NQC to move to Indianapolis?

There’s word the National Quartet Convention is considering a move to Indianapolis, Indiana, effective next year. (EDIT: 8/5/2011: Broken link removed) Apparently a move to October next year (and November the following year) is also under consideration.

Would such a move affect your plans to attend?

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78 Letters to the Editor

Southern Gospel Journal welcomes letters to the editor. We will post the most thoughtful and insightful submissions. Ground rules: Don't attack or belittle groups or fellow posters, or advance heresies rejected by orthodox Christianity. Do keep comments positive, constructive, and on topic.
  1. Yes. Indy is just a little bit too much of a trek to make. If anything, they should move it to Nashville.

  2. Indy might be pushing it, but if the people really want to be there, they’ll be there. The time frame is what bothers me a little more. To schedule it in October 2010 could be BAD, simply because October is a HUGE month for gospel concerts. Dollywood has their concerts, The Inspirations have their Fall Singing In the Smokies with very large crowds, Dixie Echoes have Fall Suwannee River Jubilee, The Primitives have Hominy Valley, SGMA Day at Dollywood, Fall Fairs host southern gospel music to packed audiences, the promoters across the nation host their fall concerts in October. October is a very big month for southern gospel concerts all across the south. Many of these concerts are planned well over a year in advance. October 2011 perhaps would make better sense. I know NQC is the granddaddy of em all, but to move the date so soon stands a strong chance of making a lot of promoters and singers REALLY angry. And you can’t honestly blame em either. Something like that could give NQC a bad 2010. If there is good reason to move NQC to Indy, then fine, but it seems to me that they might be wise to wait another year before they move it back a month.

  3. Would there be a Gaither connection to this change?

    • Could be—who knows. But having Gaither on the board would be a huge boost for the convention, if they could pull it off!

  4. For convenience purposes, I love having it in Louisville because I live in Kentucky and it’s less than two hours away from me. However, Indianapolis isn’t too far, I guess. Either way, it would not stop me from going.

    I, too, wonder if something with Gaither Music is behind the potential change. Hmm…

  5. I agree with Swain. A move to Nashville would be great. Besides….I just moved to Nashville from Indiana! I’ve never been to NQC, but I’d like to go….even if it means driving to Indy (which is an awesome city, btw).

  6. Location doesn’t bother me but the changing the dates could be troublesome.
    October is one of the biggest month of the year for special events, fall festivals, homecomings and the start of the hometown Christmas shopping season. It is the height of the football season.
    The discussion raises another question:
    Would a date or location date for the NQC means taking another look at the NQC’s webcast package?

  7. I live in Indy so I would LOVE it if they came here. The arena and convention facilities are great and the downtown is very walkable with tons of restaurants and things to do. There’s also a big mall downtown.

  8. I always wondered what if cities or expo centers or whatever bid on having NQC at their location each year.

  9. I compare Indy to Louisville every time I go to NQC. There is no comparison. With a downtown mall, several hotels, wonderful restaurants, and the convention facilities all within walking distance (inside!) what Indy has puts Louisville to shame. Plus, there are several museums nearby for those times when nothing is going on at NQC you care about. I know for southerners it’s a little farther, but make the extra 100 mile drive one time and you would never want to return to Lousivlle, at least not for NQC. You wouldn’t have to have concerts in acoustically horrible gymnasiums either.

  10. The survery Clark sent out said they were having complaints about how hard it is for older people to get in the upper seats at Louisville’s Freedom Hall. There is a new, downtown Louisville Arena under construction and it would be available by 2011, and they could keep NQC in September with this new arena.

    • Talking about this.

  11. A 4 hr. drive versus 1 1/2 drive to Ky. For that reason I say leave it at Louisville, but, it doesn’t matter to me one way or the other. HOwever, I don’t understand why they would need Gaither on board…other than $$$$$$$.

  12. I just really don’t see why they’d move it later when people want it earlier?? 😕

  13. I don’t really care if they move it to Indianapolis if they have a better facility there.

    That said I am OPPOSED to changing the dates to later in the year.

  14. Ahhh. . . Indianapolis, the most user friendly convention city in america! Too much Country Music fray in Nashville, Louisville never made sense. Indy is beautiful, downtown has great eating and shops. Tons of fine hotels too! Imagine being able to eat real food as opposed to the poison of the NQC food court!

    Not only that, it is the crossroads of America, so it is an easy travel for everyone.

    Change the venue to a wonderful new world . . . Indianapolis, Indeed!

  15. Well, it’s about the same for me–only 15 miles difference, per MapQuest.

    I was under the impression the event would still be in Louisville for 2010, unless something changed drastically. I was also under the impression that TicketMaster was going to take over sales at the KY Expo Center, which would add considerable fees to the ticket prices.

    I, too, am worried about the October annuals. Another four-day event is Meramce Caverns that the Lesters host annually.

    While we’re discussing it, what about a change of time on the Saturday evening concert? If they had a 1 p.m. event that ran until, say 6 p.m., with the awards show being the last thing they do and then it be over by 6 p.m., it may keep some groups there because it would still allow them plenty of time to tear down their booths and be gone by 8 or 9 p.m. and still get to a Sunday date and have some time to rest. Also, those people within 3-4 hours driving time of the NQC could go ahead and drive home, saving them a night’s motel. Any thoughts on this?

    • That is a good idea of maybe starting the Saturday night concerts earlier so that maybe many of the artist would stay longer. Good thought.

  16. I’ve never been to Indianapolis so I can’t comment about the amenities & non-NQC activities, but it would be a longer drive from Tennessee for me. That probably wouldn’t be TOO big of an issue.

    Changing the date is MUCH more of an issue to me. My kids have a week off school in October for Fall Break and we always schedule a family trip somewhere. If the weeks coincide, I will choose the family trip every time. If they are consecutive, there would probably still be a conflict because we generally travel on the weekends meaning I would have to cut either NQC or the family trip short. Again, the family trip wins.

    i’m an NQC Thurs-Sat season ticket holder. I wonder if contacting the NQC office to express my concerns would be of any value?

  17. For those of us who live in Pennsylvania, we can get wintry weather–snow, ice, etc. occasionally in October and definitely November. That being said, I definitely am opposed to moving the dates to October or November. It would hinder a lot of us from traveling if bad weather occurred. I don’t mind if we went to Indianapolis.

  18. The NQC will NOT be moving or changing dates in 2010. The 2010 NQC is set for September 12-18, 2010 in Louisville, KY at the Kentucky Fair & Expo Center.

    This change will not go in affect (if they do change at all) until 2011 and 2012.

    • Where did you get your information from? Why is it different then Daniel Mounts?

      • NQC already has the dates posted on their website.

      • Thanks LaShay – the NQC website is indeed where I got my information from.

  19. My thoughts: nqc should move to Nashville. Their is a new convention center being built downtown. Also if they change the dates of nqc, to me it makes more sense to have it in the summer time. This way we could hopefully see a more youthful audience since school would not be an issue. So in a nut shell: Nashville in July!

  20. I’m all for the NQC finding the best place to have their singing. I wouldn’t mind it being a little later maybe in late September or the first part of Octobe–but no later than that. The main thing is that they choose somewhere that would be comfortable for the artists’ voices. Some of them shine every other concert but NQC. A lot of it has to do with the fact that it is a big arena style place. But why not make it a little more helpful on the artists’ part too?

  21. Since I come from the West, mileage wise it would be closer for me if I drive. I am sure that it would be just as easy, if not easier to get flights into Indianapolis if I decide to fly. I am a little concerned about changing the the time of year, anything later than September is bad, as right now we are in October and where I live there is 18 inches of snow on the ground and it is still snowing, we are to get an additional 6 inches today. A lot of the flights have been cancelled, the interstate has been closed in some areas. So therefore I do not like to make plans to leave home, when there is a chance that I could get snowed in either at an airport, or somewhere along the interstate. I always felt that September was a good time of year to have the convention.
    On the other hand, I feel they need to find a facility that is better equipped to handle the older people, which is what the majority of the attendees are. The fact that there is no handrail on those steps in Freedom Hall is a nightmare. I am surprised that more people have not complained about that. I have mild arthritis and I sometimes struggle to get up those steps, and I see people that are in worse shape than I am, really have a hard time. I feel that is a dangerous situation, if some one should slip and fall, there is nothing to grab onto.
    But I am sure if Bill Gaither is getting involved, it will be moved to Indianapolis, that is fine as long as the facility is more user friendly for older folks. I just don’t think that they should change the time of year.

  22. I’m curious as to where the person on those message boards got his/her information from.

  23. I’m delighted this is being discussed, because the NQC Board desires to know the opinions of our customers and attendees regarding this potential relocation. The main reason we are considering this alternative is the Freedom Hall Balcony. A more accessible and mobility friendly concert venue is something we know our customers desire. The Indy Convention Center would offer this with 10,000 seats being accessible without going up or down any steps. An additional 6,000+ seats would be located on easy to climb risers with handrails and lighted steps.

    The experience in downtown Indy would be enjoyable. There will enough rooms connected to the Convention Center by climate controlled skywalks to accommodate all NQC attendees and participants. Also attached to these hotels is a large mall, and there are over 200 restaurants within easy walking distance.

    The decision has by no means been made. I want to stress that Louisville has been an excellent destination for the NQC over the past 15 years and will continue to be in the future if the NQC board decides to stay. We are just trying to decide on the best option going forward. Indianapolis is only 100 miles north of Louisville, so the location makes sense. The dates are different, but they are the only dates that are available. Remember, the NQC had a long history of mid to late October dates before moving to Louisville. My memories of NQC growing up were of frosty mornings in Nashville, wearing coats and jackets throughout the day, and seeing your breath walking to the Municipal Auditorium.

    Again, I appreciate the discussion, and I hope it continues. I will definitely be monitoring the comments.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by!

      And thanks for being so open about the process, too! I think a far better decision will be reached with the fans’ input.

    • Thanks for the clarity Clarke! I’ve been to the Indy convention center and it is VERY nice. The mall that is connected to it is huge – giving many more eating options for folks – artists and fans a like! I’m in favor of the move!

  24. #20 – do you mean regards to the possible move? The NQC Board has sent out a survey regarding it. It’s a legitmate consideration.

  25. Yes. I meant in regards to the move.

    Just because the NQC board is surveying doesn’t mean it’s going to happen… and from everything I’ve read thus far… it’s gotten people in a tizzy already.

    I say bring NQC to New Orleans… that way I don’t have to get a hotel! 🙂

  26. I wish they’d move it to Benton, Arkansas. lol

  27. Would love the convention to be in Indy. Downtown Indy has so much to offer and is so easy to get around in.

  28. Think about the possible poor weather conditions in October and November.

  29. Lots of talk and speculation about Mr. Bill Gaither getting more involved in the NQC.

    What do you all feel would be the advantages/disadvantages to that?

    • Advantages:

      (1) More publicity, which means
      (2) More people in the seats

      And hopefully:

      (3) Better live sound! 🙂

      Other groups sing a little less, maybe? So long as it’s kept within reason, though, I think the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. 🙂

      • I think so also, but it is somewhat strange to thing about. I mean, NQC has been without Gaither involvement for so long, it’s hard to imagine it. There has always been somewhat of an odd separation between Gaither Homecoming artists and the rest of the SG artists. It’s always disheartened me a bit, because I know people that thing if you’re not a Gaither artist you’re not popular or “A” list. I’ve even heard people say if you’re not Gaither you’re not SG. It’s pretty crazy.

      • NQC has had Gaither back the last two years.

        As to those last two things – People say all sorts of things, but I’m fairly confident Gaither himself wouldn’t say either. And we can’t blame him for what people think about him! 🙂

  30. How about Charlotte, North Carolina?


  31. Hmm … from the way some of y’all are talking, they’d better just hold it in a studio and stick to the webcast! 😀

  32. In all honesty, the location of Indianapolis is so close to Louisville, it will not affect my decision to go or not.

    What will affect it is the motel prices. Louisville is pricing itself out of my league. Rooms well over $100 per night is ridiculous. This is a convention. You would think there would be better rates for as many rooms as we require for this event. Shouldn’t rooms be cheaper since this event draws so many people? Whatever happened to volume discounts? The room prices have to drop.

    And then I got my notice for my permanent reserve seats today and the handling charge for my tickets is $10. That seems really high, too.

    So, I would say cost is going to be more of my deciding factor than location or time of year.

  33. We live in Minnesota. Started coming in 1988 and haven’t missed a year. We drove to Nashville, then to Louisville. Indy would be closer for us. I don’t think there is much draw from the Louisville community any more so a move would make sense and probably increase the local participation. I think a change would be good. My gut reaction, however is that the NQC is using the Indy rumor to get a better deal in Louisville. They should as it is getting too pricey. Motels close to Freedom Hall are way “over the top” price wise. We stay in Indiana and save $40.00 a night by driving 15 miles.

  34. I would be in favor of moving it because, for one, it would be a bit closer for me. Plus, having been to both areas, I like Indiana much better. However, I’ve yet to be in Nashville…hmm. 🙂

  35. Well, making a move to anywhere will mean losing some fans and gaining some others.

    I dread having to drive in an unfamiliar city. I am a creature of habit, I guess, and I am relatively young compared to a lot of concert-goers. It makes me wonder how many of our senior southern gospel fans would take that into consideration when deciding whether or not to go to a differert town. I love that this move is being considered because of the needs of the older population, but a longer drive to an unfamiliar city may not be the best way to serve them. Just a thought.

    I still like the idea of one big blow-out afternoon on Saturday and being done by 6 p.m.

    • “I still like the idea of one big blow-out afternoon on Saturday and being done by 6 p.m.”

      I love that idea, too!

  36. My only reservation is that NQC does NOT become another Gaither production. I love GVB, but we can see Homecoming tours several times each year and watch it on tv every week. There is only ONE NQC and I would love to see it continue as such.

    Clarke, please, please keep it as NQC and I will attend – wherever it is held! The idea of changing location is quite exciting though (so long as the hotels are comparably priced).

    Thanks for the heads-up, Daniel!

    • I agree. The last thing I want NQC to become is a Gaither-C.

  37. We live in central Texas and have been attending the NQC for the past 5 years, so naturally, we know nothing else but Louisville. NQC is always the highlight of our year, so I guess if it were held in Alaska, we’d find a way to get there! Having been to Indianapolis, we are not opposed to a change in location from Louisville. We love the whole concept of NQC and go there to be spiritually renewed, and spend time with friends we have made at NQC. A plus certainly would be a better arena and better sound. This past NQC, the sound was not the best at times and we noticed it more than ever before. Food is bad, so Cracker Barrel gets our business. Better rates on hotels would be great. Staying 30 minutes away to get a good price is very inconvenient. We’ll be praying for the board to make the right decision, and then, we know that it will all work out if they are being led by the Lord.

    • We are so thank-ful that we got to meet you at the NQC five years ago.

  38. From everything Mr. Beasley mentioned about Indy, it seems to me to be a no brainer. I would be in favor of a move to Indy.

  39. I have to say that I think Louisville has run its course. It’s time for a new destination. I think Indianapolis would be a great locale but I think a move back in the calendar is the wrong direction. As many have mentioned, October is a huge month for many SG events. It’s also the heart of college football season and like it or not, that will play an impact.

    The convention needs to be moved up into late July/early August so those with families can attend. I would have been the last three years if it were not schedule in the middle of the school year.

    I really wish the NQC would consider that date change.

    • I too agree that the convention should be moved up earlier as to allow more families to attend. We need to get more young people to attend the NQC. This way to you wouldn’t be running into college football and pro football games during the October and November months. If it were to be in Indianapolis then what happens to all of the people that travel by bus or trailer? Where would they park them downtown?
      The sound the last couple of years has not been the best in Louisville and I feel sorry for all of the seniors that can’t get around climbing up the steps to get to their seats. Please consider this as the majority of ticket sales comes from seniors. They are really supporting the Artist. Indianapolis would be a wonderful change.
      The most important reason that we attend the NQC is that it really gives us a spiritual uplifting with all of the beautiful songs that we hear. We are so blessed to have so many talanted God fearing artist who have given their lives to enrich the ministry and promote God’s work. It is so very needed now more then ever.
      Thank you for NQC. We pray that the board of directors will make the right discision.

    • I understand you point about moving to the summer to allow families to attend. However, NQC would almost have to be in late June or July to meet that goal.

      My kid’s started classes here in TN on Aug 12 this year. My niece and nephews in GA started on Aug 3. Of course, they will get out before Mother’s Day. My kids finish before Memorial Day. Schools up north, on the other hand, don’t start until after Labor Day and finish in mid-June. That leaves about a 6-week window of from mid-June through July to match eveyone’s summer break. That is, everyone except those with kids in year-round schools…

  40. Why not have several cities in a set rotation?

    • I do not think I would enjoy that very much. I enjoy the stability of knowing what location it is going to be at every year.

  41. Indy isn’t convenient for me. If it moves there, I’ll probably skip it.

  42. i like yoland’s comment, that way you could bring it to seattle wa, or portland, or.

  43. I would love to see the NQC in Indianapolis.I have never been to a NQC but I would be there for sure every year. Indy is a great city with a lot of things to do.They have a great zoo,a great childrens museum ,a ton of wonderful resturants,motels very close,shopping center you can walk too and a great convention center that is second to none.Maybe yo can be there for a Colts game too.As far a Bill Gaither being involved ,I believe this would be a real plus( if he would consider it),for the NQC. B.G. has done more for southern gospel to keep it alive and to bring back some of the retired singers that thought their careers were over.Remember Jake Hess? The Happy Goodmans to name a couple.I am sure that B.G.s love for southern gospel would be sufficient to keep the NQC as it has always been ,and that is for all S.Gospel groups.Young and old.It would be a great move for the SQC to relocate in Indianapolis.The dates should be set by the people that attend faithfully.

  44. I have attended the NQC for many years. I love it being held in Louisville. I am not in favor of it moving to Indy. I was in Indy for another event in August. The hotel prices were very high plus you have to pay parking fees that were quite high. Also, I was not impressed with the downtown restaurants. Those prices were also high. I would say move the NQC to Pittsburgh then I won’t have to pay for hotels. That would save me a lot of money. Good luck with making a change.

  45. For us Northern folks the change would be great! I grew up in Indy and believe me, the amenities are first class, much, much better than Louisville!

    If we Yankees can make the trek to Louisville each year for the past ???? years, then I don’t see why those living in the south could not come north for awhile!

    November, however, is a horrible idea all round…

  46. People will always resist change at first. But, Indy is cool with me. I’ll be there. 🙂

  47. Indy is a great convention city. Lots of hotels and restaurants within walking distance from the convention center. And it’s only 2 hours (or less) from Freedom Hall, so it’s not going to be a lot further for us Southerners.

    However, I’ve been to conventions in Indy in November, and it has been known to snow. Not my idea of spending a week’s vacation, trudging through the snow to find food.

  48. If for some reason my tour group doesn’t or can’t renew its package again next year, I will not be coming any more to Louisville just due to the uncomfortable seats that are generally available to the public. For ten years prior to finding a tour group that had 1st tier riser seats, I ‘ve put up with those miserable cup holders and no knee room seats in the balcony. Add to that, the questionable house sound, the expensivie parking, and Hey! I am ready for a change to anywhere else, ….anytime,……just name it!

    I think Clarke is doing a fabulous job with the convention itself, but he is being limited now by the facility.

  49. Personally, we would be thrilled to have NQC move to Indianapolis. It would cut down our drive a little although not that much BUT we have had our general Church convention in Indianapolis several times and have found the Indy convention center to be very nice. We would welcome the change.

  50. where ever they go the food and hotels are going to be very high because they know the people will pay [EDIT] the showcases in the hotels would probably be left out,so the smaller groups would be left out and that’s not right there’s some of them a lot better than some on the main stage,but you never hear about them,and the merchandise they’re selling at NQC now ( not Gospel related ) somehow that has got past Clarke’s eyes i guess, oh well what do i know. Jerry

  51. I live 5 minutes from the fairgrounds where the NQC is held in September, so if they moved to Indianapolis, I would not attend, even though it is about 90 minutes….5 minutes is alot better.

  52. I moved to the Ft. Wayne, Indiana from Ohio about 4 years ago. This past summer I went with a friend to go visit Indy and some of the attractions downtown. I must say I was THOROUGHLY IMPRESSED!!! The downtown area was beautiful and exciting and countless things to do. Indy has worked fervently to become a major convention destination and after visiting downtown I would definitely say they are doing an AWESOME job. So from a recent “tourist” of Indy, I absolutely LOVED the city and will go back again just to enjoy its many sites and attractions. Therefore, moving NQC to Indy I think would be great, but moving the dates to November would be HORRIBLE! However, October may be alright so long as it would be the first part of the month, but I agree with others that summer would be best to coincide with the time of the year that many take their vacations.

  53. From a home-grown Indy girl, I am VERY proud of my hometown! I reside in Chicago now, and will STILL tell ya Indy is the best place to live in the mid-west!

  54. I say Indy. Louisiville is okay as far as location, but not facilities, infrastructure etc. Nashville was left for a reason and not a good choice.

  55. I’ve been a permanent seat holder for years, but moving the convention AGAIN may change my mind.

    But the rumored move is not as bad as the idea of moving it to October or November. I’ve been in Indianapolis during those months and don’t relish the idea of dealing with heavy outerwear during the Convention.

    The ABSOLUTE WORST thing they’ve done; however, is to move the Singing News Fan Awards from the Convention to Dollywood. The Fan Awards were the highlight of the week and the reason many of the groups “hung around” for the weekend in spite of losing income. Don’t get me wrong, I love Dollywood, but the theatre seats only about 1600 – not to mention the additional expense of travelling to two cities, finding housing, etc.!

  56. Just discovered something I LOVE about this theme: I didn’t have to scroll through all 72 comments! It has an “older comments” link. What a fantastic idea …

    • Interesting. I hadn’t noticed that till you pointed it out.


  57. I just went to the 2010 convention, traveled 600 mile from FL. Move it south. But people will go where ever they move it to. But due to the high price of parking every time and the food court prices, motel and gas, my four days cost me 2,000.00. Don’t think I can stand to much more of that. I may just have to wait until the Lord comes back and hear them all in heaven.

    • To keep my expenses down, I just haven’t eaten anything from the exhibit hall food court all week. There are ways to keep expenses down, but you do have to watch for them.

  58. Yes This was my husbands and I first year there,and we new right away, they needed a bigger place,older senior’s can’t go up the steps,so they need all one floor,with better and softer seats,many people have back problems ,so they need some padding. p-l-e-a-s-e- move it to INDY.Thank you Ricki

  59. INDY would be awesome!!!!!!