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2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Bristol Rhythm And Roots Reunion

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Causes: Arts & Culture

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

72 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I live on State Street in Bristol VA, having just moved here last July. As a member of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, I helped the Rhythm and Roots Reunion executive director, Leah Ross, prepare a PowerPoint presentation about the festival to show to at the chamber membership breakfast. After that project, I bought tickets and couldn't wait to attend. Putting the presentation together with Leah taught me how people come, and from all over - including several foreign nations - to listen to music and enjoy this festival. I also learned how the community deeply supports the event - with many corporate supporters, volunteers, in-kind service donors and musicians all chipping in to make the magic happen. When BRR threw out the welcome mat, my husband and I were there within the first hours, and we were blown away. BRRR is part block party, part hoe-down, part gospel revival, and ALL Americana roots music all the time. So many people crowded downtown, yet everyone was having a fun time. I saw no issues. That kind of success takes strong leadership and a core group of volunteers who share a clear vision. I cannot wait to get more involved this year and enjoy it all over again.

Review from Guidestar

Kristin S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Last year was our first experience with BRRR and our experience with the event was excellent. We live out of town so we don't have access to the traditional media in the area but the organization has done a great job of keeping us informed. We are so pleased to see the positive effects that the September event and the other year round events are bringing to a wonderful downtown area that really needs a boost. We especially love how BRRR celebrates the pioneers who started Country Music with the Bristol Sessions yet really embraces music as self-expression that can take many forms. One of the best things about BRRR is how hard they have worked to make the festival accessible by keeping ticket prices low. It was such a pleasure to see so many generations enjoying the traditional and new music side-by side.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

From the professionalism of the staff, to the friendliness of the volunteers, this event could not be better run. The choices of the artists is outstanding, all of them being so accessible to the general public. I discovered the festival in 2006, the year I moved to Bristol and have been going ever since. I, of course, have my favorites, but it is great to discover new talent. The weekend pass is a steal, some artists you can't even get a ticket for that price. Other festivals charge that much for one day. I hope this festival becomes number one in the country.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

This year will be our 6th Bristol Rhythm and Roots. There is no doubt that we will attend, come hell or high water!
We love this festival for so many reasons. The many venues, indoor and out, offer the opportunity to see big name bands and smaller lesser known acts. That's often the best part, going home with new favorites that we have discovered for ourselves at BRR.
Weather is never a problem-if it's rainy, there are any number of places to duck into and still hear great music.
The vendors are great, we look forward to the food almost as much as the music! Fabulous barbecue for my meat eating husband and lots of vegetarian options for me.
It's fun, too to see the musicians at each others' shows. It really is a reunion for them and has gotten to be one for us when we meet friends we have seen year after year at BRR.
We go to the big expensive festival in N Wilkesboro every year, too and Bristol has just as much to offer as far as talent and non stop music-at a fraction of the price. But we would go to BRR at any price, it's just a great festival.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This festival and it's beyond-belief talented band line-up will BLOW YOUR MIND! The first time I went, it was with a 'sure, why not?' attitude. Now, I wouldn't miss it!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bristol Rhythm and Roots is one of the most family friendly music festivals around. What other festival has a place for families to stop in and rest for a while before heading off to the next venue! The Baby Comfort Station, hosted by La Leche League of the Mountain Empire, is such a fantastic place for families to stop in to nurse, change, or simply rock and rest while enjoying the amazing musical offerings at RRR.

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have worked closely with Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion for the past two years, producing the "Virginia Folklife Stage." I work with about 10-15 festivals per year. This is clearly one of the very best. It showcases a wonderful creative and diverse array of musical styles, and succeeds in reaching a broad audience. The programming at the festival is consistently top notch, and there is a real, concerted and thoughtful effort to compliment the music with educational initiatives, providing a truly intimate experience for the visitors.
To me, though, the greatest thing about this festival is the way it engages the entire business community, with stages in practically every restaurant, coffee shop, storefront, and tavern. It truly is a festival for and by the community!

Review from Guidestar

Whit M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rhythm and Roots is one of our favorite weekends in Bristol! The talent is always tremendous. The vendors are fantastic. We always show up first thing Saturday morning and have more than once closed it down after midnight! Even my kids enjoy the long day! If you have never attended the Rhythm and Roots Reunion, do yoursef a favor and plan to show up this year. You will not be sorry!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion continues to exceed my expectations and the expectations of all in attendance. Each year provides the best in Roots and Americana music with a focus on local, regional and national performers. The multi-venue scheme is a non-stop entertainment weekend with a surprise around every corner.
If you have not been to Rhythm and Roots you are missing the perfect opportunity to experience small town America at it's best in the official birthplace of country music.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i live in bristol,tn. and have attended this event ,it is a great time for all..

Review from Guidestar

Bobby W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Since the festival began, I have only missed 2 years of the most incredible music and adventure I could have had those years. Rhythm and Roots has brought to light a generation of singer/songwriters that very well could have been looked over. The venue is set up in expertise, with everything happening on one main strip of the downtown Bristol area. The rustic antiquity of the stores and corner pubs being exploited in the utmost fashion, the feeling is always bright and enjoyable. Rhythm and Roots always brings the best of talents to the table, such as Del McCoury, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Ricky Skaggs, and the list goes on. Also to be mentioned, the increpurest piedible one-of-a-kind food, arts and crafts, and microbrewery vendors. This festival puts a spotlight on the history and existence of Appalachian culture and heritage, but also brings a variety of rock-a-billy, southern rock, and other types of great music to the lineup. Also, if you get just plain tired, you can visit one of the many businesses and bars that not only serve you food and drink, but hold entertainment all day long. I have personally discovered many new artists here that I may have never heard, and many fond and dear memories that I never would have had. If you are up for gettin' down on a piece of America's finest land, then Rhythm and Roots is the place for you. I hope to see you there in September.

Review from Guidestar

Barbara W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The BEST music festival we have attended! In addition to the main stages there are different varieties of Traditional, Bluegrass, and Progressive music in the main street businesses. Local talent and world-known talent all for your listening pleasure, located right in the heart and soul of where this music first evolved, "The Crooked Road, Virginia's Musical Heritage Trail". The Roots! Got to go to the Reunion at Bristol!

Review from Guidestar

Jack S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is an awesome music event.Attending since the third year. The reunion has music fo everybody(at least I think so) always open it up on Friday evening ,close it down Sunday.Can't imagine not being there.

Review from Guidestar

Shanna S.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I attended Bristol R&R back in 2005. It was great. The musicians really mingle with those in attendance. Old Crow Medicine Show was there that year and they really rocked out the place. It is a nice family atmosphere as well. The street vendors are neat too. I highly recommend it.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a fantastic place to meet some of the most talented musicians in the world! Where else could you walk up to someone like Darrell Scott, have a conversation with him, shake his hand and then him go on stage and put on a performance that will bring tears to your eyes?

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hands down this is the best music festival you will find in the Southeastern United States, possibly even the entire country (though I can't speak from personal experience on that.) The tickets are entirely affordable and the variety of the venues offers something for every type of individual and mood. Since the inception of the festival, organizers have consistently offered a lineup featuring the absolute best in Americana and Roots music (with up and comers and legends alike.) I would recommend this festival to any music lover and have actually done so in a review of last year's festival on my blog: redeyedrooster.com/tenthannualrhythmrootsfestival/

Angie M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

One of my favorite festivals. There are so many things I love about this festival...the variety of music, venues, and people to start. Cozy pubs, beautiful old auditoriums, and open air concerts attended by people of all ages. Impressive main attractions, with many returning favorites (Holy Ghost Tent Revival, oh yeah!). Best of all...it's a great atmosphere for meeting new friends, and looking forward to those reunions.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Since I live in Bristol, I've been to every Rhythm and Roots Reunion from the beginning. Every year, this festival invents new and exciting things for us 'old timers' to see and hear. This past year we got to hear Joe Diffie and Ricky Skaggs and The Boxcars!!...(could be my new favorite group). The vendors and volunteers are great. (last year, one of the vendors came running over to tell me there were bees hovering around my lemonade glass while I set up my chairs..to be careful) The food stalls are wonderful. The crafters bring new and innovative products and there is music literally on nearly every corner and sometimes between street corners at the Busker Stops. For 3 days and nights, you can plan out your route to catch your favorites and hear new groups you've just heard about from friends. (won't ever miss another 'Sythian' appearance). If you've never been to Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion, you've missed the best of the best. Also...you'll never find another music festival that keeps it's ticket prices so reasonable that the whole family can attend.

Review from Guidestar

Stuart V.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

After friends in the US had given the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion the highest praise I began to take a lot of interest in this event. They recommended that, if I could make the trip from the UK, I would enjoy myself.

I began reading more about the history of Bristol and the history behind the BR&RR festival and the city itself - and was 'sold' on attending the 2010 festival.

The city of Bristol is a fine place and to be able to walk down the streets were AP Carter, Jimmy Rodgers and so many more trod to make history was a marvellous experience. I made a trip out to Poor Valley and visited the Mt Vernon Church and, during this trip, not only remembered those that made the journey into Bristol in 1926 but also how difficult that journey would have been and how our musical heritage would have been the poorer without their determination.

Seeing State Street closed off and filled with vendors, musicians and so many smiling and welcoming faces was just incredible; and to see the streets names after the famous participants on the 1926 sessions was a thrill.

The festival has so many venues, from the beautifully restored Paramount Theater to the large State Street and Piedmont Stages and many smaler, more intimate venues where great music can be heard while supporting local businesses.

The quality and range of music on offer is outstanding; from 'top-line' bands to lesser known but hugely talented artists - not forgetting the folks who just stop in State Street and jam (some of whom you might just see on a stage somewhere during the weekend)

Camping facilities around Bristol are excellent with shuttle buses taking the strain of getting into and out of Bristol.

In short, to hear such great music in a city (that feels like a village for the weekend) steeped in the musical past and present makes Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion a 'definite' for a return in 2011.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion is a wonderful event for Bristol and the Tri-Cities at large! The festival brought in over 45,000 people this year to the heart of our community, many of those from out of town, that's more people than the population of our 2 cities together. Bristol is known for the Bristol Motor Speedway and now we are making known our heritage as The Birthplace of Country Muisc! Thanks BRRR for promoting our culture and giving us great memories and awesome music to enjoy not only in September but year arround.

Review from Guidestar