The Circle Room Photo courtesy BRC | Grand Ole Opry; photo by Matt Blair
The Grand Ole Opry today unveiled its new daytime backstage tour, including a new immersive film in a custom-built theater, The Circle Room. Hosted by Opry members Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, the film experience takes fans on an emotional, heartfelt journey through the eyes of the artists who play the world-famous stage and features priceless archival footage of over 100 artists, country’s most iconic songs, and concert-like special effects.
Throughout the film, Brooks and Yearwood stand in the Opry’s famous circle which moved with the Opry from the historic Ryman Auditorium to the Opry House more than 40 years ago and reflect on their first memories of the Opry, their Opry debuts, member invitations and inductions, and lives as members of the Opry family. Additionally, they share some of the Opry’s most powerful moments and lead a chorus of dozens of past and present Opry artists—Roy Acuff, Trace Adkins, Patsy Cline, Vince Gill, Dolly Parton, Minnie Pearl, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban among them—in the Opry’s anthemic “Will The Circle Be Unbroken.” “For nearly 100 years, the Grand Ole Opry has offered fans a unique way to discover and connect with country music’s new stars, superstars and legends,” said Colin Reed, chairman and chief executive officer for Ryman Hospitality Properties. “ As visitation to Nashville and the Opry has continued to rise in recent years, we have seen unprecedented demand from guests for more ways to connect with artists through the Opry and its amazing story. This magnificent film is designed to immerse fans in the Opry experience from an artist-centered point of view to give them a glimpse into why playing the Opry has been described by so many as the pinnacle of their careers.”NBC’s TODAY SHOW sat down with Brooks and Yearwood in The Circle Room to watch the film and talk about the significance of the Opry. Click HERE to watch the exclusive interview and peek at the Opry’s new immersive film. Click HERE to see the extended interview with Brooks and Yearwood on TODAY.com about their first performances on the Grand Ole Opry, its historical significance in country music, and Yearwood’s upcoming solo tour.
The Circle Room is the capstone of a $12 million Opry House expansion and renovation project aimed at enhancing the Opry guest experience. In addition to the new VIP room and film, the renovation also included a new retail store, enhanced food and beverage options, a new parking area, and additional Plaza upgrades, which were completed in late 2018.
The new film leads off the Opry’s new backstage tour, which continues into the newly renovated Opry House lobby featuring a new, custom lighting element made with Gibson guitars and a video presentation showcasing what happens backstage in the moments before the Opry’s red curtain goes up on the iconic show.
Backstage, guests learn more about the Opry’s story from Opry member Brad Paisley in historic Studio A, visit the Opry’s themed dressing rooms, and more before ending with the greatest thrill in country music: a chance to stand in the sacred circle on the Opry stage.
By night, the new Circle Room becomes a VIP upgrade area for Opry show guests, featuring food and beverage as well as a visit from an artist on the evening’s show.
The new Opry Circle Room and Lobby experiences were conceived, designed, and produced by the award-winning experience design and production agency BRC Imagination Arts, who have worked with acclaimed destinations including Ryman Auditorium, Jameson Distillery Bow St., the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Museum of Liverpool, The Henry Ford, Guinness Storehouse, and more.
More About The Circle Room’s Immersive Film and Technology
Audio: The Circle Room is equipped with a custom 23.1 surround sound audio system with hidden speakers in the ceiling, walls and set pieces that allow the audio engineers and designers to place sound anywhere in the show space.Media: The Circle Room is approximately 1,500 square feet with multiple projectors covering a unique silvered string material that allows for one-of-a-kind stunning imagery. These immersive projection surfaces have the added benefit of becoming transparent on demand to reveal sets and concert lighting effects. Lighting: Similar to a live concert, The Circle Room houses a theatrical LED lighting system that allows for precise control of millions of colors. As one of the most dynamic moving light packages in the Nashville, this robust system can harmoniously display any color or accent at any given time in the show. This technology allows The Circle Room to seamlessly transform from an emotional daytime show into a beautiful lounge space in seconds.Accessibility: To ensure that guests with disabilities can enjoy the experience, the Circle Room and the new lobby show utilize a new-to-market handheld closed-captioning system. This system allows any guest to carry an Opry-provided tablet which displays descriptive closed captioning and lyrics. This new technology, previously only seen at major theme parks, keeps in sync with the experience no matter what area of the room the guests are in and ensures everyone has the same immersive experience.Show Control: The Circle Room is run by a unique control system that allows the space to be operated by only one host. After multiple years of development, this system controls and syncs every piece of equipment while also informing the maintenance staff of any issues well before they impact the show for guests. Room Flexibility and Transformation: By day, The Circle Room experience serves as the lead-off to Opry tours. At night, the Circle Room transforms into a VIP lounge or even a small, live performance space. With just a push of a button the lighting changes, the drapes open and leaded crystal chandeliers magically lower from the ceiling, giving the lounge an intimate and exclusive feel. These magical touches, mixed with a variety of plush seating, provide each guest with a comfortable place to relax before the show (and maybe even be part of a visit from an Opry star!).About the Grand Ole Opry: The Grand Ole Opry® is presented by Humana®. Opry performances are held every Friday and Saturday of the year, with Tuesday night shows running through December, Wednesday night shows through October, and Opry Country Classics shows on Thursdays this fall. To plan an Opry visit, call (800) SEE-OPRY or visit opry.com. The Opry presents the best in country music live every week from Nashville, Tenn. Celebrating nine decades of entertainment, the Opry can be heard at opry.com and wsmonline.com, Opry and WSM mobile apps, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and its flagship home, 650 AM-WSM. The Grand Ole Opry is owned by Ryman Hospitality Properties (NYSE: RHP). For more information, visit opry.com.About BRC: BRC Imagination Arts is a global experience design and production agency that creates transformative experiences that build lasting relationships between visitors and the organization, institution or brand. For more than three decades, BRC’s masterful storytellers have helped notable cultural, museum, and brand experiences all over the world tell their stories in ways that engage and inspire audiences. BRC Imagination Arts has worked with some of the most respected and acclaimed destinations in the world including the Ryman Auditorium, Jameson Distillery Bow St., the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Museum of Liverpool, The Henry Ford, Guinness Storehouse, and more.
The Grand Ole Opry premieres new immersive film for industry guests in the state of the art custom-built Circle Room as part of the new backstage tour experience. The film was followed by a panel Q&A discussion about the creation of the 14-minute film (L to R: Scott Bailey, Opry Entertainment President; Bill Cody, Opry announcer and 650 WSM AM host; Barbara Schaetz, Vice President Business Operations for Grand Ole Opry House; Colin Reed, Chairman and CEO for Ryman Hospitality Properties; Opry member Mark Wills; Brad Shelton, BRC Imagination Arts Creative Director)
© Grand Ole Opry, Photo By: Chris Hollo