Grand Ole Opry

2804 Opryland Dr, Nashville TN

A holiday to America’s Music city would not be complete without a visit to the Grand Ole Opry described as the “show that made country music famous”.

Staring in 1925 as a radio programme entitled “Barn dance”, the Grand Ole Opry is America’s longest running radio show. Broadcasting live programmes in front of sell out audiences the Opry prides its self on introducing audiences to a “mix of musical styles” and the show “strives to honour country music’s rich history and to celebrate its future”.

Security is tight with airport type scanners in operation outside of the main auditorium.

Ticket prices range from 50 dollars to 99 dollars for a premium seat in the front section. We sat in section 1, Row N on the main floor; paying 70 dollars each for our tickets which included transportation to and from our hotel.

We used the company Viator to purchase our tickets prior to travelling and found this both convenient and value for money. Seating is provided on long benches with cushioned seats, if the bench is full be aware that space can be very limited.

The atmosphere inside the auditorium is relaxed and informal; photography during the performance is allowed and encouraged, however video and audio recording of any part of the performances is not.

The two and a quarter hour show is split into four sections, each section 30 minutes long with an interval of 15 minutes. Each section is hosted by a well-known opry personality.

In between each section, adverts are read out on stage by the announcer for that evening. As an English tourist I found this section authentic and charming. It reminded me of the scene from Annie, where Daddy Warbucks appealing for information about Annie’s parents, turns to national radio for help, and finds himself advertising toothpaste. I know, musical theatre is never far from my thoughts.

The show gave us a real mixture of musical styles, traditional country, blue grass and country style rock. All performances were delivered professionally by all the artists on stage and were very well received by the audience.

The highlight of the evening for me was provided by Canadian singer song writer Tanille Townes. Making her Grand Ole Oprey debut, Tanille performed two of her own songs. She has a unique tone to her voice and her performance was full of emotion, particularly in the song Jersey on the wall, which reduced me and others around me to tears. This is a very talented performer who deserves every success in her career.

I thoroughly enjoyed my evening at the Grand Ole Opry and would thoroughly recommend this experience to anyone visiting Nashville.

MT