It’s a trying time for many people. Stores are out of basic essentials like toilet paper and hand soap. Broadway’s bars are temporarily shutting down. Concerts and music festivals are getting postponed and canceled. We’re practicing “social distancing” at home. Things are stressful (to say the least) but, in the midst of all of this, the Grand Ole Opry circle remains unbroken.
On Saturday night (March 14), the Grand Ole Opry went on with its 4,915th Saturday night broadcast. The show was heard through radiowaves on 650 AM WSM and online, through apps and on satellite radio. Thousands of fans tuned in to Facebook and YouTube live streams. If you were tuning in, you probably noticed one big difference.
There was no audience in attendance.
It was recently announced that, with growing Coronavirus concerns, the Opry would “pause performances” with a live audience. They wouldn’t let that stop them though. The show went on. It just went on in a different capacity.
Audiences for the Opry didn’t show up in person but they did show up online. They tuned in for the evening show that included Bill Anderson, Mandy Barnett, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, Jeannie Seely, Connie Smith and Sam Williams.
It may not seem like a big deal that people turned to the internet to hear the Opry. It’s a sign. It’s a beautiful sign in a time when we need something to look forward to. It’s a reminder that despite it all, music and entertainment will be what moves us when things get tough. This will keep us going.
So tune in for a Saturday night Opry online before live audiences are back. Maybe you’ll find a new artist to love, maybe a song will inspire you and maybe you’ll get some relief from all of the negative things around you.