PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — The National Quartet Convention meets annually to celebrate gospel music in Pigeon Forge. While some things were similar, the event was overhauled this go around to comply with health guidelines.
Even the name is different, as this year the weeklong celebration is known as the NQC's Fall Festival. From nearly 9,500 seat reduction in capacity, to mask requirements and social distancing, the impacts that the pandemic has had on indoor concerts are evident. Even with the changes and restrictions, organizers say that the artists are thankful for the opportunity to perform.
"The artists are just thankful to have someplace to perform, because they have had a major portion of their livelihoods taken away," NQC Executive Vice President Clarke Beasley noted.
To festival fans and organizers, Pigeon Forge remains the ideal place for the gospel event.
"We really moved it to an area where you know, a lot of our industry is focused, but also we moved it here because people want to vacation in Pigeon Forge anyway," Beasley said.
A concert full of faith-filled gospel music started things on Sunday evening, and that's fitting for an event that persisted through months of uncertainty during the pandemic.
"We're supposed to walk by faith and not by sight. And, we're not supposed to abandon the assembling of ourselves, so we're here walking in that faith," said Beasley.
The event kicked off Sunday night and is scheduled to run through October 3. Tickets are limited, and for more information about this week's event, you can visit natqc.com.