September 9, 2022
Celebrate the Music: Your Guide to the Annual Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion
What better way to celebrate the Birthplace of Country Music than a music festival featuring a lineup of long-time favorites and emerging new talent? Welcome to the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion.
Since 2001, artists from around the country have converged in Bristol to honor the influential 1927 Bristol Sessions.
In this place, the sounds of Americana, country, old-time, bluegrass, rock, Celtic, and Piedmont blues come together across more than a dozen stages and venues for three days of non-stop fun.
We’ve got the insider information to help you navigate this annual crowd favorite for the ultimate experience with the least amount of stress.
Top Tips from Festival Veterans
- Make sure you have some cash on hand. Old school currency never goes out of style when supporting the food, drink, and other vendors on site. Several ATMs are available throughout the festival grounds. You won’t want to miss sweet treats from Carly’s Kettle Korn or savory Wetzel’s Pretzels.
- Be prepared for any kind of weather. Pack plenty of sunscreen for those bright days and something to keep you dry in case of rain.
- Bring the kids along! At this family-friendly event, kids 12 and under attend for FREE!
- While there will be plenty of dancing and toe-tapping all day and night, bring a chair for when you need to catch your breath.
- Leave the heavy cooler at home but bring a refillable water bottle to help keep waste down during the event.
How to Get There
Free parking near the festival is limited, so the shuttle is the best way to avoid the hassle of crowded lots. One pass gets you access to five shuttle routes running throughout the weekend. You can find a list of shuttle stops here.
The Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion strives to make the event accessible for all visitors. From ADA parking lots and restrooms to wheelchair and companion viewing areas, there’s space for everyone. Visit the festival’s ADA Information page for more about accommodations at the venues.
The Birthplace of Country Music Museum will be open throughout the festival. Step out of the sun for a deep dive into the exhibits, artifacts, and recordings that will change how you look at music.
While you’re downtown, discover all that State Street has to offer.
Looking for a sit-down meal? Check out the dozens of restaurants serving up the best in Southern cooking.
Taste the local craft beverages, part of Appalachia’s storied history of brewing and distilling the most refreshing drinks.
You might even stop into a few shops featuring everything from apparel and antiques to hot fudge made daily.
Need a place to stay while in town? Check out one of Bristol’s hotels, inns, or campgrounds here for a comfy spot to rest between sessions. Several lodging options on this list are also a stop on the festival’s shuttle route.
Festival Guide On Your Phone
Before you get to the festival, make sure to download the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion mobile app for your Android or Apple device.
Keep track of the lineup and vendors, plus create your own schedule, so you don’t miss a thing.
Make sure to plan time for food and breaks between all that singing and dancing!
Do Your Research And Build A Schedule
Like many festivals, Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion has a ton of acts for you to enjoy. The festival prides itself on booking up-and-coming artists, so there will be many bands you have never even heard of.
First, start by selecting the absolute musts to see at this year’s festival. Remember that some artists play multiple sets, so one set might fit better into your schedule.
Spend some time listening to the bands unfamiliar to you. It’s a guarantee some of those artists will be “must-see” sets on your schedule.
A good starting point to listen to the festival acts is on the official Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion playlist below.