“The Bristol Sessions is the single most important event in the history of country music.” – Johnny Cash
The Bristol Sessions, recorded on State Street in 1927 and 1928, are recognized internationally as the “Big Bang” of country music. The Birthplace of Country Music®, a non-profit organization formed to celebrate and promote Bristol’s music heritage, honors the region’s legacy through a number of live music events and programming.
Open August 2014, Birthplace of Country Music® Museum is a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate featuring permanent exhibits, a special exhibits gallery, educational programs, multiple film experiences, and a theater dedicated exclusively to live, year-round music performances. In addition, the museum will feature interactive music mixing and listening stations and technology-infused media.
Voted Best Festival by Southeast Festival & Events Association, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion boasts more than 150 acts of live music on over 20 stages. Past performers include The Avett Brothers, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Bela Fleck, John Oates, Robert Earl Keen, The Del McCoury Band, The Drive-By Truckers, Lucinda Williams, The Carolina Chocolate Drops and many more.
BCM organizes a number of concert series including Border Bash free summer concerts in downtown Bristol and RTE 23 Music Festival on the campus of University of Virginia’s College at Wise.
Learn more about the Birthplace of Country Music