Country Music Hall of Fame Closes, Dollywood Delays Opening Day Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Two major country music landmarks are keeping guests away amid growing concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19). The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville has shut its doors until the end of March, while, in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., Dollywood is delaying its 2020 opening day.
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's closing also means that, until March 31, Hatch Show Print, Historic RCA Studio B and the CMA Theater at the Hall of Fame are closed for the same time period. On Thursday (March 12), the Hall of Fame announced that it was staying open but suspending all programming and events, all of which are being rescheduled or canceled.
"While there have not been any confirmed cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) connected to the museum at this time, we must do all that we can to help ensure a safe and healthy environment for our visitors, employees and community," says Hall of Fame and Museum CEO Kyle Young, "which at this time calls for us to close temporarily."
Per a press release, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's staff will be looking to Nashville Metro Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization as they continue to make decisions related to the coronavirus pandemic.
A few hours east, meanwhile, Dollywood has delayed opening for the 2020 season from Saturday (March 14) until March 28. Dollywood's DreamMore Resort and Spa and Smoky Mountain Cabins will remain open, but Dolly Parton’s Stampede and Pirates Voyage are also closing beginning on Monday (March 16).
"We have been following the coronavirus crisis very closely," says Craig Ross, Dollywood's president. "Despite the delay in opening, we are committed to taking care of our hosts while the park remains closed."
Adds Parton, "We need to focus on good health and praying for those who are affected. We know brighter days are ahead." A full FAQ about Dollywood's plans is available at Dollywood.com.
There are more than 128,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus across the globe, including more than 4,700 deaths, as of Thursday evening. The number of cases within the United States has been increasing, with 1,663 cases and 40 deaths confirmed.
Following President Donald Trump's Wednesday (March 11) address to the nation, which included a decision to ban foreign nationals traveling to the United States from Europe beginning Friday (March 13), hundreds of tour dates were canceled or rescheduled by country artists in an effort to help control the spread of the disease. Live Nation and AEG are among the organizations that announced they would be recommending all large-scale events through the month of March be postponed.
Chris Stapleton, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney, Dan + Shay, Reba McEntire and Jason Aldean are just a few of the artists who have moved tour dates due to the pandemic. California's Stagecoach Festival and the 2020 C2C: Country to Country Festival have also been postponed.
Coronavirus Pandemic: What Country Music Events Are Postponed or Canceled (or Not)?