We visited Nashville for the first time as a family last week. We really wanted to do some of the super touristy stuff in Nashville so on our next visit we would have the opportunity to dig a little deeper and get a feel for the real heart and soul of Nashville. Because of that we really felt we should get a visit to “Opreyland” out of the way. Neither of us are huge into country music, although I did grow up listening to the classics. Reid was definitely not as excited for our visit to the Grand Ole Opry Backstage Tour as I was, but I knew if I could just get him through the doors he would enjoy his time. What we found was a backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry is most definitely part of the heart and soul of Nashville.
We brought our three little lovely ladies with us. We were a little nervous because our last tour did not go well with our youngest and we knew yet again she would be late for a nap, but we were relieved to see other small children in the group. There were about 20 other people in our group and they ushered us into a room where we watched a short video about the Grand Ole Opry, it’s roots, history, the flood that threatened ruin back in 2010. The video is narrated by famous country music singer Blake Shelton.
After the informative and entertaining video we headed past the concessions and guest areas towards the back of the auditorium to the artists entrance. We talked a bit about what the process of checking in would be like for those performing at the Grand Ole Opry, going through security, checking their mailboxes and being assigned a dressing room. We then walked down the hall and peeked in some of the open dressing rooms and the green room. It was easy to picture some of the artists getting ready in those rooms- relaxing before shows or interacting with others.
Backstage at the Grand Ole Opry has an intimate feel and the tour guide kept stressing how it’s set up to be a family dynamic. The dressing rooms have no bathrooms, there is a shared one in the hall and there is a locker room to lock up belongings. And while every artist is special in their own right, no one is above the other. So cool to see that being established in the music industry. All of the dressing rooms were themed.
After the green rooms and dressing room tours you will be shown the main auditorium, allowed to walk onstage and step into the famed wooden circle (brought over from Ryman Auditorum) that legends throughout the decades have stood to perform. You will receive a picture opp for you and your party with the option to purchase at the end of the tour. It’s hard not to get goosebumps while standing on that stage. History has been made in that spot. It will definitely be the highlight of the tour for you as it was for us.
The tour will conclude through the gift shop. All in all I would say the tour is a must-see for families visiting Nashville. While Reid wasn’t particularly looking forward to it in the beginning, at the end he wanted to stay and purchase tickets for that nights show. Even if you aren’t necessarily a country music lover- if you have any appreciation for the art of music you will appreciate the sentiment and importance of the different sights to be seen during the backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry.