San Diego - The City of Nashville, Tennessee, home of the Grand Ole Opry and center of the music industry, has had to make some last minute changes to its annual new year's eve festival in order to avoid a trademark dispute. In the past, the city's Music City New Years Eve Bash has wowed its festive citizens with a large, glowing Gibson guitar dropping as the new year rings in. This year, Nashville will be ringing in the new year with a fifteen-foot music note making the one minute descent.
Apparently, the Hard Rock Café, which has been the sponsor of the bash for the last two years, will not be hosting this year's event in Nashville. Since the Hard Rock owns the trademark rights to Gibson Guitar Drop, the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau decided to make the change so it would not be faced with any backlash over using the Hard Rock's trademark. The reason for the Hard Rock pulling out of Nashville's new year's bash was reportedly due to "cost concerns."
Deana Ivey, who works for the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that the dropping musical note is more original. So original in fact, that the Convention and Visitors Bureau decided to trademark the name "Music Drop." The chain of musically-themed restaurants known for its rock and roll memorabilia will still be hosting the guitar drops in Memphis, Niagara Falls, and for the first time, St. Louis.
"We don't want to do what other cities are doing. So that was another good reason for us [Nashville] to say we're doing our own thing. We're Music City. We're going to represent ourselves well, and we're making a change," stated Ivey. Back in June 2010, the Hard Rock Café was also host to the Gibson Foundation's Night Out for Nashville, an event to raise money for the city's flood relief fund.
This year's Music City bash, which normally attracts crowds of 30,000, is expecting an even larger turnout. This is mainly due to the announcement of its headliner entertainment, country-rocker Lynyrd Skynyrd, who will play a fifteen-minute version of "Free Bird" while the crowd watches the Music Note drop.