This letter from Pete Fisher, Vice President/General Manager of the Grand Ole Opry showed up in my email box this morning. I know many of you received it also, but I wanted to post it for those who didn't:
Dear Grand Ole Opry fan:
As I'm sure you know by now earlier this week, the entire Opry Entertainment Complex including the Grand Ole Opry House experienced flooding from the Cumberland River here in Nashville. We have heard from fans around the world sharing their concern for the Opry family, and we thank each of you for thinking of us.
As a result of the flooding, the Grand Ole Opry has been temporarily displaced from its permanent home, the Grand Ole Opry House. I am pleased to tell you that even after the flood, the Grand Ole Opry tradition we all love continues and the show goes on! Though we will miss our permanent home for a while, you can bet there'll be great Opry shows in store for fans every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday this summer in a variety of venues.
Even on Tuesday night when the flood waters had just begun to recede, we performed a historic show at the War Memorial Auditorium, one of the Opry's former homes. As Opry member Marty Stuart said from the stage that night, "our family, our songs, and our spirit live on." Tonight's Opry Country Classics, this weekends shows, and next week's Tuesday Night Opry will all take place at the Opry's most famous former home, the Ryman Auditorium. Among the artists on those shows are Alan Jackson, George Jones, Brad Paisley, and Ricky Skaggs.
We will announce the venues for other upcoming shows soon. As you know, some of your favorite artists have already confirmed for those shows including the Charlie Daniels Band, Lady Antebellum, Charley Pride, Blake Shelton, Josh Turner and Carrie Underwood. Our Call Center is operational but can't yet handle its usual volume. Until it's back in full operation (which we hope will be very soon), the best way to buy tickets is online at opry.com. If you still prefer to call, thank you for your patience.
Many of you have reached out to us to ask what you can do to help. The answer quite simply is that you can visit us at our shows. You can count on us to keep the music playing while we clean up, restore, and rebuild, and we would very much appreciate seeing you in the audience for this summer's performances. Please come see us, clap and laugh along, and see that spirts are high and the excitement continues in Music City!
Vice President, General Manager
Grand Ole Opry
I think Pete and the Opry staff are doing a great job communicating and reaching out to their fans. There have been many comments posted on their Facebook page, and the website of the Opry has been kept updated. If nothing else, this flood I think will cause some people to think about the Opry more, and the Opry will probably see increased attendance from this, and as I said in an earlier post, will probably see more of its members making appearances as a show of support for the show.
It still appears they are trying to figure out where to hold most of the future Opry shows. The Ryman Auditorium is the first choice and since it is owend by Gaylord, they would be keeping the money within the company. However, they do have to work around the shows already booked at the Ryman, including next weekend. I would think that the War Memorial is out, just from the fact that the seating capacity is only around 1600 (if I have the number right), and that is not nearly enough for the Opry, especially going into the summer months.
There are a couple of more venues around town, such as the Bridgestone Center (if they want to go real big), and even Belmont College. We will just have to wait and see. I know those who have tickets for upcoming shows have been calling and asking. Whatever tickets have been sold, will have to be converted to whatever facility they end up at.