NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The rhythm is finally returning to Music City and concerts are, too.
This weekend, the Grand Ole Opry hosted their largest crowds in over a year.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck Nashville in March 2020, Grand Ole Opry artists sang to an empty venue for almost seven months. On Saturday night, they performed for roughly 4,000 people.
Last October, local guidelines allowed 500 people back in to celebrate the Opry’s 95th anniversary. Crowds and ticket sales continued increasing since then as restrictions gradually lifted.
Locals and tourists told News 2 on Saturday they were happy to be back. Some had waited a long time for this moment.
“This is our 50th anniversary trip that got cancelled because of COVID a year and a half ago,” Jerry McLellen said.
“When we came to the Grand Ole Opry we didn’t know that it was going to have live shows, so we lucked out,” Diane Rapini said.
On Friday, Metro Nashville Public Health officials lifted the mask mandate and dropped all capacity restrictions. While some local businesses are still asking customers to wear face coverings inside, they are not required inside the Opry House. They are, however, recommended for people who are not vaccinated.
“I think it’s nice to see the noise and people laughing and dancing and being happy after all this crazy stuff that’s been going on the last year and a half. Now it’s about time to get back to normal and I’m looking forward to that,” Battista Rapini said.
This summer, the Grand Ole Opry is hosting shows on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. In the fall they will celebrate their 5,000th Saturday show on October 30th.