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This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.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

39 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

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

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

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

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

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

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I look forward to Rhythm and Roots every year! The festival has truly transformed our city and offers great fun for locals as well as visitors. Good music, good food, and fun activities for children and adults make it a 'must do' every year. The coordination of the event is exceptional as are the hundreds of volunteers that help make it happen!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Hands down my favorite time of year. My whole family comes in for the reunion. Along with their friends. It is nice to see many familiar names of bands coming back every year. It is, however, more exciting to find the new groups that come and make you fall in love with their style of music. The saddest part is when you come out of one of the last concerts and people are taking down the vending tents, stages and cleaning up. It just makes me ready for the next year. Everyone should experience Bristol Rhythm and Roots at least once.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion. The diversity of the music is wonderful. So many great bands to choose from. As a mother of three young children the festival is very family friendly. I feel very comfortable having my children with me and have no reservations about the things they are exposed to at this festival.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a native of Bristol and have attended Rhythm and Roots Reunion for three years now, and it gets better every year. The variety of the music, the people you meet and the atmosphere cannot be beat. The only thing I would change is expand the festival beyond main street. I have already got my tickets for this year and cannot wait.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Bristol Rhythm And Roots Reunion Festival is so important to my musical education for several reasons. First, I always experience a type of music there that I am not familiar with. Second, the legends and professionals that fill the schedule are important contributors to music history. Third, discovery of the unknown is always the most valuable part of my festival experience every year.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We've lived all over the world during a 25 year military career and have not had a better experience at a festival anywhere than we had at Bristol's Rhythm and Roots Reunion! This event is a winner in every sense. Where can you find a music/food/history/art entertainment event that is equally friendly to families with small children, teenagers, and young adults? The value is amazing also...for one low ticket price you can take in an infinite variety of shows. The variety of music is astounding...this is NOT just your father's Bluegrass! The venues are also amazing from the art deco Paramount Center to the huge Farmer's Market which accomodates over 1000 people (there seemed like at least 5000 there during the Ricky Skaggs night concert!). We discovered beautiful music from acts that we had never heard of before like Red Molly (bought 3 of their CD's). In short, this is an awesome event that needs to be on everyone's bucket list. Warning: this festival is addictive....come once, and you will want to come back each year!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We love Rhythm and Roots - already have my tickets for this years festival! Great bands- great music - fun for the whole family. We live in Bristol and we spend the entire weekend downtown enjoying the food, friends and great music.

Review from Guidestar

Melissa H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is such an incredible festival. I spend about a week prior to the event going through the line-up trying to figure out how I am going to be able to see everyone that I want to. The number of stages provides an opportunity to experience so many different styles of music and they are all outstanding. Ticket prices are such a bargain for the caliber of talent that they are able to attract year after year.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Bristol Rhytym and Roots Reunion is a terrific festival. Each year it gets better and better.

Review from Guidestar