Sunday, January 13, 2013

CMHOF Attendance Up 15%

The Tennessean reports:  With a little help from friends Buck Owens, Taylor Swift and Patsy Cline, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum set an attendance record in 2012.

Nearly 565,000 people visited the museum in the year, an increase of 15 percent from 2011. Attendance was boosted by a trio of exhibits that together had broad appeal, museum director Kyle Young said.

The year featured exhibits about Swift, Cline and the Bakersfield Sound, a raw form of country music emanating from California in the 1960s that has faded some in popularity but drew thousands of curious country fans.

“It was a great mix,” Young said. “We were able to devote a lot of space to telling a story that a lot of people weren’t familiar with.”

Swift’s Speak Now Tour conquered the museum world, much as it did the touring charts. The exhibit, which included costumes and other memorabilia from the tour, drew families and young people, a demographic the museum is heavily courting.

“You should not be surprised if we replicate that exhibition or at least the feel of the exhibition in 2013,” Young said.

The museum had faced flat or declining admission from 2008 to 2010, the year of massive flooding in Nashville. In 2011, attendance shot up by 24 percent, compared with 2010, to 507,510.

  -- Jaquetta White

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