Believe in Bristol & Australian Rotarians Visit Birthplace of Country Music® Museum
Bristol, VA – March 5, 2014 – Birthplace of Country Music® granted a private tour of Birthplace of Country Music® Museum to board members of Believe in Bristol on Tuesday following the organization’s monthly board meeting. That evening, BCM provided space for a private event hosted by The Rotary Club of Bristol, Virginia-Tennessee welcoming Australian Rotarians visiting the region.
“I think [the museum] is going to be a huge asset, not just for Bristol but for the whole area,” commented Bristol, TN deputy city manager and BIB board member Mike Sparks. “This is truly going to be a real touchstone for the nation to come to this area.”
BCM was able to accommodate the Rotary in the gallery space because exhibit installation has yet to begin. Though the Rotary event was not a BCM activity, their office has been fielding calls from tour groups and visitors anxious to see the latest developments at the Birthplace of Country Music® Museum. A number of group tourism professionals and travel writers have toured the facility in anticipation of the grand opening. As a result, the museum has already booked over a dozen tour groups for this fall.
“We begin installing exhibits and media soon and access to the museum will be extremely limited,” says museum director Jessica Turner. Pre-opening and opening events are in the planning stages and will be announced in the near future.
“It is very encouraging and rewarding to see the excitement the museum is creating in our community and region,” says BCM executive director Leah Ross.
To see the museum latest updates, including photos and video, visit https://www.facebook.com/birthplaceofcountrymusicmuseum.
BVU Approves $150k for Concert
Mumford & Sons Gentlemen of the Road Bristol Stopover, August 2012, Photograph by Maynard Ratcliffe
BRISTOL, Va (Feb. 25, 2014) — The city appears poised to host a major outdoor concert later this year, following Monday’s sponsorship approval by BVU Authority.
The authority board voted 7-2 to appropriate $150,000 from BVU”s OptiNet division to underwrite an event expected to occur sometime in October. At its meeting tonight, the Bristol Virginia City Council is scheduled to consider a rental request from a local promoter to host an as-yet unnamed feature artist and supporting acts.
In August 2012, both cities, the nonprofit Birthplace of Country Music and Believe in Bristol collaborated with A-C Entertainment to host Mumford & Sons and other groups in a day-long concert at the municipal parking lot near the Bristol train station. The event generated ticket sales of 17,000.
The Mumford & Sons event brought in about $1.8 million and a profit of about $500,000 for promoter A-C Entertainment, Assistant City Manager Andrew Trivette said. The city incurred about $25,000 in employee costs for security and cleanup but wasn’t fully compensated. City leaders sought to have another event last year but were unable to reach an agreement, Trivette said.
“The theory is we would do a similar event every year. This first year it has to be in October because we’re trying to get on this artist’s tour schedule as opposed to being a separate event from their regular tour schedule,” Trivette said. “The theory — if this event is successful — is it would become a spring-time event.”
Under the agreement, BVU would fund the up-front expenses up to $150,000 and be repaid through proceeds from ticket sales and share in part of the rental costs. The event would be insured for weather and other reasons and could be canceled if enough tickets aren’t sold, Trivette said.
“How this works, the promoter pays for absolutely everything with the exception of trash pickup, parking coordination, additional security provided by the police department and state police. The difference is the promoter is offering us [city] a share of the profit.”
Officials declined to name the performer because no contract has yet been signed.
“The potential performer is very well known,” Trivette said in response to a question, and would be “very fitting” for a community known as the birthplace of country music.
The promoter is RAM, an acronym for Rusty Morrell, a Twin City developer who has been involved in commercial and residential projects, Trivette said.
“Under the contract, RAM would receive 10 percent of the profit. The rest of the profit would come to the city and BVU would make $50,000,” Trivette said.
City officials have been mulling this request for some time and it was supported by the city’s Economic Development Committee.
“Here is a chance to tie in with the opening of the BCM [museum]. Here’s a chance to get another 20,000 or 30,000 people back to Bristol to visit downtown, to go to the museum, to stay in local hotels,” EDC Chairman and BVU board member Jim Clifton said. “This isn’t something BVU ought to do as a regular basis but Economic Development looked at it as a possible one-time scenario to get Bristol on this guy’s tour schedule — 18 No. 1 records. It’s a tremendous opportunity. I think it ties in with Bristol’s image and it’s on the Virginia side.”
The city of Bristol, Tenn., isn’t scheduled to participate in this event but the country music organization and Believe in Bristol will, Trivette said.
Following a lengthy discussion, the board approved the plan with members Archie Hubbard and Doug Fleenor casting the dissenting votes.
“It’s not because I’m not for it. I just don’t think we should be in the promotion business. It’s not a utility function,” Hubbard said.
BCM sweeps the SFEA Awards
From L-R: Stephen Moore, RCS Productions, Charlene Baker, BCM's director of marketing and public relations, Tahita Haynes, BCM's operations manager, and Ron Simpson, president/owner of RCS Productions
BCM, an SFEA member, has received award recognition at previous SFEA conferences. This year, there were 110 total entries for these awards from festivals and events throughout the Southeast.
BCM has taken home the following awards:
• Best festival, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
• Best poster, designed by Justin Helton of Status Serigraph (gold)
• Best digital media app, designed by CrowdTorch (silver)
• Best event program, designed by Cindy Collier and Kenny Thacker (silver)
Charlene Tipton Baker, director of marketing and public relations for BCM, and Tahita Haynes, operations manager for BCM, are currently attending the three-day SFEA Conference, which is held annually and provides marketing and networking opportunities for organizations within the festival and event industry.
Leah Ross, BCM’s executive director, says BCM's success at the awards show is a reflection of the community's continued support for the organization.
"This is huge for us. We are humbled and deeply grateful to all of our visitors, volunteers, sponsors, artists, board members and the community for playing a major role in this recognition," Ross said. "Thank you to SFEA for recognizing our impact on tourism in the region.”
Founded in 2009, SFEA brings together the best in events, event planners, festivals, venues and service providers in the Southeastern United States. According to association’s website, SFEA believes "in the power of festivals and events to make our community a better place."
For more information about SFEA, please visit www.southeastfestivals.org. To stay up to date with Charlene and Tahita's SFEA adventures, or to learn more about BCM, be sure to follow BCM on Facebook.
Exciting changes on the way for BCM's Wise, Va., music programming
Bristol, TN/VA (Feb. 5, 2014) – Exciting changes are coming to the Birthplace of Country Music®’s summer concert programming in Wise, Va. The RTE 23 Music Festival will be held on Aug. 30, 2014, on the campus of the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. This one-day music event will replace the Concert Series at Big Glades organized by Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion and coinciding with Bristol’s Border Bash concert series, which runs from May through August on the first and third Fridays.
“We have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the town of Wise and UVA-Wise hosting this concert series over the past five years,” says Leah Ross, BCM’s executive director. “It’s exciting to see the reach of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion in our surrounding region – and RTE 23 is another great way to take this music beyond Bristol.”
Four acts have been selected for RTE 23 including The David Mayfield Parade, Sol Driven Train, Jarekus Singleton and Derek Hoke.
“We really wanted some sonic diversity,” says RTE 23 Festival Director David Stallard. “We were excited to confirm Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion alumni David Mayfield and Sol Driven Train very quickly. Then the job became rounding out the bill. Singleton is an amazing guitar player, in the vein of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Muddy Waters. Derek Hoke is another festival alum – the real deal when it comes to vintage rockabilly.”
RTE 23 Music Festival will be free of charge and open to the public. Hours for the event have yet to be determined.
For more information about RTE 23 Music Festival, visit www.BirthplaceofCountryMusic.org or call 423-573-1927.
Birthplace of Country Music® is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and celebrating Bristol, TN/VA as the Birthplace of Country Music. BCM inspires new generations with authentic music experiences that honor Bristol’s vital role in recorded music history – the home of the Bristol Sessions, whose music continues to inspire the artists of today.
The David Mayfield Parade
If you’ve seen David Mayfield perform with The Avett Brothers or Mumford & Sons at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion or Bonnaroo, then you’ve caught his charisma, heart, and comedy, and you’re likely to come back for more. Conscious of being not just a musician, but also an entertainer, Mayfield certainly makes an impression live. The strength of his songwriting and musicianship, combined with his charm and personality, keep audiences coming back again and again.
Sol Driven Train
Sol Driven Train’s music weaves through genres like images in a Tom Robbins paragraph. The band’s sonic schizophrenia reflects songwriting influences like John Prine and Paul Simon, Afro Caribbean rhythmic explorations and funky New Orleans-style brass into earnest songs of life, love, loss and long johns. The versatile five-piece band, based in Charleston, S.C., features rotating lead vocalists, and multi-instrumental talent spread across horns, strings and percussion. Combining rich varieties of American pop and folk music into their own port-town sound, Sol Driven Train has carved out a unique musical identity within the burgeoning roots music scene.
29-year-old Jackson, Miss., award-winning guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Jarekus Singleton is one of the brightest, most exciting young stars on the blues scene today. His cutting-edge, streetwise music – melding contemporary and traditional blues with rock energy and hip-hop wordplay – turns audiences of all ages into devoted fans. With his blazing guitar licks and strong, soulful voice, Singleton brings his up-to-the-minute take on the blues to every song he writes and performs.
Born in Brunswick, Ga., Derek Hoke is a self-taught guitarist, composer, singer and loner. Hoke’s first love was the theatrics of KISS, but when his grandfather showed him country music’s roots, Hoke started down a different path. Hoke’s music is not your dad’s country or your granddad’s country, but the REAL country. Touring for three years with Ricky Skaggs, Hoke is a musician whose experiences unfold in his music and come alive on the stage.
BCM participates in Lincoln Center's "Reflections on the Bristol Sessions"
Buddy Miller, Bill Frisell and Carrie Rodriguez on Jan. 17. (Photo credit: Frank Stewart/Jazz at Lincoln Center)
“Our collaboration on this media exhibit with the Lincoln Center gave BCM an opportunity to share our story with a larger audience of music enthusiasts outside of our region,” Turner said. “It also allowed us to showcase one of our region’s gems: East Tennessee State University’s Old Time Pride Band. The band members are skilled performers of old-time string music and perform many of the songs recorded in the historic Bristol Sessions.”
The band performed in the Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Ertegun Atrium before Frisell, Miller and Rodriguez’s performances.
Media outlets such as Rolling Stone and The New York Times have sung their praises for these performances. Check out the links below for these reviews:
The New York Times: Bill Frisell and Friends Play Venerable Country Tunes
Rolling Stone: Revisiting Country Music's Big Bang, the Bristol Sessions
The event also received local coverage in The Bristol Herald Courier: Bristol Sessions to be subject of weekend program at Lincoln Center.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-573-1927.