A natural disaster has struck a popular Nashville venue called the Basement East, which collapsed yesterday after a deadly tornado hit the location following a benefit in support of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. The tornado has claimed 19 lives according to the governor of Tennessee, while 48 buildings have been reported as collapsed.
The benefit was reportedly over by the time that the tornado hit, and the staff working the event were able to narrowly escape the disaster by hiding in the venues’ basement. One of the venue’s owners has stated that the property is completely gone however, as a result of this disaster.
“The tornado hit at approximately 1:15 a.m., the Bernie benefit was over, and our conscientious staff of five ran down to the basement with seconds to spare before the roof blew off,” the venue’s co-owner Mike Grimes said in a statement to Rolling Stone. “All are safe. We are so fortunate. The venue is pretty much a total loss.”
The venue had only been around since 2015, and was an East Nashville counterpart to the original Basement located on Eighth Avenue in the city. The location also had a deal with LiveNation entertainment prior to its collapse.
Prominent artists such as indie rock band Archers of Loaf, garage rock band the Black Lips, and country singer-songwriter Hailey Whitters have performed at the venue in the past. The Robinson brothers of the rock band The Black Crowes held a special acoustic set at the venue a week ago.
Sanders has been receiving many high-profile endorsements across the music industry, as artists such as Public Enemy Radio, The Strokes, Vampire Weekend and White Stripes founder Jack White have performed at rallies in support of the candidate within the last year.