March 5th, 2015

BRRR Named STS Top 20 Event

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion (BRRR) music festival has been designated one of Southeast Tourism Society’s (STS) Top 20 Events. The best events across 12 southeastern states compete to receive the prestigious Top 20 Events designation.

Through a nomination process, Southeast Tourism Society chooses the Top 20 Events in the southeast for each month of the year and publishes the list of winners quarterly. Events must have more than 1,000 in attendance and be in at least its third year of existence. Judging is based on unique aspects of the event including the economic impact to the community, community involvement, attendance, or other awards the event has won.

“Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is, beyond a doubt, a community event even though it draws people from all over the world,” said Leah Ross, executive director of Birthplace of Country Music, the parent organization of BRRR. “From our cities, our board and staff, to our hundreds of volunteers and community sponsors, our success is the result of their support.”

This year Bristol Rhythm also achieved ranking among the American Bus Association’s premier Top 100 Events in North America. In 2014, the festival took home the “Best of Show” Pinnacle Award from Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association, “Best Festival” Kaleidoscope Award from Southeast Festivals & Events Association, and received the Bristol Mayors’ Award of Distinction.

The Top 20 Events publication is sent to over 1,600 newspapers, magazines, radio stations, TV stations, AAA publications, and others.

The 15th annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion music festival takes place September 18-20, 2015 in Historic Downtown Bristol, TN/VA. For tickets and more information visit www.BristolRhythm.com.

Cast your vote for Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion to win “Best Ameripolitan Festival” at the 2015 Ameripolitan Awards!

Voting has begun online at www.Ameripolitan.com and continues through Friday, January 2, 2015.

The awards celebrate Honky Tonk, Rockabilly, Western Swing, and acknowledges artists whose work does not readily conform to the tastes of today’s “country” or other music genres and organizations.

There are categories for artists, venues, and DJs who support “Ameripolitan” music. The Ameripolitan Music Awards will be held Tuesday, February 17, 2015 in Austin, Texas.

Click here to vote!


Discount Weekend Pass wristbands to Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion 2015 are now offered at the minimum pre-sale price of $50 (plus Bristol, VA admissions tax) through December 31! CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!


Just in time for the holidays, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion will offer a special, limited edition holiday gift box when you order wristbands during December.

Decorative, holiday-themed gift boxes securely house your RFID (radio frequency identification) wristband(s) to Bristol Rhythm 2015, no gift wrap needed. They make perfect stocking stuffers!

Once received, individuals are encouraged to register their wristbands online at www.BristolRhythm.com so they can be replaced if lost or stolen.

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion 2015 pre-sale Weekend Passes may be purchased exclusively at BristolRhythm.com, The Museum Store at Birthplace of Country Music Museum, The Bristol Mall Customer Service Desk, and the Bristol, TN/VA Chamber of Commerce. Check location websites for addresses and hours of operation.

The award-winning Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2015 and booking for the event has already begun. Be sure and watch for the festival’s annual 12 Days of Christmas Artist Reveal starting Sunday, December 14 in the Bristol Herald Courier and on Facebook, Twitter and BristolRhythm.com.

Mark your calendars now for Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, September 18-20, 2015!


Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion is kicking off a Throwback Thursday Contest!

Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion is asking Facebook, Instagram and Twitter users to tag their favorite #tbt Bristol Rhythm and Roots photo with @BristolRhythm and #BristolRhythmntbt. Each Thursday during the contest period, we will pick one lucky winner and post their old festival picture on our FB, Twitter, and Instagram.

The weekly winner will qualify to win a grand prize, which includes two (2) weekend passes to the 2015 Rhythm and Roots Reunion, September 18 – 20, 2014. The grand prize winner will be announced Friday, December 19, 2014. Photos can be funny or serious, but the most original pics will win! Dig through your photos from the past 14 years of BRRR and submit your best one.

Weekly winners will be posted each Friday during the contest period, so keep an eye out and see if you won!

Official Rules


The Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion Throwback Thursdays contest (“Contest”) will begin on Thursday, November 13, 2014 end on Thursday, December 18, 2014 (“Contest Period”). This Contest will be conducted exclusively online. One (1) winner will be awarded the grand prize, which includes one (1) pair of Weekend Passes to the 2015 Rhythm and Roots Reunion, September 18 – 20, 2015 in Downtown Bristol TN/VA.

HOW TO ENTER / EXECUTION: Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion (BRRR) is asking Facebook, Instagram and Twitter users to tag their favorite #tbt Bristol Rhythm and Roots photo with @BristolRhythm and #BristolRhythmntbt. Each Friday during the contest period, we will pick one lucky winner and post their old festival picture on our FB, Twitter, Instagram.

The weekly winner will qualify to win a grand prize, which includes two (2) weekend passes to the 2015 Rhythm and Roots Reunion, September 18 – 20, 2014.

The grand prize winner will be announced Friday, December 19, 2014. Weekly winners will be posted each Thursday during the contest period, including November 13, November 20, November 27, December 4, December 11, and December 18, 2014.


1. Contest participants must submit a photo that they are authorized to and have the rights to submit the photo entry. The Birthplace of Country Music organization is not responsible for the photos submitted.

2. To enter contest, upload a past BRRR to Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook tagging @BristolRhythm and #BrstolRhythmtbt to register for a chance to win.

3. All entries must be received by 11:59pm local time on December 18 or they will be void.

4. Winner will be announced by Friday, December 19, 2014.

5. Submitted photos must be “family-friendly”, appropriate for all audiences.

6. One entry per person per Thursday during the Contest Period.

7. All decisions made by the Birthplace of Country Music organization regarding any aspect of this Contest are final.

Entry Requirements:

• Entries must contain a photo of a past BRRR event.

• Entries may not be patently offensive, illegal, pornographic or obscene, or similarly inappropriate in the Birthplace of Country Music’s sole discretion.

• Submissions may not infringe upon any rights of any third party including without limitation, copyright, trademark and right of publicity or privacy.

• Entries must be produced and solely owned by the contestant submitting the entry. • Entries must be unpublished and not have been submitted in other competitions.

• Submissions must not contain: unnecessary violence, derogatory characterizations of any ethnic, racial, sexual or religious groups, humiliate other people (publicly or otherwise), or otherwise assault or threaten others.


1. The Contest is open to Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook users and who are legal residents of the United States.

2. Employees of the Birthplace of Country Music organization, its Board and Committees, general sponsors, promotional partners, and members of the immediate families or those living in the same households (whether related or not) of any of the above are NOT eligible to participate or win in this Contest. For purposes of this Contest, immediate family members mean spouses, parents, grandparents, children, and siblings and their respective spouses.


1. No purchase necessary. Contest is void where prohibited. Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.

2. Odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible entrants participating during the Contest Period.

3. By participating in the Contest, the winner or winners agree to have their name and photo used on the organization’s social media sites and newsletter. By entering this Contest, each participant agrees to comply with the Official Rules and the decisions of the Contest sponsor which shall be final and binding in all aspects relating to the Contest.

4. The organization retains the right to disqualify any entrant if all Contest rules are not followed. Contest void if prohibited by law.

5. So long as no participant is materially adversely affected, the Birthplace of Country Music organization reserves the right to make changes in these Contest rules, which will become effective upon being announced on the air and / or posted online.

6. In the event any winner is found to be in violation of these Official Rules or is otherwise determined by the Birthplace of Country Music organization, in its sole discretion to be ineligible, he/she will be required to forfeit the prize.



Though a final count has yet to be determined, early estimates indicate attendance at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion 2014 is another record breaker. Friday’s performances by Emmylou Harris, Moon Taxi, Sturgill Simpson, Red Molly, Caveman and Willie Watson proved legendary; Saturday’s headliners Jeff Tweedy, the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, J. Roddy Walston & the Business, The Black Lillies, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and St. Paul & the Broken Bones were off the hook. And on Sunday Billy Joe Shaver, Dale Watson & His Ameripolitan Review (ft. Amber Digby & Roger Alan Wade), Parker Millsap, The Kruger Brothers, and Folk Soul Revival rounded out the annual event on the highest of notes.

More than 7,500 people from as far away as Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Sweden and the United Kingdom watched portions of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion online. The livestream, provided by ETSU Online and BVU Optinet, was viewed in 34 of the United States.

“We work so hard all year,” says Birthplace of Country Music executive director Leah Ross, “when Sunday comes, it’s very emotional. We are proud to see the birth of a new festival year after year, but when that last note is played you can’t believe it’s already time to move forward with plans for the next.”

The festival known for emerging artists, Bristol Rhythm’s supporting cast also gets rave reviews. Newcomers White Denim, Sundy Best, The Dustbowl Revival, Swear and Shake, Truth & Salvage Co., Jarekus Singleton, Andrew Combs, The Harris Brothers, Mandolin Orange, and Goodnight, Texas earn high marks for stellar performances. Festival veterans The Whiskey Gentry (featuring a surprise visit by Roger Alan Wade), Holy Ghost Tent Revival, Sol Driven Train, King Super & the Excellents, and Old Line Skiffle Combo brought their “A” games with energetic performances that whipped crowds into a frenzy. The New Familiars’ Grateful Dead Tribute was also a festival highlight.

“More than 55,000 volunteers, artists, vendors and fans attended Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion in 2013 and preliminary statistics tell us we did see an increase,” says Ross. “This year was a big success, and we are grateful to our sponsors, our cities, and everyone who attended for supporting us. It’s been a great year for the Birthplace of Country Music!”

And what a year it has been.

The success of the 14th annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion comes on the heels of an award-winning year for the event. Besides being voted “Best of Show” by Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association, “Best Festival” by Southeast Festival & Events Association, and achieving Bristol’s Mayors’ Award of Distinction, Bristol Rhythm ranked among the American Bus Association’s Top 100 Events of North America. The museum’s grand opening ceremony, held in August, received press on NPR and Reuters.com, in Rolling Stone Country, Music Row Magazine, and American Songwriter.

A number of festival artists and visitors toured the museum during the festival. Some were surprised to find their own images included among the exhibits.

“We were/are humbled and over the moon with joy,” stated Jackie Merritt, one-third of M.S.G.-The Acoustic Blues Trio.
“Only regret, John (John Cephas) wasn’t still here to see our smiles. We stand on the shoulders of those who have paved our way and we realize we have big shoes to fill. Thank you, Bristol!”

“Artists like The Black Lillies and M.S.G.-The Acoustic Blues Trio toured the museum and were excited to be part of our exhibits,” says Ross. “Festival artists are part of Bristol’s music legacy and show the impact of the Bristol Sessions on the music of today.

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion 2015 is scheduled for September 18—20, 2015.


Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion now ranks among the American Bus Association’s premier Top 100 Events in North America for motorcoach tour groups. Each year tens of millions of tourists visit destinations in North America as groups on motorcoach trips. The American Bus Association has released the entire list of Top 100 Events in North America. This list is the annual announcement for group travel in the United States and Canada. It’s published as a guide for travel professionals and the general public when planning group tours and vacations.

“We are grateful to Tennessee Department of Tourist Development for nominating Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion for ABA’s Top 100 list,” says executive director Leah Ross. “The honor will bring tourists from all over the world to the festival and to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum.”

Each spring, the Top 100 Selection Committee, which is comprised of group travel professionals, selects the winners from hundreds of nominated fairs, festivals, parades, exhibits, theaters and shows based on their broad appeal, accessibility to large groups, and other criteria.

The Top 100 Events will be published as a special supplement to the September/October issue of Destinations magazine. You can also find a full listing of the winners at http://www.buses.org/News-Publications/Top-100.

The American Bus Association (ABA) is the trade organization of the intercity bus industry, with more than 1,000 motorcoach and tour company members in the United States and Canada. Its members operate charter, tour, regular route, airport express, special operations and contract services. Another 2,800 members are travel and tourism organizations and suppliers of bus products and services who work in partnership with the North American motorcoach industry.

For more information about the American Bus Association and its Top 100 Events in North America, contact Dan Ronan, Senior Director of Communications, dronan@buses.org.

Moon Bound Girl Book Cover

Bristol, Tennessee native Leigh Ann Agee followed her “moon bound” dreams of living her life as a visual artist. Those dreams landed Agee in Nashville where she made a name for herself as an in-demand muralist, taking on a number of large-scale projects that include creating storybook themes for a children’s ward at a hospital, depicting Noah’s ark for a wing of a church, and composing lush nurseries for country music stars.

On Sunday, September 21, 2014, at 2:00 p.m., Agee returns to her Bristol roots to launch her children’s book, Moon Bound Girl: Melody’s Music, at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum as part of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion’s annual music festival (September 19-21). Seating is limited.

The illustrations in Moon Bound Girl: Melody’s Music are an extension of her Moon Bound series featuring lively, red-booted girly-girls with windblown locks that ascend to the heavens. Each illustration portrays Moon Bound Girls living their star-studded—and often-musical—dreams.

“I’m so proud of Bristol and how it’s grown by leaps and bounds,” says Agee. “The museum is amazing and I’m completely honored to be launching my dream, Moon Bound Girl: Melody’s Music, in my gorgeous hometown! And how perfect is the timing? I mean, what a perfect opportunity to get to do it at Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion. I’m a very blessed Moon Bound Girl!”

“Birthplace of Country Music is thrilled that Leigh Ann chose to launch Melody’s Music during Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion,” stated BCM executive director Leah Ross. “We are huge fans of her work and are elated to offer Moon Bound Girl original artwork and prints in the Museum Store.”

The Sunday book launch for Moon Bound Girl: Melody’s Music will include a book reading by Agee inside the Birthplace of Country Music Museum’s Performance Theater, followed by a reception with children’s activities in the Blue Stocking Club Learning Center. Light refreshments will be served. Books will be sold at the museum store that day. There is no entry fee, but seating is limited and visitors will need a festival wristband to enter.

Guests are encouraged to RSVP for this event in order to guarantee seating. Email your RSVP to Tracey Childress at tchildress@birthplaceofcountrymusic.org no later than Wednesday, September 17. Visitors who wish to tour the museum before or after the book launch should purchase tickets at the museum store at regular pricing.

Moon Bound Girl will also have a booth at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion all weekend on the 600 block of State Street. For more information visit www.BirthplaceofCountryMusic.org. For more information about Leigh Ann Agee and Moon Bound Girl, visit www.MoonBoundGirl.com.

Moon Bound Girl Leigh Ann Pic


Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is proud to announce a weekend-long Kid’s Zone at Cumberland Square Park during the festival with pony rides, clowns, face painting and more. Festival wristband required for entry, some fees may apply.

There are also two additions to their BVU Children’s Day: the Wells Fargo Stagecoach and Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures Dental Van.

BVU Children’s Day will be held Saturday, September 20, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in Cumberland Square Park and is free to the public. All activities during Children’s Day are free.

The Wells Fargo six-horse stagecoach comes from Wells Fargo’s real history of using, owning, guarding, and operating them. They still own and display 10 originals in their history museums, 13 authentic reproductions on display in their buildings, and a fleet of 17 that roll almost every weekend in parades across the nation. The Wells Fargo Stagecoach is a symbol of the company’s image, heritage, and values. The legendary stagecoach is priceless, and Wells Fargo strives to present it to their communities.

The Junior League of Bristol TN/VA will also bring the Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures (BSBF) Dental Van to Children’s Day to provide free children’s dental health education and prevention. Colgate BSBF will provide free dental screenings and treatment referrals to children aboard a 32-foot customized recreational vehicle. Colgate BSBF screening program is staffed with program coordinators, hygienists and local volunteer dental professionals. Children up to 12 years old will enjoy this fun and engaging program aimed at empowering children to take control of their dental health and disease prevention. For more information about the Colgate BSBF, contact Dawna M. Fields (212) 310-2816.

Sunday, September 21, from 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Friendship Ram of Bristol will host Kid’s Day the Friendship Way with face painting, cornhole, inflatables, and Raminator Monster Trucks on the corner of State and 5th Streets during the festival. Festival wristbands are required for entry.

UPDATE! Bristol Rhythm 2014 Shuttle Stops
Park and ride to the festival from a number of convenient stops, including The Bristol Mall.
Shuttle passes are $10 for the weekend, $5 each way from all shuttle stops.
Shuttles are cash only, children 12 and under are free. Shuttles drop off at the gate
located at the Downtown Center off Shelby Street, behind the Country Music Mural Stage.

Shuttle Schedule:
Friday: 4:30 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 a.m.
Sunday: 10:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Shuttle Stops:
The Bristol Mall Entrance (Exit 1, Gate City Hwy.)
Earhart Campground (Volunteer Parkway)
Sugar Hollow Park (Exit 7, Lee Hwy.)
Motel 6 (Exit 7, Clear Creek Rd.)
Holiday Inn/Courtyard Marriott (Exit 7, Linden Drive)
Baymont Inn & Suites (Exit 7, Old Airport Road)
Comfort Inn (Exit 5, Lee Hwy.)
Super 8 (Exit 5, Lee Hwy.)
Econo Lodge (Exit 3, Commonwealth Ave.)
American Inn (Exit 74, West State Street)
Hampton Inn (Exit 74, West State St.)
Days Inn (Volunteer Pkwy.)
Budget Host Inn (West State Street)


The story of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion comes full circle with the opening of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. For the first time, visitors to the festival have the opportunity to explore Bristol’s origins as the birthplace of country music—the reason Bristol Rhythm was created. Everyone is encouraged to share this important story of American music during the festival; it is an interactive, state-of-the-art experience unlike any other. Featuring touch-screen technology, cinematic film experiences and acoustically perfect sound quality, the museum is a “festival” of sights and sounds that visitors from all over the world have heralded as one of their favorite museum experiences of all time.

Special museum hours during Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion are Friday and Saturday, September 19-20, 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 21, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Festivarians are encouraged to purchase tickets to the museum early in the day so they can explore in one or more trips throughout the day if needed. Museum day passes allow multiple entries on the day of purchase.

Tickets to tour the museum are $13 for adults, $11 for children 6-17, seniors, students (with student ID), and military. Children 5 and under are free.

Note: There is no charge for festival goers who wish to participate in the Moon Bound Girl book launch event Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. Visitors must have a festival wristband to gain entry. Those wishing to attend the book launch will need to RSVP by Wednesday, September 17 to tchildress@birthplaceofcountrymusic.org.