For country music lovers, a visit to Nashville just does not feel complete without watching a show at the legendary Grand Ole Opry. Several times a week, up to 4,000 people listen to the artist live on stage, the show is broadcasted by radio. During my Pittsburgh Penguins Tour in March 2022, I visited a Friday evening show at this place. I upgraded my experience and had a look into the Circle Room, the hospitality arrangement of the Opry. This posting takes a look to that exclusive experience.
Grand Ole Opry (The Circle Room) – Location & Admission
The Grand Ole Opry itself is located in the Opryland area Northeast of Nashville city center. You likely go there by car / taxi. The adjacent Opry Mills mall does offer quite a lot of parking spaces, but at Opry show times, the Northern part of their spaces, next to the legendary music venue, may be quite full, so that you have to go for Opry paid parking. The Circle Room has a separate entrance from outside, as you see in the picture above. You can also easily access it from inside the venue, Circle Room visitors receive a wristband to enter.
I paid 100 USD for the upgrade of my Grand Ole Opry ticket to receive Circle Room admission. The Circle Rooms opens some one hour before the show. You are allowed to enter and use all services until the end of the intermission.
Grand Ole Opry (The Circle Room) – The Room
The Circle Room has a bar-style atmosphere. According to sources I found, it has a capacity of 100 people. I really liked the cozy design, even though it was a bit of unfortunate for taking some snaps of the room. The walls are really interesting as well and feature some Opry exhibits. The room is also part of the Opry Tours (not post-show ones) and introduces visitors to the history of the place.
Grand Ole Opry (The Circle Room) – Services Included
Apart from the nice feeling of not having to wait in the crowds, the Circle Room offers two key amenities: first of all, there are free drinks and food. The bar is actually really good, also serving a nice range of alcoholic drinks. The staff there was very friendly. The food buffet had rather simple food like lasagna, finger food, some fruit etc., but was actually also a really nice selection. However, before the show and especially during the intermission, there were quite some issues to refill the buffet. The queue at the bar at intermission was really long, so that more experienced Circle Room users left the audience before the intermission.
A really nice feature of your Circle Room visit is that one of the artists is coming to an exclusive Q&A session before the show. This takes some 20 minutes. In my case, it was the very first artist of the evening, Mark Wills. I absolutely loved it – mainly because this gave the view of an artist, what the Opry means to them. Mark was absolutely open-minded and answered quite a lot of questions. Really loved that.
The Circle Room does not feature bathrooms. You have to use the general public bathrooms.
Grand Ole Opry (The Circle Room) – My View
I feel that starting a Grand Ole Opry visit with The Circle Room is really a lovely thing. The value for money is quite nice, mainly due to the excellent bar service and the great Q&A session. The staff is very friendly and attentive. On the negative side, the re-stocking of the buffet could be more efficient and dedicated sanitary facilities might be a nice thing. Nonetheless, I would go for that experience again.
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