Musings on folk, Americana, country, bluegrass and newgrass

Steve Earle and the Dukes to headline 15th Bristol Rhythm and Roots Festival in September

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Do you have plans to attend this year’s Bristol Rhythm and Roots Festival in the Birthplace of Country Music (BCM)?

BCM, the parent organization of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, has a stellar lineup of artists for the 15th annual festival including headliner Steve Earle and the Dukes. The three-day music celebration honoring Bristol’s unique music history as the site of the legendary 1927 Bristol Sessions will be held Sept. 18-20, 2015, in historic downtown Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia.

Deborah Denney, this year’s festival chairwoman, talked about how the festival has grown at a press conference earlier this year.

“We had more than 60,000 visitors, artists, vendors, and volunteers last year,” she said. “Already we’ve seen an increase in ticket sales from this time last year.”

Additions to this year’s event included increased shuttle services and tent camping options.

BCM is partnering with Thunder Mountain Campground and Holston River Brewing Company to bring festival-goers a unique camping experience during Bristol Rhythm that includes 100 primitive campsites, pop-up, camper, and RV camping packages, and after-hours entertainment at the brewery. Packages will be sold exclusively through Thunder Mountain will provide limited shuttle service to and from the festival, and event shuttle buses will also provide services to the site. Holston River Brewing Company is located near Bristol Motor Speedway on Volunteer Parkway beside Earhart Campground. Shuttle service is also provided for carpoolers who choose the free parking option at Earhart Campground.

Several Reunion favorites are expected to return this year including the festival’s free Children’s Day events in Cumberland Square Park and the 5K Run/2-Mile Fun Walk. Amateur chefs will still be cooking at the Chili Cook-off and BCM will also bring back the popular Wernick Method Bluegrass Jam Camp and Youth Music Competition. Applications and entry forms can be found at

Bristol Rhythm Music Committee Chairman Brent Treash said, “As Music Committee Chair, I can say with all honesty that every year I am surprised by what we are able to achieve. We are a festival that appeals to today’s youth and more mature listeners. We do our best to balance the music so it has broad appeal, and that’s very exciting.”



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