Ryman Auditorium reopens to self-guided tours only

Posted at 5:10 PM, Jun 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-26 22:17:45-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The historic Ryman Auditorium reopened its doors on Friday to dozens of people after more than three months closed.

About 30 people were already waiting in line before the music venue officially opened at 10 a.m. Only self-guided tours are currently allowed for now. While concerts will have to wait, guests and staff were ecstatic to walk through the Music City institution again.

"It's really a feeling of excitement and rejuvenation. Its been the longest period of time of inactivity in the Ryman since probably 1892," Ryman Auditorium general manager Gary Levy told NewsChannel 5.

Levy said the venue partnered with Vanderbilt Health and prepared about two weeks for the reopening.

It will operate at limited capacity due to the pandemic. Staff must wear a mask and employees will have their temperatures checked before each shift.

In addition to that, guests visiting either attraction can expect to be required to wear a face mask and answer health screening questions before the tour. Hand sanitizer stations are placed throughout the building and cleaning procedures have been enhanced.

"To me, it’s probably safer than going into a grocery store at this point. We’re cleaning everything before we begin after we end, and then two to three times an hour we’re going through and cleaning everything," Levy said.

The Grand Ole Opry House also reopened its doors on Friday. Visitors were excited to learn the history and felt comfortable and safe.

"I think they're doing a great job," Chris Semans of Florida said. "Here you have a real sense it’s safe. It’s fun to come and I like the fact that it’s not crowded."

Backstage tours of the Ryman will not be offered during Phase 3 of Metro’s reopening process.