Saturday, September 25, 2010

BRRR - Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion

It only took 10 years. The initial Rhythm & Roots Reunion began in September of 2001 with $50,000 in start-up funds from the twin cities of Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia. In its first year, the festival had 40artists and attracted about 7,500 fans.
The poster this year (A Charles Vess design)

Over the past several years coworkers brought back glowing reports about the festival. Schedule conflicts prevented my attendance for at least the past three years. Setting my priorities this year, I delayed starting a trip to Wisconsin in order to attend the 10th annual Bristol event.

Jeff, Andrenne and I at BRRR

The event now features 187 different acts over the 3 day weekend and crowds likely topped last years attendance of 32,000.
Folk Soul Revival

At the festival, artists perform in little alcoves and big stages, 22 stages in all, along State Street. Originally capitalizing on Bristol's heritage as the Birthplace of Country Music, the festival now stretches the genre significantly, encompassing a variety of string instrument and vocal performers.
MSG Acoustic Blues Trio

The current budget approaches $750,000 and while there are big name acts like Ricky Skaggs, small, local talent is well represented. Scheduling demands kept me from attending on Saturday, the biggest day of the festival, but I was well pleased with the acts I took in on Friday and Sunday. Next year I hope to be present all three days.


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