Nashville is home to two of the world’s most iconic music institutions: Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry. Thousands of artists, fans, travelers and locals alike have taken in decades of music and pop culture history inside Music City’s world-renowned venues. They both, respectively, are home to some of the most influential performances of all time. Country music was built on their stages. Today, the venues continue to shape and define modern music today.
The Grand Ole Opry is the artist showcase and radio show that made country music famous almost 100 years ago. It continues to bring the biggest names in country music and rising talent onto one famous stage to perform multiple nights a week at the Opry House, located next to the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. The Ryman is the show’s most famous former home and unparalleled concert venue for artists and music lovers from all genres, located in downtown Nashville. The Ryman has been celebrated as PollStar’s Theater of the Year award-winner for 13 years.
Ryman Auditorium History
The historic Ryman Auditorium, known as Nashville’s “Mother Church of Country Music,” was initially built as a tabernacle, and its wooden pews and stained-glass windows harken back to its religious roots. Built to share the booming voices of evangelists, the Ryman’s unparalleled acoustics and rich history have made the venue hallowed ground for artists and fans alike. The concert hall celebrated its 130th anniversary in 2022.
Ryman Auditorium Shows
Music lovers from all over the world fill the Ryman’s pews several nights a week to see their favorite artists put on one-of-a-kind performances at the one-of-a-kind venue. Lizzo, Jason Isbell, Brandi Carlile, Demi Lovato and Vince Gill are just a few of the artists who have recently thrilled Ryman audiences. Even with a capacity of over 2,300, the Ryman offers a unique, intimate concert experience that many artists and fans have said feels “spiritual.”
Ryman Auditorium Tours
The Ryman’s daytime and post-show tours showcase the Nashville landmark’s deep music and pop culture history. Star-studded displays, interactive exhibits, and immersive experiences – including a stop on the stage where countless artists have given the performance of a lifetime – make touring the Ryman a Music City must. The Ryman was recently named a Rock & Roll Landmark and visitors can now celebrate the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers who have taken its iconic stage with a powerful new stop on the tour: Rock Hall at the Ryman.
Grand Ole Opry
Grand Ole Opry History
The Grand Ole Opry is the historic stage and illustrious family that continues to showcase country music's past, present and future. What started as a radio show in 1925 created by an insurance company in downtown Nashville, has become an enormously influential country music showcase today. The live show has been held in six different venues; its most famous former home being Ryman Auditorium. In 1974, the Opry moved into the Opry House – the only venue built specifically for the show, and its permanent home.
Grand Ole Opry Shows
Visitors can see country legends, rising stars, and the who’s who of country music take one iconic stage for a two-hour live show that feels like a music festival, multiple nights a week. Eight or more artists – from Opry members like Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban to up-and-comers like BRELAND and Priscilla Block – come together in every show to celebrate the past, present and future of country music. Audiences go from being part of an intimate acoustic session to a stadium concert experience in minutes as the award-winning musicians in the Opry band play country classics and today’s radio hits all night long. The lineup is always changing, and the show is never the same twice.
Grand Ole Opry Tours
With a variety of backstage tours – including a Women of Country Tour and post-show tour options – guests can experience where country music stars and legends make history every week, live on the Opry. Expert guides welcome visitors from around the world behind the curtain of the show that made country music famous. Opry members Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood kick things off in an immersive theater experience, then fans of all kinds can hear insider stories, get backstage access and peek into the themed dressing rooms where artists prepare for their Grand Ole Opry performance. On most tours, you can even step onto the Opry stage and into the famous wooden circle, as thousands of legends and superstars have before.
When you plan your visit to Music City, don’t miss the Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry, two of Nashville's most beloved attractions.