Downtown Nashville woke up to coffee and a concert Wednesday morning thanks to Starbucks effort to stir things up.
The worldwide coffee company is pushing its instant brand of coffee by giving it away to the sound of music.
The “Starbucks VIA Ready Brew Presents” concert series stopped in Nashville with the stage set for American funk and soul musicians Robert Randolph and the Family Band and several sampling stations nearby.
“Starbucks VIA Ready Brew wanted to find a way to bring some freshness into the city, and so they found some great local and nationally recognized musicians to come in and coordinate with us doing a fresh sampling of the product,” said Laura Johnson, event organizer.
Coffee-drinkers and music-lovers gathered in Fifth Third Center plaza on Church Street to enjoy the free event that began at 8 a.m.
The coffee-concert combo was a marketing ploy specific to the company's instant java — VIA Ready Brew.
“It's 100% Arabica coffee which is actually not just instant coffee. It also has the micro-ground coffee, so that gives it a full-body, authentic coffee flavor,” Johnson said.
The response was instant as well.
“It's why I'm out here in 45 degree weather,” said Trey Russell. “It's good! I love it!”
“I love it! It tastes like it's straight out of a normal coffee maker,” added Joelle Jantomaso.
Nashville was one of only six cities chosen to be part of the concert series, including Minneapolis, St. Louis, Dallas, Atlanta, and Raleigh. Each stop offers the same coffee taste but different music flare.
The unusual wake-up call in the heart of downtown appeared to be a success among those who live, work, and play in the area.
“I didn't think musicians got up this early, but I think it's great. It's definitely bringing everyone together. It kind of breaks up the workweek,” Jantomaso said.
Starbucks VIA Ready Brew is available at all of the company's coffeehouses in assorted flavors.