MUSIC & THE ARTS
If you’re in Bristol, chances are you’ll hear live music nearly every night. The official Birthplace of Country Music, which the U.S. Congress deemed it in 1998, Bristol’s musical heritage is quite remarkable.
Bristol also is home to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, which opened in August, 2014. The 24,000-square foot museum documents Bristol’s story as the Birthplace of Country Music and the 1927 Bristol Sessions through permanent, technology-infused exhibits, a special exhibits gallery, education programs, multiple film experiences and a theater dedicated exclusively to live, year-round music performances. The music legacy is now available over the airwaves with the new WBCM radio station.
Keeping with its heritage, historic downtown hosts numerous free concerts April through October, as well as its annual music festival, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, which takes place the third weekend in September each year.
Bristol also offers a variety of activities for the art enthusiast. From painting your own ceramics to browsing one of several galleries and local art studios, you’ll be sure to find something you’ll want to take home. You can also explore art sculptures throughout the historic downtown district through Arts in Public Places.
The performing arts venues provide an abundance of exhilarating entertainment in Bristol. The historic Paramount Center for the Arts is a 1930’s movie theatre, which has been completely renovated and now features various performances. Theatre Bristol offers the opportunity to watch local actors perform in some well known productions in its ArtSpace. Additionally, the Barter Theatre, located just up the road, hosts theatrical productions year-around.