EDITORS NOTE: Brian Swinford is a stand-up comedian and tour guide for The Redneck Comedy Tour Bus. He has worked as a bouncer and server on Broadway and now offers his rock solid advice for all who are planning on attending CMA Fest this week, but it’s also applicable any time you go anywhere.
Ok guys. A lot of y’all are here for the CMA fest. And because I really do love you guys, I want to give some advice. And this is coming from a honest place of love as a former bouncer and bartender, current entertainer and server. So please read and take to heart.
First. When you’re on Broadway, we realize this is the coolest thing you’ve ever seen. We make fun of it, but I’ve been to almost ever major city in this country and for better or worse, nothing is quite like Broadway. We realize you don’t have anything like it in whatever crap hole town you come from. We are still going to make fun of it and you. But we really do want you to have fun. We love this city. I love this city. Very few places in the world I would rather live. And Broadway is a part of this city. But even though you are totes excited, here’s how you act.
Know your drink order before you get to the bar. There is something like 200,000 ppl here right now that usually aren’t. And they are all on Broadway. Know what you want. If you want a mojito, any kind of martini, or really anything that’s not a shot or a beer, take a deep breath and turn around. Go sit down until you want a shot or a beer. Then go up to the bartender and say I’ll take a fireball or bud light or whatever other white trash drink you drink, and then order that. Broadway is about quantity not quality. If you want a good cocktail, take off your boots and shorts, put on real ppl clothes and go to Patterson house, lockland table, skulls, old glory or a ton of other very cool places we have here.
Guys. Don’t hit on the bartenders. They get hit on by douches that are much better than you all the time. Go order your corona and then head back to hit on Britni from Massachusetts that’s about to puke on the dance floor. You have a sincere shot at Britni. You don’t with the bartender. I promise. They already hate you before you start talking. It’s (probably) not personal. Just part of the job. So go for the low hanging bachlorette/sorority fruit and call it a day.
Tip your bartender. Yes they have a big beer bucket with a pile of cash in it. Tip them anyway. This is their Hiroshima.
That’s how you handle the bartenders.
As for bouncers. And please for the love of all things holy listen to me. The CMAs are the most stressful time of the year. Worse than st Patrick’s day and new years. Be cool. I’m serious. Be cool. I already want to punch. Don’t give me a reason to punch because I can and will. And my manager has my back. And I already hate you. So be cool. When your gf/hooch you just met hands me their id, Don’t say things like “it’s fake!”.
1st. I’ve heard that lame joke 20 other times that night before you said it. It wasn’t funny or creative the 1st time and progressively angers me every time I hear it.
2nd. Fake ids are kind of a big deal in the bouncer world. Don’t joke about it. There’s a good chance I won’t let you in just on principal. That’s not even the comic in me talking. Hand me your id. Say how’s your day been so far and go into the bar. Don’t try to be funny or cute. Because I already hate you. just because. So be cool. We will both have a much better night.
And don’t be loud. The door is a complicated place when 100 ppl are trying to get in. A yes sir and thank you will go a long way with me not wanting to punch you if I get a chance.
Have your id. Fo real have it. Not some story about how you skanked it up in some guys hotel room and you can’t find your purse now. Have your id. You’re a grown up Britni.
Older chicks. Listen. We have to id everyone. We know you are over 21. No one in 15 years has thought you were anywhere close to 21. Plz stop with the “omg you are carding me?? I can’t believe you don’t think I’m over 21”. Everyone knows you’re over 21. Your crows feet could legally drive. We have to id everyone in Nashville. Hand it to us, smile and go into the bar. Because you will be the 20th soccer mom in ugly jeans that night that will have said “omg your carding me?? Thank you!!” if you do.
If you bring memaw to the cmas, make sure she’s got her Id. I realize she was alive during prohibition. She still has to have a valid id to get in. She doesn’t think she needs it because she’s with her grandkids, isn’t driving and isn’t buying anything. Grab your nanas id and stick it in your wallet. I’ve never seen anyone as mad as a mimi that wasn’t let into a bar because she didn’t bring her id to da club. So if you love your gram gram, make sure she has her id too.
Girls. If you think the bouncer is cute in his tight shirt and boots, Go talk to him. You have a chance if:
You don’t hit on him when he’s busy. If you don’t act like a drunk basic skank. And if you are cool.
Go up and start a conversation that lets him know you aren’t some girl who’s highlight in life was the peddle tavern you road earlier when your bff puked on demumbreum. Be interesting, smart and different. Drunk loud basic girls are our enemy this week. If that’s what you are, and that’s completely fine, you do you Tiffinie, but leave the bouncer alone and go hit on Ricky from Denver that is buying a corona at the bar.
Black friends. Don’t go to broadway during cmas. Unless you’re one black dude with 12 of your white friends. Then by all means go and have your pick of the litter. But fellas if it’s you and your boys, just go somewhere else. I love you but I will profile you 100% of the time. During the 3 yrs i worked the cmas, 5 times I had a group of black guys come in. 5 times there were problems. 3 times for reaching into the tip buckets to steal money. 2 times for coming in to fight ppl that pissed them off somewhere else. I understand Jim Crow and the 13th Amendment. I’m not saying it’s fair. I’m just saying that a group of black dudes are not coming in to hear the latest hot new country hits.
And if you want to do that, sweet. Give me a call and we will go hang out somewhere besides Broadway.
Bachelorettes. Y’all have it the easiest. Just don’t be the worst people in the history of the world. Because 99% of the time that’s what you are. The bar is ridiculously low for you and your friends Abbie. All you have to do is be better than Isis.
When y’all walk in to a bar everyone immediately has to start working harder. I do at the door because it’s only a matter of time before Kaitlyn starts trying to get onstage and deep throat the microphone. And it’s my job to stop that. It’s also my job to watch the door and keep underage ppl out. To scan the rest of the bar and make sure no one else is causing trouble. And 12 drunk chicks in matching t-shirts with some super original saying they copied off the internet trying to hump the amps makes my job harder.
Y’all make the band’s job harder because they are trying to put on a show by singing songs they hate but have to do it because their own careers haven’t taken off yet even though they’ve been in Nashville for 9 years. And that’s hard enough without having some drunk girl with a penis hat on acting like she’s trying to audition for a Motley Crue video screwing up your set.
The bartenders have to work harder because you come up to them plastered and say things like “Um. Like I had this one drink in New Orleans. It was like omg. But I can’t rememeber the name. Can you make it for me? Hey Hannah, what’s that drink we got in New Orleans? At that place were we met those 6 guys from jersey we hooked up with? Can you make that?? Omg play Luke bryan!”
Meanwhile everyone behind you hates you. And the bartender hates you. Pretty much everyone hates you. So just don’t be those ppl.
We understand that this is the biggest moment of your life. We also understand that you will do it better on your 2nd marriage. But what you have to understand is that no one cares. In the entire world, no one cares that you are getting married except for you and your fat momma that just wants grandbabies so bad that she doesn’t care you are marrying beneath you.
Your friends really don’t care because half of them are jealous that you found someone and they didn’t and the other half are mad you made your sister maid of honor even though y’all aren’t that close and she wasn’t even on that trip to New Orleans when you hooked up with those 6 greasy guys from Jersey.
Just don’t act like an entitled princess that is unique. Because 8 other bachelorette parties just like yours have been in with the same penis hats and the same t-shirts tonight and already made everyone mad.
So in a nutshell, just be cool. Act like you’ve been out in public before and have had a beer before. Enjoy Nashville. It’s an amazing city and the CMAs are a time like none other. Spend your money and go home 😘