National Quartet Convention will bid farewell to Louisville


by Michelle Arnold

Posted on September 11, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 11 at 5:41 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)-- The largest annual gospel music festival in America will attract nearly 40,000 people and millions of dollars to Louisville this week.

“The National Quartet Convention brings in approximately 8 million dollars to Louisville's hospitality economy,” said Jim Wood, President of the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

This weekend will be the last time the Kentucky Expo Center will host the NQC.  After 20 years, the convention will be moving to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Attendees need a smaller space to meet.

“It's an aging population that attends the NQC. They would like a flat floor; they've been meeting in Freedom Hall over the years,” Wood said. 

The Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau says while the NQC ranks in their top ten as far as profitability, they're confident the economy won't suffer. Plus September is a busy month for conventions.

“We are going to miss them, but we will also be able to replace their convention with other businesses that have an interest in coming to Louisville over their dates,” Wood said.

Louisville may not be concerned, but the fans are.

“It almost looks like 100 seniors against one younger person,” singer Dave Crandle said.

Though the audience is shrinking, gospel music fans hope this isn’t the last time the NQC holds a stage this grand.

“There are a lot of younger people that are doing this style of music now. Hopefully, we are going to be able to carry it on for generations to come,” singer John Harness said.