. Caldwell would’ve liked to see, but he says he expects to see more in the near future.

“I think we have seen a change in the culture, but we still have a lot more work to do,” said Caldwell.

Under the current rules, live music is a part of Phase Three which we may not see until June.