Mayday Brewery blacks out over eclipse

Photo and story by Payton Comerford / Contributing Writer

Sitting in a line of cars or standing in a line for beer, Murfreesboro’s Mayday Brewery made the sun lining up with the moon quite the event, and the 500-plus people that were there seemed to agree. Whether they were screaming for the Pink Floyd cover band, the eclipse or the beer, the excitement was illuminating.

Ozzy Nelson, founder of Mayday Brewery, knows how to throw legendary parties; just ask the locals.

“I’m here for the party,” said Tony Manfetano after witnessing the once-in-a-lifetime totality. “Ozzy knows how to throw one of the best parties in Tennessee. When I found out this was happening, there was no other place I’d thought to be.”

Ozzy always dreamed of owning his own business. After working at a very busy Captain D’s in 1984, he knew Murfreesboro was the place to do it. He started brewing beer in his garage and then opened Mayday in late 2009; who knew the people of Murfreesboro would love beer even more than hush puppies?

Ozzy loves his people, and his beer.

Just a few months ago, local rock and roller Steve Hollman sat down at Ozzy’s bar and asked what he thought about an eclipse party. Ozzy’s response, “What eclipse?”

After some scientific research, Ozzy thought Steve’s idea was pretty stellar.  

Steve Hollman plays lead guitar for Us and Them, a cover band known for their rendition of Pink Floyd’s album “Dark Side of the Moon”– what a coincidence.

Drummer and assistant professor in the Department of Recording Industry Bill Crabtree keeps the beat for this band of MTSU faculty, staff and students.

“The album is 44 minutes (long), and the last song is called eclipse – we finish (playing) just as the totality happens,” Crabtree said.

Only 14 states with hundreds of cities and towns in the U.S. were lucky enough to be in the path of totality. And even then, only some could see the wonder in its entirety, and only one brewery had Pink Floyd’s “Eclipse” playing in the background, every riff from the lead guitar perfectly aligning with the moon’s shadow.

Much like the total eclipse and the NASA approved glasses, Ozzy’s Dark Side of The Moon event had attention across the nation. Travelers from Michigan, New York and Mississippi made their way to the brewery to watch this extravaganza with a cold one in their hand.  

Brett Bridges from Starkville, Mississippi, showed extreme excitement for the eclipse and the brewery both.

“We were looking for eclipse glasses and then we found out you could get some at a Brewery–best day of my life,” Bridges said.

With no cover charge, no one can be exact on how many people kicked back with their ISO 12312-2 glasses at Mayday. But, Ozzy is sure that his 15 gallons of dark, stout, pepper Eclipse beer is just about gone.

“They drank the hell out of it,” Ozzy said between laughs.

Along with the other 11 different beers on tap, gallons of beer and a food truck left empty, Mayday’s The Dark Side of The Moon Solar Eclipse event was a huge success.

There’s no argument that Ozzy once again threw another historical party. Complete with Pink Floyd, good beer and a serious black-out.

Sun or no sun, as Ozzy always says, “Beer, hugs and rock-n-roll.”

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email

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