Louisville, KY – The 55th Annual National Quartet Convention is now in the history books. The week-long event officially concluded on Saturday, September 15, as production trucks were packed, exhibit booths disassembled, cars, vans and buses loaded and the Kentucky Fair & Expo Center silent once again. More than 75 hours of music, music and more music filled the week, as Southern Gospel Music fans from more than 40 states and at least a half dozen countries traveled to the city of Louisville, KY, for the 2012 Convention.
The National Quartet Convention, which first began in 1957 in Memphis, TN, offers fans of Southern Gospel Music the convenience of seeing and hearing their favorite groups at a single event, as well as meeting those favorites,Â purchasing their music, videos and much more at any one of the 500 exhibit booths which span throughout 175,000 square feet. Southern Gospel Music lovers enjoy their favorite music all day long, as music spectaculars begin each morning and continue until nearly midnight each evening, with performances by such popular and multi-award winning recording artists as The Gaither Vocal BandÂ Jason Crabb, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, The Booth Brothers, The Hoppers, The Isaacs, and Jeff & Sheri Easter.
Many special highlights and announcements filled the week; however, the biggest announcement came on Sunday evening when NQC Board member Gerald Wolfe announced to attendees of Sunday nightâ€™s concert that the NQC would move from its home of nearly two decades in Louisville to the city of Pigeon Forge, TN, in 2014. â€œThe Expo Center and Fair Board are just like family to us,â€ stated NQC Executive Director Clarke Beasley, who was unable to attend this yearâ€™s Convention, as he was recuperating from hip surgery in a Louisville area rehabilitation center. â€œUpon moving to Louisville in 1994, the NQCâ€™s evening concert attendance immediately doubled and its exposition nearly quadrupled. With many attendance records set in the years that followed, the NQCâ€™s partnership with Louisville has been a tremendous benefit to the NQC, and to Gospel music in general; however, current economic and demographic circumstances necessitate us to make this strategic move to Pigeon Forge, but we will always hold in high regard and great affection the time NQC has spent in Louisville.â€ Kentucky State Fair Board President and CEO Harold Workman said that he appreciated the opportunity to have a long-term relationship with the NQC. â€œI have spent many nights in Freedom Hall enjoying those great Gospel quartets, and they will certainly be missed. We wish Clarke, the exhibitors and attendees of NQC the best in Pigeon Forge, and we welcome them back to Freedom Hall anytime.â€
The NQC has one more year in Louisville, and no doubt, big plans are being made to help make the final year in Louisville one to remember. The 2013 event will take place at the Kentucky Fair & Expo Center the week of September 8-14, 2013. Visit www.nqconline.com, as a complete schedule of events will be posted in the coming weeks.