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Downtown Bristol Blog

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Gratitude The Festival Celebrates 15 Years of Success

September 21, 2015 (Bristol, Tenn./Va.) – Looking out on State Street earlyMonday morningone would never suspect that the three days prior a major music festival, packed with tens of thousands of people, had just taken place.Sunday nightas the final notes played on the Cumberland Street Stage crews began dismantling nearly 8,000 feet of fencing, outdoor stages, ticket gates, and tents just before city workers came through—armed with leaf blowers—and swept the streets clear of debris.

"What an amazing weekend," said Leah Ross, Executive Director of the Birthplace of Country Music (BCM), the parent organization of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion. "A big thank you to our staff, to our volunteers and sponsors, our visitors and our whole community for lifting us up and working so tirelessly to make our fifteenth anniversary such a great success.

With around 130 artists scheduled over the course of the 3-day festival, organizers are pleased with the turnout at the gates. The Birthplace of Country Music Museum, located just outside festival gates, also saw a lot of traffic over the course of the weekend.

"We don't have final numbers at this time but we feel confident that attendance is where we expected it to be," continued Ross.

Very soon BCM will get a good picture of the economic impact that Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion has on the northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia region. The organization has contracted with Destination Services, the same firm that has provided economic impact studies for Barter Theatre, to conduct an economic impact study for this year’s festival.

In addition, students and faculty from East Tennessee State University's Department of Mass Communications were also on the ground during Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion this past weekend conducting a qualitative marketing survey, which will provide valuable feedback from festival attendees on a number of areas.

It will take several weeks for each of the studies to be completed. Plans for the 16th annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion have already begun. The event is always the third weekend of September, falling onSeptember 16-18in 2016.

For more information about Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, please visit

Believe in Bristol seeks sponsors for 2015 Design Symposium

Believe in Bristol is seeking sponsors for our 2015 Design Symposium, to be held October 1st and 2nd in downtown Bristol. This great program will feature nationally known creative thinkers leading a thought-provoking discussion of human-centered, participatory processes in the creation of vibrant, sustainable places. You can help make it happen!
Click here to download our sponsorship packet. Contact Christina Blevins at 276-644-9700 or for more information.

Downtown Bristol Events

Full Moon Jam — Southern 76

September 24 | Downtown Center

George Goode and his band Southern 76 have been entertaining crowds with country and classic rock for 30 years. They provide some of the best local talent around.


For the 19th year, the City of Bristol Tennessee will be hosting the free concert series "Full Moon Jam" on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Downtown Center (Country Music Mural), 810 State Street. Performances begin at 7 p.m. and continue until 9 or 9:30 p.m. through September 24th.

Bring a lawn chair or come early to grab one of the 350 chairs provided on-site. Refreshments are sold in the concessions area for a nominal fee. Clean, well-stocked restrooms also available.

You are asked not to park in the bank drive-through area adjacent to the venue and please do not to bring skateboards or bicycles into the venue. Parking is available on Shelby Street in the Municipal parking lot or on State Street in designated parking spaces.

Bands subject to change without notice. For more information visit the City of Bristol TN website.

Marcus Boyd

September 25 | Quaker Steak and Lube

Marcus Boyd will play Quaker Steak and Lube in downtown Bristol Friday, September 25th at 8pm.

Marcus grew up in and has lived most of his life close to his roots in Southwest Virginia. He learned to play guitar at the young age of 8 and played in church growing up. His love for music brought him to learn to play piano, bass, banjo and mandolin as well. He broadened his horizons in his college days at Clinch Valley College (now UVA Wise), where he met several talented musicians of differing styles and spent many evenings collaborating.

He grew up playing country, bluegrass and gospel music and later became acquainted with rock, blues and classical styles. Some of his professional influences include Tom Petty, Garth Brooks, Vince Gill, Leo Kottke, and Counting Crows. His music is a blend of traditional country, bluegrass, modern country and rock. Many enjoy his baritone vocals and smooth guitar style.

Lately, Marcus has spent more time working on original music. Painting vivid pictures of his own life, songs like I Gotta Go, Route 22, End of our Song, Beer League, Tuesday Sunset, Take A Little Walk With You and Fifteen Minutes show some of the many facets of his life.

Charles Walker Band

September 25 | O'Mainnin's Pub

Charles Walker Band will play O'Mainnin's September 25 at 10pm.

About Charles Walker Band
Grounded in blues, the band refined their unique sound into what can best be described as soul, a fusion of funk, r&b and Motown. Though compared to an array of musicians (Sly and the Family Stone, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelics, James Brown), their music retains deep gospel influences and positive lyrical messages.

The Smithsonian's 11th Annual Museum Day Live!

September 26 | Birthplace of Country Music Museum

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum will open its doors FREE of charge on Saturday, September 26, 2015, as part of Smithsonian Magazine’s 11th annual Museum Day Live! On this day only, participating museums across the United States emulate the spirit of the Smithsonian Institution’s Washington D.C.-based facilities, which offer free admission every day, and open their doors for free to those who download a Museum Day Live! ticket. Click here to download a ticket now.

Inclusive by design, the event represents Smithsonian’s commitment to make learning and the spread of knowledge accessible to everyone. Last year’s event drew over 400,000 participants, and this year’s event is expected to attract more museum-goers than ever before.

“Participating in Museum Day Live! is an important way for us to be accessible to our whole community," said Dr. Jessica Turner, Director of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. "It also helps us remind the public that we are part of a network of museums across the United States that are striving to offer the best exhibits and programming possible to our communities. As a Smithsonian Affiliate museum, we connect the best of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum with the vast offerings of the Smithsonian Institution."

Your Museum Day Live! ticket to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum will give you free access to the core exhibits and our Special Exhibits Gallery. Through text and artifacts, multiple theater experiences, film and sound, and interactive displays, the core exhibits tell the story of the 1927 Bristol Sessions, highlight the evolving sound technology that shaped their success, and explore how this rich musical heritage lives on in today’s music. You will also be able to visit our special exhibit New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music. This Smithsonian traveling exhibit illustrates the huge diversity of musical traditions and practices in the United States from bluegrass and blues to klezmer and Native American sacred music.

The Museum Day Live! ticket is available for download now at Visitors who present the Museum Day Live! ticket will gain free entrance for two people at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. One ticket per household, per email address is permitted. For more information about Museum Day Live! 2015 and a full list of participating museums and cultural institutions, please visit

For more information, please visit

Essential Yoga: Balance Workshop

September 26 | Wellness Yoga of Bristol

Creating optimal health through effort and surrender! This workshop will offer a slow flow class to experience the integration of Essential Oils, movement and breath. The oils used will encourage the body towards optimal health by addressing stress, increased toxin levels, inflammation and autonomic nervous system imbalance. Yoga and Essential Oils help the body move toward a holistic state of being. There will be an Essential Oils Q&A included as well as a free sample of choice to take home.

Call 276-644-3086 or stop by the studio and place your name on the signup sheet. There are only 12 spots available so sign up ASAP!

Cost: $25

BULLY: The Bully Project Movie

September 26 | Cumberland Square Park

FREE movie night has been moved to September 26th!

A FREE movie event in Cumberland Square Park sponsored by the Crisis Center.

Bristol Crisis Center is pleased to present free to the community, BULLY: The Bully Project Movie, on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at Cumberland Square Park, starting at 7 pm. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and come experience the movie with your family and friends.

"Two of our high school volunteers, Sakota Blevins and Taylor Blevins, took on this project. They both feel that bullying is a concern among our youth and chose to concentrate their efforts on BULLY," says Stephanie Poe, LCSW, the Crisis Center's Executive Director. "If it's a concern to them, it's a concern to us. Students who are bullied are at higher risk of depression, suicidal thoughts and substance abuse," she added.

BULLY is a beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary. At its heart are those with huge stakes in this issue whose stories each represent a different facet of America's bullying crisis. Filmed over the course of the 2009/10 school year, BULLY opens a window into the pained and often endangered lives of bullied kids, revealing a problem that transcends geographic, racial, ethnic and economic borders. It documents the responses of teachers and administrators to aggressive behaviors that defy "kids will be kids" clichés, and it captures a growing movement among parents and youths to change how bullying is handled in schools, in communities, and in society as a whole.

Believe in Bristol 2015 Design Symposium

October 1–2 | Downtown Bristol

Join us for three days of free events celebrating Design in Downtown Bristol Tennessee and Virginia. Download Flyer | Download Printable Schedule

OCT. 1st, 3pm — 8pm The Paramount Center for the Arts
OCT. 2nd, 8am — 12pm The Birthplace of Country Music Museum
OCT. 2nd, 1pm — 3pmNESCC 620 State Street Campus

The Believe in Bristol Design Symposium

A gathering of nationally known creative thinkers will lead a thought-provoking discussion of human-centered, participatory processes in the creation of vibrant, sustainable places.


American Institute of Architects Young Architects Honor Award Winner
Principal, Latent Design Chicago, IL

Former Director of Graduate Studies
University of Notre Dame School of Architecture Notre Dame, IN

Overseer of Design Services for the Virginia Main Street Program
Principal, Frazier Associates Staunton, VA

Director, Natural Learning Initiative
North Carolina State University College of Design Raleigh, NC

Executive Vice-president/CEO, AIA Virginia
Executive Director, Branch Museum of Architecture and Design Richmond, VA

Former Design Director, Nashville Civic Design Center
The University of Tennessee College of Architecture and Design Knoxville, TN

and more...

Also Coming Up

More Upcoming Events »

Community Notice Board

KP Closed for Catering Event

Saturday, September 26 | KP

KP will be closed Saturday, September 26th, for a private catering function. Join them again for their new fall hours starting Monday, October 5th.

Bristol Office Supply Weekly Specials

Through September 25

Click here to view weekly specials.