Vandy’s Rites Of Spring: T.I., Nickel Creek, and Flaming Lips, Oh My!

With the sudden explosion of events and festivals this weekend, it seems that Nashville is finally stepping out of hibernation after a really long, really gross winter. And if the Nashville Film Festival, Earth Day, Grimey’s Record Store Day, Cherry Blossom Festival (yes, we have one of those), Music City Walk of Fame inductions, and GMA Week insanity aren’t enough to keep us busy, Vanderbilt University’s Rites Of Spring mini-festival kicks off tomorrow night in no small fashion with everyone’s favorite machine-gun-toting rapper T.I. leading the pack.

The festivities kick off around 3pm both days on Alumni Lawn, and unless you’re packing a Vandy student ID, a weekend pass will set you back $45 in advance or $55 if you wait until tomorrow. Single day passes are on sale for $40. And since we have to prioritize on a weekend like this, here are our picks (or you can see the full schedule here):


  • K’NAAN, 6:20p – 7:05p. In 1991, K’NAAN entered the country as a refugee from Somalia, fleeing a civil war that left 400,000 dead. Now he tours around the country rapping about all things political and apparently opens for T.I. We picked up his record for 3 bucks on Amazon one day and fell in love.
  • Q-Tip, 9:30p – 10:30p. If for no other reason than the fact that he produced for Nas and Mariah Carey, this is one rap legend you probably shouldn’t miss if you’re into that sort of thing.
  • T.I., 11p – midnight. We won’t try to mask our excitement here, so just know that at 11pm on Friday night, at least one of your Nashvillest editors will be the happiest person alive. And also, this is one of T.I.’s last public appearances before he goes off to jail for doing some very bad things.


  • Sara Watkins, 5:40p – 6:10p. Sara Watkins is a household name around these parts, especially considering we first knew her as Nickel Creek’s fiddle player since 1989. Last week, Sara released her first solo record and we’re hoping to hear some of it on Saturday.
  • N.E.R.D., 8:40p – 9:55p. We’d be remiss not to mention N.E.R.D., who hail from our hometown of Virginia Beach, Virginia. They’re the perfect blend of rock, punk and hip hop, but we’re upset that they have a longer set than T.I.
  • Flaming Lips, 10:30p – midnight. This is probably the act that everyone’s waiting for, and they’re real weird, and we wouldn’t have them any other way. For the die-hards among us, we’ve heard a very unofficial rumor about a surprise appearance at Grimey’s Record Store Day. But then again, what do we know?

Photo by hubmedia.