The National Quartet Convention has added a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page to their website for anyone planning to attend when the event moves to Pigeon Forge, TN in 2014. Click HERE to read it.
As most of you who follow this blog realize by now, the new main venue will be much smaller than the one currently used in Louisville. The FAQ makes it clear that a second venue “across the street” from the new LeConte Center will also be used for exhibits and showcases.
The main LeConte facility will hold 11500 people according to the building specs or 12000 people according to the NQC FAQ. Exhibit booths will be set up in smaller rooms and in the main concourse area. The supplemental venue is the Grand Resort/Convention Center. It includes a 35,000 square foot room, a 15,000 square foot ballroom plus smaller meeting rooms. Those two big rooms should be adequate for the type of showcases that NQC has held in the East Wing and the South Wing at Louisville. Of course, the major afternoon showcases will be held at the new LeConte Center in the same space as the evening concerts.
If you click HERE, you will see a satellite view showing the construction site for the new LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge. The Grand Convention Center is the building with the green roof located to the lower right (southeast) of the construction site within fairly close walking distance. According to the FAQ, there will be shuttles, and of course you can always walk. To put it in perspective, the two buildings are much closer together than it would be to walk from Freedom Hall to the Crowne Plaza in Louisville…and I’ve observed quite a few people do that over the years. To compare the Pigeon Forge site to Louisville’s facility at the same scale, click HERE.
The FAQ also verifies that all of the seating will be on a flat floor. This is good for senior citizens who have difficulty on elevated seating, but it’s terrible if your seat happens to be near the back. The good news for permanent seat holders is that you will be able to get comparable seating in Pigeon Forge as long as you pay your bill by February 2014.
Now that NQC has made it clear that they will be using two venues rather than just the LeConte Center, I have fewer concerns about the move than I had initially. I’m obviously concerned that any bad weather will be a factor if I want to move back and forth between the LeConte Center and the Grand Center. Also, keep in mind that the layout of booths is going to resemble a maze in Pigeon Forge and may be spread over both venues. I currently have great seats in Louisville for Mon-Wed that I plan to renew for 2013 and again in 2014, so I’m not nearly as concerned about seating as some of you who don’t already have close seats should be. Assuming I get truly comparable seats in Pigeon Forge (center of the fifth row from the stage), I should be fine.