Living in Music City means we are spoiled by great entertainment. This weekend my Mom was visiting from Wisconsin, which was the perfect opportunity to accept an invitation to visit the iconic Grand Ole Opry for a backstage tour and show. It was so fun being a tourist in my town!
I have been to the Opry one other time (many years ago), but never did the backstage tour. My kids and mom had never experienced it all, so it was a big treat.
Whenever people ask what they should do when the come to Nashville, I always say go to The Grand Ole Opry. It's one of the most “Nashville” things you can do and it lives up to the hype every time.
The Grand Ole Opry Tour: What to Expect
Sixty people were a part of our Saturday afternoon, one-hour tour. After going through security, we watched a short video hosted by Blake Shelton about the history of the Grand Ole Opry. I'm generally not a fan of these types of videos, but this one was really well done and helped set the stage to the history we were going to encounter. It was really great for my Mom and kids, who had no idea how amazing the Opry is. It really is the most respected country music venue in the world. Here's a short clip from the video.
We were then taken to the backstage entrance where all the artists enter the Opry. My favorite part is that on the entrance is a fountain that was donated by Minnie Pearl's family after she passed away. The fountain was given to her by her husband, and she wanted it give to the Opry so that she would still greet guests even after she was gone. So sweet.
Upon entering artists are greeted and given their mail from the Grand Ole Opry post office. Yes, you can write a letter to any Opry member and they are given the mail when they visit. Isn't that fun?! We were told that the artists LOVE receiving mail at the Opry.
We then had the opportunity to see all the amazing themed dressing rooms that artists use when they visit. Every room is gorgeous. Some of the themes include “Into the Circle” (reserved for artists making their Opry debut), “Stars & Stripes” (a tribute to America’s service men and women), “Now That’s Funny” (comedy), “It Takes Two” (duets), “Welcome to the Family” (an Opry membership celebration), “Glitz and Glamour,” “Honky Tonk Angels,” “The Cowboy Way” and more.
The rooms are built in a circle around a big room called “the family room.” This is where the artists connect with one another before and during the show. My favorite part is the mural on the wall, painted by former Hee Haw star Archie Campbell Mural. If you look closely, you can see the water line from when the Opry flooded in 2010, and the Opry has thrilled that it was not destroyed.
One of the last stops is the opportunity to step on the stage and stand where every performer has ever stood – in the circle of wood taken from the Ryman, where the Opry House used to be located. It was an incredibly moving moment to stand there where legends have stood for decades and look out into the show house.
A staff photographer will take your group's photo, but we also managed to get a few of our own (wait til the end of the line for photos if you want to get extras). Adeline's current aspirations are to be an artist and a singer, so we took a special picture of her with the microphone.
Tour tickets are $26 for adults and $21 for children. The stage photo is $20, which includes a 6×9 and two 4x6s.
The Grand Ole Opry Show: What to Expect
We went back to the Opry that night to see one of its incredible shows. The Grand Ole Opry features a dynamic line-up of new stars, superstars, and legends of country music.
The shows are every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday night. On Saturday nights, the Opry Square Dancers also perform. Unlike a typical concert, the Opry presents eight or more artists on each show, giving the audience a sample of each artist's musical style.
Some of the acts we saw included:
- John Conlee
- Carly Pearce
- Mike Snider
- Jeannie Seely
- Seth Ennis
- Chondra Pierce
- Riders in the Sky
- Charles Esten
We had an absolute blast, especially my Mom. She couldn't get over how amazing the show was and that in 13 years of me living in Nashville that we had never gone.
Adeline several times twirled in the aisle during the music, captivated by the melodies and artistry. I love watching her experience life. Seeing her twirl was something I will always remember about our Opry visit.
During the second act, I stepped out of my seat to take a photo from the aisle. One of the kind ushers came to me and said you are allowed to go right to the stage to take a photo, as long as you squat down. I was able to then get some great photos of Charles Esten (you might recognize him from the show Nashville) when he performed.
Show tickets range in price based on where you sit and who is performing, but generally are in the $38-$100 range.
I highly recommend experiencing The Grand Ole Opry on your next visit to Nashville. It truly will be an unforgettable experience.
Disclosure: Thank you to The Grand Ole Opry for sponsoring this post and providing tickets for our experience. All Opry love our own!
Beautiful photos! The Opry is amazing. I love Nashville’s historic music scene. Coincidentally, I saw Charles Esten perform the last time I was in Nashville. Adore him.
Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate says
I would totally request the Glitz and Glamour room if ever I got to make my Opry debut! =)