Louisville, KY – The 56th Annual National Quartet Convention is now in the history books. For seven consecutive days, Southern Gospel Music fans from more than 40 states and at least a half dozen countries experienced the city of Louisville, KY, one more time. The week-long event officially concluded on Saturday, September 14, as production trucks were packed, exhibit booths disassembled, cars, vans and buses loaded, and the Kentucky Fair & Expo Center silent once again, marking the end of an era – the end of the National Quartet Convention in Louisville.
Southern Gospel Musicâ€™s premier event first moved to Louisville from the city of Nashville in 1994. There were those who were not in favor of the move from Music City USA. Even Convention Board members admitted that the move was quite bold. Louisvilleâ€™s Freedom Hall held twice as many seats as the Muncipal Auditorim in Nashville, TN, which had been the NQC home for more than a decade. Fortunately, for the NQC Board, fans, artists and industry members, the move proved to be the right one, as the 1994 NQC set record attendance figures, with evening concert attendance more than doubling and the exhibit area nearly quadrupling. Since arriving in Louisville, the Convention has experienced unprecedented growth, with many special events taking place over the past two decades.
Many Convention attendees, including artists and fans have enjoyed all 20 years in Louisville. While bittersweet sentiments could be felt throughout the 2013 NQC, an air of excitement was also present. Memories of Louisville will forever remain in hearts; nevertheless, eager anticipation awaits for those who make preparations to converge upon the city that will soon be the NQCâ€™s new home. According to Clarke Beasley, NQC Executive Director, the final year in Louisville was a great success. â€œThis year many nights had greater attendance than last year, and our subscriber based webcast set an all-time record,” Beasley stated. “Fans attending enjoyed another wonderful year in Louisville, but there is obviously eager anticipation for next year in Pigeon Forge, as advances for next yearâ€™s seating and hotel reservations set advance sales records. So we are very excited as the NQC begins a new era.â€
The 2013 Convention provided many special memories during itâ€™s final year in Louisville. Many of Gospel musicâ€™s most popular recording artists were featured at this yearâ€™s event, including multi-award winning recording artists like The Gaither Vocal Band, The Gatlins, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Jason Crabb, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, The Isaacs, Gordon Mote, The Booth Brothers, The Kingdom Heirs, The Hoppers, Greater Vision and The Mark Trammel Quartet. Additionally, the event featured noted speakers such as Ken Davis, Dr David Jeremiah, Dr Johnny Hunt and Dennis Swanberg. As attendees reminisced about the past 20 years in Louisville, they look forward to making many new memories in Pigeon Forge. â€œI am really excited,â€ one long-time Convention attendee stated. â€œIâ€™ve been to Louisville every year, and I attended the Convention in Nashville before Louisville. In fact, I havenâ€™t missed a year since 1983, and I donâ€™t plan to miss being in Pigeon Forge in 2014. Wherever the music is, I plan to go!â€
The 2014 National Quartet Convention will take place at the Leconte Center in Pigeon Forge, TN, as Gospel Musicâ€™s premier annual event will take place the week of September 21-27, 2013. Visit www.nqconline.com, or call 1-800-845-8499 for complete information.