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Call for Entries for New Bristol Rhythm Exhibit

Birthplace of Country Music Calling on Community for Bristol Rhythm Photographs for New Special Exhibit

Juried Exhibit will be on display during Rhythm & Roots Reunion 2018

Bristol, VA-TN (Friday, March 23, 2018) – Later this year the Birthplace of Country Music Museum will host a new special exhibit Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Through Your Eyes, and it will feature photographs from Bristol Rhythm fans and festivalgoers. The juried exhibit will be created in-house by the museum’s curatorial team, based on photographs taken at any Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion from its beginnings in 2000 to the most recent festival in 2017.

“We are excited to be turning to the Bristol Rhythm community to help us in creating this very special exhibit,” says Birthplace of Country Music Museum Head Curator René Rodgers. “We have thought about doing a community-led exhibit for a while, and after discussion we thought there was no better way to do that than to tap into the viewpoints and enthusiasm of the people who attend the festival each year. We are hoping to get a wide variety of images that really reflect the atmosphere and energy of Bristol Rhythm.”

Photographs can include shots from all aspects of the festival from the performances on stage and buskers on the street to people enjoying the festival atmosphere to the variety of activities on offer such as Children’s Day or jam workshops. All images will be judged by professional photographers Neil Staples, Jay Phyfer, and Billie Wheeler, former Virginia Intermont professors and alumni, all of whom have worked at the festival and other BCM music events. Photographs will be judged and chosen on the basis of quality and content. The chosen images will then be included and credited in the special exhibit on a series of designed panels.

The exhibit is tentatively set to open in the Special Exhibits Gallery of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum on August 11, 2018 and be on display through October 21, 2018.

The museum has created specific guidelines for photograph submissions, and these can be found here or requested via email at info@BirthplaceOfCountryMusic.org or phone at 423-573-1927. Anyone is eligible to enter, regardless of amateur or professional status, residence, or age; however, individuals under the age of 18 will be requested to provide written parental/guardian consent should their work be selected.

Entries to the juried photograph show open on March 22, 2018, and all entries must be submitted by 11:59 PM on April 19.

Bristol Rhythm ’18 Now Accepting Apps for Vendors

Become a Vendor at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is all about the music, but the award-winning event also prides itself on great food and craft vendors who compliment what we’ve already got going on in beautiful Historic Downtown Bristol, VA-TN. If you have something unique and truly special, we want to hear from you!

The deadline for entry is March 31, 2018. Click here to submit your application.

Read more in the BCM Blog: Top 10 Things You Should Know About Being a Vendor at Bristol Rhythm.

Thanksgiving Weekend Holiday Savings Events

Enjoy Special Savings This Weekend

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion

Pre-sale Weekend Passes to the 18th annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival go on sale Friday, November 24, 2017 exclusively on this website and at The Museum Store at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum for a limited time!

Buy weekend wristbands between Friday, November 24 – Monday, November 26 for $65.

Price increases on Tuesday, November 27.

**NOTE: All online orders must be made by December 15, 2017 in order to guarantee delivery by Christmas.

 Click Here to Buy Tickets


The Museum Store

Celebrate Black Friday, Small Small Business Saturday & Museum Store Sunday

Support local vendors, artists, restaurants, and more in Historic Downtown Bristol, Virginia-Tennessee, the birthplace of country music! Receive 20% off your entire purchase at The Museum Store (exclusions apply).

Discount available in store only.

Click Here to View Newspaper Insert



 Cyber Monday

Shop The Museum Store online and get FREE shipping!

Click Here to Shop!








Dwight Yoakam, Judah & The Lion To Headline Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion 2017

Lineup Announced for 17th Annual Festival During “The Big Reveal” 

The Birthplace of Country Music (BCM) announced the lineup for the 17th annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival, slated for September 15—17, 2017, during a private media event tonight at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Historic Downtown Bristol. A crowd of nearly 100 people was assembled in the museum’s Performance Theater where the lights were dimmed and a projector screen illuminated the faces of the eager attendees. As the sound of music and video began, mouths dropped as, one by one, the top tier of festival acts was revealed during “The Big Reveal.” The room erupted into applause as the final artist’s name blazed across the screen: Dwight Yoakam.

“Dwight Yoakam is an artist we have wanted to bring to Bristol Rhythm for years,” said Leah Ross, Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music. “This is the year we were able to make that happen. Dwight has an amazing body of work as a musician and songwriter. His music has built bridges across a variety of genres, and that’s what Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is all about.”

Yoakam, the multi-Grammy Award-winning honky tonk hero, actor, and entrepreneur, stands at the head of the class for 2017’s festival, while Nashville’s Judah & The Lion, a band that has charted across folk, bluegrass, and pop charts, veeps the Bristol Rhythm roster of talent. The well-dressed master musicianship of Jerry Douglas Presents Earls of Leicester brings the bluegrass, and Son Volt’s thundering alt-country wears shades of grunge.

Several returning bands to Bristol Rhythm will please fans, including Deer Tick, the Rhode Island based alt-rock group with solid songwriting skills and folk-country tendencies, The Infamous Stringdusters whose name really speaks for itself, and other crowd-pleasing acts such as The SteelDrivers, Langhorne Slim, Mandolin Orange, and The Black Lillies.

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion commemorates the legendary 1927 Bristol Sessions, which celebrates its 90th anniversary this year; there will be more news to come on what BCM has in store to mark this important milestone for the recordings Johnny Cash touted as “the single most important event in the history of country music.”

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is heralded for its assembly of great headliners, established touring acts, up-and-coming artists, and some of the Appalachian region’s finest across a wide variety of genres. It is also noted for it’s unique downtown setting along State Street, where Virginia and Tennessee meet to form the twin cities of Bristol.

A mainstay of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is the annual festival poster— a collector’s item and in-demand event souvenir. Knoxville graphic designer Justin Helton, owner of Status Serigraph, was contracted to design this year’s artwork. The individually hand-pressed poster is in Helton’s signature vintage style and is now available online and at The Museum Store at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.

Organized by BCM, also the parent nonprofit of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and Radio Bristol, the festival hosts an estimated 40,000 attendees across 20 outdoor stages and indoor venues with more than 120 acts of live music over the course of the 3-day weekend.

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion has also achieved a multitude of awards over the years including the most recent Bronze Grand Pinnacle from the International Festivals & Events Association. The festival also earned Top 20 Event/Best Festival from the Southeast Tourism Society and the Pinnacle for Special Events from the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association for its economic impact; the festival brings a return of $16 million to the region.

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is possible through the support of our sponsors and partners each year. A special thanks our tourism and community partners at the City of Bristol, Tennessee; City of Bristol, Virginia; Virginia Tourism Corporation; Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, Tennessee Arts Commission, Virginia Commission for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Bristol Convention & Visitors Bureau, and many more.

To view the entire 2017 Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion artist lineup or to purchase weekend wristbands click here. Weekend wristbands, good for the entire festival, are currently $75.

Countdown to Bristol Rhythm ’17

Starting this week, with every Tuesday and Thursday in March and April, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is counting down artists slated to perform at the festival in September. Each Tuesday and Thursday one new artist will be announced—it’s all part of building anticipation for the formal lineup announcement coming in May.

“2017 is a very special year as we celebrate the 90th anniversary of the 1927 Bristol Sessions,” said Leah Ross, Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music, the parent organization of the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival. “We urge everyone to plan early to attend and take advantage of early ticket prices.”

To follow the countdown, visit Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion on Facebook and Twitter. Weekend passes for Bristol Rhythm are $62.50 for a limited time and available online and at The Museum Store at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.

Last year Bristol Rhythm achieved the Bronze Pinnacle Award from the International Festivals & Events Association, competing against festivals from all over the world. They were also listed among Rolling Stone‘s “2016 31 Hottest Country Music Tours & Festivals.”

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion celebrates its 17th annual festival September 15-17, 2017. View the Countdown!

Bristol Rhythm ’17 Festival Fan Package


New in 2017

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is offering an all-inclusive Festival Fan Package that includes a festival weekend pass, parking pass, meals, preferred seating at select stages, and more!

Package includes:

  • • One (1) Festival Weekend Wristband
    • One (1) Parking Pass
    • 3 Catered Meals for one (1) person (Includes Dinner on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday Afternoon)
    • Six (6) Drink Tickets (Receive six (6) Drink Tickets to be used at BCM Beverage Gardens)
    • Preferred Seating at Piedmont Stage and State Street Stage (Please note that Preferred Seating will be set up at the Piedmont and State Street Stages, and will be available on a first come, first serve basis.)
    • Gift Bag (Includes Festival T-Shirt, Signed Poster, and Special Gift)
    • Museum Access (Tour the Birthplace of Country Music Museum anytime throughout the weekend.)
    • 10% Discount Coupon for The Museum Store at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum
  • Cost

The cost of the package is $500 per person.

Limited Quantity

Only 100 of these packages will be sold.

Click here to PURCHASE

If you have already purchased a 2017 Festival Wristband and would like to upgrade your ticket, please email info@BirthplaceofCountryMusic.org or call Tracey at 423-573-1927.

All patrons who purchase a Festival Fan Package will receive an email after purchase that will provide details on package fulfillment.

Bristol Rhythm 12 Days of Christmas Artist Reveal Starts Dec. 14


It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and it is with great anticipation that the Birthplace of Country Music will start unwrapping gifts a little early! We call it the 12 Days of Christmas Artist Reveal and, starting Wednesday, December 14 and daily for 12 days, we’ll unlock one festival artist we have confirmed to perform at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion 2017 through Christmas day! That’s right, one awesome festival artist will be revealed each day for 12 days, and there are several ways you can receive the news.

Starting Wednesday, be sure and tune in to WCYB News 5 Today during the 6:00 a.m. hour to hear the first Bristol Rhythm 12 Days of Christmas announcement or pick up a copy of the Bristol Herald Courier. Listen in to Radio Bristol to hear music by each artist. You can also check in on Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or follow the countdown at CountdowntoBristolRhythm.com.

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is slated for September 15-17, 2017 and weekend passes to the festival are on sale now for $62.50 (plus taxes & fees) while supplies last. Don’t delay, order today! They make great stocking stuffers!


Bristol Rhythm Achieves Bronze Grand Pinnacle from IFEA


Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, presented by the Birthplace of Country Music, has earned the Bronze Grand Pinnacle Award from the International Festivals & Events Association. The Grand Pinnacle is the highest award given by the IFEA and the professional competition draws entries from among the world’s top festivals and events.

Winning entries came from organizations as diverse as the Fiesta Bowl in Scottsdale, Arizona, the International Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, DC, and Memphis in May International Festival in Memphis, Tennessee. International contenders included such diverse event organizations as Rotterdam Festivals in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Destination NSW in Sydney, Australia, and the Ludwig Van Beethoven Festival in Krakow, Poland.

“This is the first time Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion has entered an international competition and the application process is very detailed,” said Leah Ross, Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music, the parent organization of Bristol Rhythm, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, and Radio Bristol. “We are so honored and humbled to bring the Bronze Pinnacle home to our community.”

“We would like to congratulate all of our Pinnacle winners for their outstanding entries into this year’s competition,” said IFEA President and CEO, Steven Wood Schmader, CFEE.

“The IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Competition recognizes the outstanding accomplishments and top quality creative, promotional, operational, and community outreach programs and materials produced by festivals and events around the world. Striving for the highest degree of excellence in festival and event promotions and operations in every budget level and every corner of the globe, this competition has not only raised the standards and quality of the festivals and events industry to new levels, but also shows how event producers can use innovation and creativity to achieve a higher level of success.”

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion also placed Silver for Best Newspaper Insert/Supplement for its annual festival guide.

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion qualifies in the $750,000-$1.5 million budgetary category. IFEA also offers categories for festivals and events with budgets under $250,000 and over $1.5 million. In the same category the Des Moines Arts Festival in Des Moines, Iowa achieved Gold while Boulevardia in Kansas City, Missouri earned Silver. Bristol Rhythm was judged based on information from it’s 15th annual event in 2015.

Click here to see all the winners.


Bristol Rhythm Named Festival of the Year By STS

shiningexampleBristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, presented by the Birthplace of Country Music, achieved the Shining Example Award for Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Event/Festival of the Year.

“Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion competed against attractions in twelve southeast states to achieve this award,” said Leah Ross, Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music, the parent organization of the festival. “We know we have something very special with this event and we are very humbled and grateful to receive this recognition.”

Founded in 1983, the Southeast Tourism Society is dedicated to promoting and developing tourism in its member states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. Its headquarters are in Atlanta. The membership includes state travel offices, attractions, lodging properties, resorts, convention and visitor bureaus, chambers of commerce, travel media and other travel-related organizations.

“Shining Example Awards highlight some of the best work in travel and tourism, and winners truly set examples that others in the industry can follow,” said STS President and CEO Bill Hardman.

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion has achieved a number of awards over the years including:


Pinnacle Award, Special Events – Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association
Economic Impact


Top 20 Event – Southeast Tourism Society

Top 100 Events in North America – American Bus Association


Best Festival, Gold Kaleidoscope – Southeast Festivals & Events Association

Best of Show – Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association

Pinnacle for Special Events – Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association

Pinnacle for Public Relations – Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association

Merit Award for Print & Multi-Media Advertising & Promotions – Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association

Bristol Mayors’ Award of Distinction