The National Quartet Convention has posted their initial schedule for 2014. Keep in mind the schedule is subject to change. Artists are listed in alphabetical order, not performance order.
Evening Concerts at the LeConte Center
SUNDAY “Bonus Concert”: Booth Brothers, Greater Vision, Hoppers, Kingdom Heirs, Mark Trammell Quartet
MONDAY: Ball Brothers, Brian Free & Assurance, Dixie Melody Boys, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Gold City, Karen Peck & New River, Keepers of the Faith, Kingdom Heirs, LeFevre Quartet, Legacy Five, Mark Bishop, Mark Trammell Quartet, Michael Frost Trio, Paul’s Journey, Penny Loafers, Sheri LaFontaine, Talleys, Tribute, Wilburn & Wilburn
TUESDAY: Allen Boys, Blackwood Brothers, Booth Brothers, Browders, Collingsworth Family, Crist Family, Down East Boys, Greater Vision, Jason Crabb, Jeff & Sheri Easter, Marshall Hall, McKameys, Nelons, Perrys, Primitives, Skyline Boys, Sneed Family, Taylors, Triumphant
WEDNESDAY: Archie Watkins & Smokey Mt. Reunion, Driven, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Forgiven, Gold City, Guy Penrod, Hoppers, Kings Heralds, Kingsmen, Legacy Five, Lesters, Mark Trammell Quartet, Mylon Hayes Family, Old Paths, Perrys, Rick Webb Family, Roarkes (sic), Tribute, Whisnants
THURSDAY: Booth Bothers, Bowlings, Brian Free & Assurance, Collingsworth Family, Dixie Echoes, Dixie Melody Boys, Freedom, Gospel Harmony Boys, Greater Vision, High Road III, Hoppers, Hyssongs, Isaacs, Karen Peck & New River, Kingdom Heirs, Masters Voice, Shaffers, Squire Parsons, Talleys, Taylors
FRIDAY: 11th Hour, Booth Brothers, Canton Junction, Childress Family, Diplomats, Dixie Echoes, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Erwins, First Love, Isaacs, Jason Crabb, Jay Stone Singers, Jeff & Sheri Easter, Kingsmen, Legacy Five, Littles, Mark Trammell Quartet, Mckameys, Talleys, Triumphant, Whisnants
SATURDAY: Collingsworth Family, Gold City, Greater Vision, Hoppers, Keepers of the Faith, Kingdom Heirs, Lore Family, Mattingly Family, Old Paths, Perrys, Porter Family, Primitives, Providence Quartet, Renaissance Quartet, Sneed Family, Soul’d Out, LeFevre Quartet, Tribute, Triumphant, Whisnants
Daytime showcases will be held in two locations. The LeConte Center showcases are ticketed. The Music Road Convention Center showcases are free. Several of the ticketed events have been determined, but it looks like two or three slots are still open. For the free events, only the Chapel service artists have been determined at this point.
LeConte Center Showcases
WEDNESDAY: Dennis Swanberg; Bluegrass Pickin’ Jamboree
THURSDAY: Guy Penrod; Jason Crabb; Red Back Hymnal Sing-Along w/Ben Speer & Gerald Wolfe
FRIDAY: Dr. David Jeremiah; NQC Music Awards
SATURDAY: Cathedrals Family Reunion
Music Road Convention Center Showcases
CHAPEL: Greater Vision (Tuesday), Mark Trammell Quartet (Wednesday), Booth Brothers (Thursday), Hoppers (Friday), Kingdom Heirs (Saturday)
Other free events to be held at Music Road Convention Center include Bible Study (Tuesday-Saturday), Regional Artists (Monday-Saturday) and Featured Artists (Monday & Tuesday)
Compared to 2013, the total number of stages for daytime showcases has been reduced from three to two. For example, on Wednesday in 2013 at 11:30 AM, your choices were a ticketed songwriter showcase, a ticketed bluegrass showcase and a free showcase. In 2014, you will choose between the ticketed bluegrass showcase and the free showcase.
Based on the lineup posted at this point, the evening concerts will include 19-21 artists. This is a few more artists per night compared to 2013. I’m curious to see if they will opt to run the shows longer in the evenings, reduce the allotted time per artist, or do fewer “extra” moments. By extra moments, I mean stuff like featuring the daytime showcase winners, featuring a scrap-iron quartet or showing a video.
Most of the main stage groups have appeared on the main stage in the past, but several have stepped up from one of the smaller showcases to the main stage. To a certain extent, this goes back to the logistics of having only two showcase options rather than three. Some groups that appeared on a Featured Artists showcase in the past are now on the main stage.
The evening concerts will still start at 5:30 PM with doors opening at 4:00 PM. Roaming the Exhibit Hall will be a chore in that hour and a half if everyone decides to show up at 4:00 PM like they did in Louisville.
Most of the artists from last year are returning, but no Gaither showcases or appearances by the Gaither Vocal Band are listed at this point. For some fans, that is going to be a make or break factor when it comes to deciding if it’s worth going to the daytime events at NQC, or taking in some other Pigeon Forge attraction that is open in the afternoon instead.
There’s no All-Quartet night this year. On the positive side, though, there’s a good solid dose of quartets every night.
What are your thoughts on the initial NQC schedule for 2014?