Special Projects Archives - Page 3 of 3 - The Birthplace of Country Music
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Believe in Bristol Presents: PUSH! Film Festival


The Birthplace of Country Music Museum is proud to be a venue for the 2nd annual PUSH! Film Festival, presented by Believe in Bristol October 21-23 in Historic Downtown Bristol, VA/TN.

PUSH! is a competitive, 3-day celebration of the cinematic and visual arts. Director/producer Bobby Farrelly (There’s Something About Mary, Dumb and Dumber) will be part of the opening night events.

In addition to a diverse variety of curated films, the film festival will host a juried competition that devotes categories to Best Tennessee Films and Best Virginia Films (shot in the two states or made by a filmmaker from Tennessee or Virginia), as well as Best Short and Best Feature (open to all films—local, national, and international). This year we will also be recognizing an Audience Award.

PUSH! will also offer exciting parties and gatherings, along with a variety of educational opportunities for filmmakers and audience members of all ages. Films and workshops will be held across several venues including the museum, the historic, art-deco Paramount Bristol, and the Bristol Public Library.

Visit pushfilmfest.com for more information.


ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time, & Country Music at the Museum

On Tuesday, October 25, at 7:00 p.m. several of the top student performing groups from ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time, & Country Music Studies will perform at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol, Virginia.

etsu-2_webFounded in 1982 by Jack Tottle, Bluegrass, Old Time, & Country Music Studies at ETSU is the oldest established program of its kind at any four-year institution and boasts the world’s first bachelor of arts in Bluegrass, Old Time, & Country Music Studies.

etsu-3_webBands within the program are comprised of outstanding student performers, often with many years of experience accounted to each member. Over the course of the program’s history, student bands have performed at prestigious venues across the United States, as well as with bluegrass and country music luminaries such as Alison Krauss, Del McCoury, Ralph Stanley, Ricky Skaggs, and the late Porter Wagoner.

Tickets for the concerts are $10 and can be purchased in advance by contacting the Birthplace of Country Music Museum at (423) 573-1927. Tickets will also be available at the venue (520 Birthplace of Country Music Way, Bristol, VA) the evening of the concert.

For more information, contact ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time, & Country Music Studies at (423) 439-7072.



BCM Museum Participates in Art D’Vine

Art D'VineOn Friday, October 7, 2016, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., downtown will be filled with art lovers as several galleries and some local favorites join together to host another exciting ArtD’Vine event. This art walk offers patrons the chance to gain after-hours access to merchants, sample domestic and international wines, and enjoy a range of works from artists across the region.

cunninghamAt the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Art D’Vine participants can visit the special exhibit “We Are the Music Makers: Preserving the Soul of America’s Music” – the exhibit includes portrait photography, instruments and artifacts, folk art, and audio. The Museum Store will also be hosting featured artisan Eric Cunningham, creator of Appalachian Disasterpieces.

As with the previous gallery hops, participants are invited to stroll around Historic Downtown Bristol, stopping and enjoying all that our downtown has to offer! Refreshments will be provided and many of the galleries will feature different varieties of wine for sampling. The ArtD’Vine galleries will be highlighting various special events, releases or artists.

This event is free to the public, though there is a suggested one-time donation of $5 with the proceeds supporting the work of the Believe in Bristol Arts & Entertainment District of Historic Downtown Bristol, TN/VA.

CMA Songwriter Series at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum


The CMA Songwriters Series will travel to The Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Thursday, September 8 at 9:00 p.m. The lineup includes CMA Awards winner Tracy Lawrence along with CMA Awards nominees Barry Dean, and Luke Laird.

“The Birthplace of Country Music Museum honors the shared musical heritage of Country Music songwriting and recording and the roots of the legacy that have led us to the 50th Annual CMA Awards,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “It is fitting that the CMA Songwriters Series visit such a revered Smithsonian-affiliated museum at the beginning of the kick-off season for this year’s historic CMA Awards.”

The Songwriters Series show is part of several days of events in Bristol leading up to a high-anticipated college football rivalry game between West Virginia and the Tennessee Volunteers.

Lawrence has been nominated for three CMA Awards and took home a trophy in 2007 for Musical Event of the Year with “Find Out Who Your Friends Are.” Dean was nominated in 2013 for Song of the Year for “Pontoon.” Laird has six CMA Award nominations including three consecutive nods for Song of the Year for penning “Pontoon,” “Give Me Back My Hometown,” and “American Kids.”

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, tells the story of the 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings, explores how evolving sound technology shaped their success, and highlights how this rich musical heritage lives on in today’s music.

The CMA Songwriters Series is in its 12th season kicking off the first show of this year at indigo at The O2 in London during the C2C Festival followed by its debut appearance at SXSW at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, TX. Since 2005, the CMA Songwriters Series has presented more than 90 shows in 15 cities including Austin, Belfast, Chicago, Dublin, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. at the renowned Library of Congress.

Tickets to the CMA Songwriter Series at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum are $25 including taxes and fees; there are a limited number of tickets for the event. The doors open at 8:30 p.m. and the concert begins at 9:00 p.m.


Battle on the State Line: Battle at Bristol Kick-Off


Bristol’s historic downtown State Street will be decorated in MAROON & ORANGE (Hokies) on the Virginia side of town, and the ORANGE & WHITE (Vols) on the Tennessee side of town. UT & VT flags also will also line State Street in the downtown district, as well as portions of State Street will be closed Thursday evening through Friday afternoon to accommodate the influx of visitors and locals, and to allow the more than 75+ merchants, breweries and restaurants to expand their stores out onto the sidewalk for fuel up before the Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sept 10.

Quaker Steak and Lube has been designated as the home base for the Hokies, while 620 State will serve as the home base for the Vols, as chosen by each university’s alumni association for Sept 8-10.

6:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., Live music by award-winning FOLK SOUL REVIVAL, along with BROTHERS OF THE HIGHWAY and JAMES MEADOWS on the Food City State Street main stage. THIS IS A FREE EVENT!

9:15 p.m., SPECIAL EVENT HIGHLIGHTING THE HISTORIC BRISTOL SIGN – you don’t want to miss this! Live music will continue from Folk Soul Revival and will conclude at 10:15 p.m.

Visitors and locals can then explore and frequent one of several restaurants and live music venues throughout the night in historic downtown Bristol.

5:30-9:30 p.m., BREWFEST AT BRISTOL (www.brewfestatbristol.com), a craft beer festival with 40+ breweries and live music at the Country Music Mural, will take place at the Downtown Center on State Street. Brewfest at Bristol is a ticketed event, 21+.

11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Fans will get a chance to meet a number of former players from both Tennessee and Virginia Tech, several of whom have played in the NFL. The players will be on hand to sign autographs and visit the SPORTS DESK, which will be set up on the Food City main stage. Pep bands from both schools, as well as cheerleaders and mascots, have been invited to participate and to get fan bases pumped up! THIS IS A FREE EVENT!

Fans will also get to participate in painting the University of Tennessee “Rock” and the Virginia Tech “Hokie,” play cornhole throughout the day. Also on tap is live music from SPANK and BROTHERS OF THE HIGHWAY, beginning at 11 a.m.

As a precursor to the mega Honda Ridgeline presents Bristol’s Tailgate Party concert at Bristol Motor Speedway, which will feature Kenny Chesney, The Band Perry and Old Dominion.

To assist fans in planning their trip, the Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol Visitor Playbook will be available for fans online at www.BattleInOurBackyard.com.This site, specially designed for the Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol, will be a guideline for visitors, directing them to the many special events, including live music and discounts, being offered in Bristol and the surrounding area, Sept. 8-11.

Check back to this event page often as additional details and transportation/shuttle information is released.

The Battle on the State Line Kickoff & Pep Rally is hosted by the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, Bristol Motor Speedway, City of Bristol Tennessee, City of Bristol Virginia, Discover Bristol and Food City, as well as partners Believe in Bristol, Birthplace of Country Music and Virginia Tourism Corporation.

Visit BattleInOurBackYard.com for more.

RTE 23 Music Festival Kicks Off August 27

2016 RTE 23 Logo

The Birthplace of Country Music to Stage Free Concert in Wise, VA

The RTE 23 Music Festival returns to the campus of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise (UVa-Wise) on Saturday, August 27 at 4:00 p.m. The free festival brings a diverse mix of artists together for a full day of amazing live music that’s off the beaten path and family friendly.

The RTE 23 Music Festival has its origins back in February of 2009, when the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Concert Series hosted its first show at the college’s student center. The goal then—and now—was simple: bring the best Americana bands possible to music lovers in Southwest Virginia. Six years of concerts and festivals later, an array of outstanding musicians including St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Folk Soul Revival, The Black Lillies, Yarn, The Corduroy Road, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, The New Familiars, Dave Eggar, Amber Rubarth, The David Mayfield Parade, Jarekus Singleton and Last Train Home have performed at the event.

RTE 23 returns this summer with another impressive line-up including The Comet Conductors, Annabelle’s Curse, Elliot Root, and Love Canon. The festival will also include family activities and crafts and food vendors.

This year RTE 23 is excited to offer craft beer and wine exclusively from two Wise, Virginia companies at the festival. Attendees over 21 can sample brands from Sugar Hill Brewing Company and Mountain Rose Vineyards in the event’s beverage garden. Other vendors include Foodie Fiction, The Crepe Escape, Smoke-N-Pig Stillhouse, PureWood Firebrick Oven Pizza and Lincoln Road Cold Brew Coffee.

RTE 23 is made possible by a number of local businesses and individuals; their support is essential to keeping the event free for the community. Thank you to James Lawson, Cavalier Comics, Crutchfield, Jeremy O’Quinn Law Office, Cavalier Pharmacy, Dr. William C. Horne, DDS, Pro-Art, Pulitzer Orthodontics, UVa-Wise, Morgan McClure, Wise County Tourism, Daniels Heating & Plumbing, Charles Anderson, Bebo’s Music, and Wynn Canes for your generosity and support.

Click here for more about RTE 23 Music Festival artists. 

2016_RTE 23_Poster

“Born in Bristol” Shortlisted at Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity

Born In BristolThe Tennessee Department of Tourist Development’s (TDTD) “Born in Bristol,” a 53-minute documentary profiling the 2015 recording of Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited, produced in partnership with the Virginia Tourism Corporation, earned shortlist honors at the 63rd Annual Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity in Cannes, France in the category of Film Craft – Use of Licensed or Adapted Music. The shortlist is a list of candidates that have been selected for final consideration at the festival; “Born in Bristol” was one of only 216 out of 2,328 entries to earn that distinction.

Dramatic scenes in”Born in Bristol” were shot over a two-week period in December of last year by Asheville-based Plan A Films. Several locations in and around Historic Downtown Bristol were chosen to recreate the story of the legendary 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings; a number of local musicians, actors, and extras were cast in the film. “Born in Bristol” interweaves dramatizations of the events surrounding the Bristol Sessions with interviews by recording artists from the Orthophonic Joy CD project. Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Marty Stuart, and Sheryl Crow, among others, participated in the film and on the album.

It was on State Street in downtown Bristol, Virginia/Tennessee in 1927 that talent scout Ralph Peer made the first country music recordings of The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers, among others, for the Victor Talking Machine Company. The recordings now known as the 1927 Bristol Sessions are recognized internationally as the “Big Bang” of country music and the most influential country music recordings in history.

TDTD also received international accolades for its advertising and marketing campaign, earning a Silver Lion in the Creative Data category for the “Tennessee Vacation MatchMaker” digital advertising campaign and the Bronze Lion in the category of Digital Craft.

Celebrate Bristol! Star-Spangled 4th of July

Parade! Music! Fireworks! It’s all happening in Historic Downtown Bristol with a BANG! Celebrate Bristol with your family during the Star-Spangled 4th of July Celebration!

Kicking off at 3:00 p.m. with a parade on State Street, the afternoon is filled with activities including Border Bash with Front Country and Rob Nance, free watermelon, the rubber duck race, and more! It all ends with a spectacular fireworks display at 10:00 p.m.! It’s going to be a BLAST so bring the family and prepare for a day of fun!

Visit Celebrate Bristol’s Facebook Page for more detailed information.