BVU Approves $150k for Concert
(Article written by David McGee, Bristol Herald Courier)
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.
Bristol, TN/VA (Feb. 18, 2014) — The Birthplace of Country Music® swept the Southeast Festival and Events Association Kaleidoscope Awards, held in Savannah, Georgia, at the Hilton Savannah DeSoto Hotel. The awards recognize the highest levels of achievement in the Southeast’s festival and event industry.
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 map insert by Kenny Thacker (Silver)
Charlene Tipton Baker, director of marketing and public relations for BCM, and Tahita Haynes, operations manager for BCM, attended 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.”
It’s hard to believe it’s over. The stages are down, city crews and volunteers have hauled off the final remnants of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion. Like most other festival this season, we were touched by rain, but it did little to dampen spirits.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, to all of our guests. We are so grateful to you for making the trek to our Historic Downtown to support our festival. We hope your experience was epic, that you will remember us fondly, and that you’ll return for what we have in store next year in 2014 once the Birthplace of Country Music® Museum is open. We can promise lots of events in celebration prior to festival, so please, keep checking our website and reading our newsletters to find out what we have in store.
A long list of gratitude is due to many, first and foremost to our wonderful cities of Bristol, Virginia and Bristol, Tennessee. What visitors don’t see behind the scenes is the hard work they put into our event. Their support is nothing short of amazing.
Thank you to all our Sponsors. Many have commented that they enjoy Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion because it is a community event. Our Sponsors are the reason. Their support keeps ticket prices reasonable and help us maintain the hometown atmosphere you’ve come to love. We hope you continue to support those that support us.
Thank you, Volunteers, for your tireless hours of hard work. Without you, we would not exist. From the folks that pitch tents and recycling to the folks to man gates and take tickets, your presence is crucial to our success.
And to our artists. Wow. You’ve amazed us again! For weeks we’ll be reminescing about all your amazing sets! For those of you that have played before, you were already an alum. For all the newbies, welcome to the family!
We don’t have the final talley on attendance, but will get those numbers to you as soon as we have them available. We’ll also be posting lots of pictures and videos throughout the year so keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter!
Again, thank you all for a wonderful festival. We are blessed beyond measure that you have embraced Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion so wholeheartedly, and return year after year.
Discounted tickets to Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, September 19-21, 2014 will go on sale December 1, so be watching our website. We can’t wait to do it all over again!
Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion announced a special partnership with BVU Authority and BTES to provide improved digital connectivity for 2013 festival goers. BVU and BTES have volunteered to connect a total of eight stages, split between the two states, for live public video streaming by ETSU Online and Heritage TV during the three-day event. Some live footage will be recorded by Heritage TV, BVU’s local access channel, and will also be aired after the festival on OptiNet channel 3.
Leah Ross, Executive Director of Birthplace of Country Music®, parent non-profit of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, states “Bristol is two states with one state of mind. Bringing BVU and BTES together for this project is just another example of how our festival brings people together. We are very grateful to BVU and BTES for their support.”
BVU has also installed a large WiFi zone throughout downtown Bristol VA – allowing ticket holders to connect to the live streaming via OptiNet’s network. This permanent infrastructure is in addition to the “BVU Pavilion,” a technology hotspot for festival attendees. The BVU Pavilion, located at 709 State Street, will offer free WiFi access, public laptops, as well as high-definition televisions and seating for festival guests. BVU has also provided point-of-sale terminals at four Virginia locations for credit card processing at ticket booths, and has facilitated the electrical connections for the festival venues.
“Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion has become such a huge part of our community, and we are avid supporters of making the communities we serve great places to live and visit,” explains Gail Childress, Director of Community Outreach for BVU. “These complimentary services are just one way that we can say ‘Welcome’ to our visitors and ‘Thank you’ to our local residents.”
Mike Browder, CEO of BTES, added “Partnering with Rhythm & Roots Reunion in providing these high-speed data services is just another way that we can exceed our community’s expectations and continue to showcase our Gigabit Community.”
Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion helps L.C. King Manufacturing Co. celebrate 100 years of quality, American made products with lights, sound, and action, thanks to a partnership with Live & Breathing and King University. Students and faculty from King University’s Photography Dept. will aid in a special video production, led by Live & Breathing, in the historic factory during Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion.
The video shoots are not open to the public.
“Live & Breathing is well-known for traveling to music festivals and filming artists in unusual settings,” says Charlene Baker, Director of Marketing and Communications for Birthplace of Country Music®, the parent organization of Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion. “When artists found out the project involved L.C. King’s 100th anniversary, artists like J.D. McPherson, Pokey LaFarge, and The Apache Relay wanted to be part of it.”
King University Photography students will serve as production assistants during shooting and take still photos of the artists for promotional and social media use during the festival.
“The production will provide real-world experience for our students,” says Joe Strickland, Assistant Professor of Photography at King University, “we are very excited to be part of the production.”
King University Photography students will also provide social media coverage during the festival for the second year Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion.
To see videos Live & Breathing has done at Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion and other festivals, visit LiveAndBreathing.com.
The L. C. King Manufacturing Company, makers of Pointer Brand workwear since 1913, will be opening their doors to their new showroom and factory outlet during Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion.
“Additionally, we are proud to host “The L. C. King Centennial Sessions” at the factory,” says Ben Collins, Brand and Digital Manager for L.C. King, “These private sessions will be a unique experience for artists and fans alike, helping to celebrate our significant milestone of one hundred years of made in America and our unique role in the Appalachian region’s hardworking musical culture. It is serendipitous that King University will play a role as we share in the King family lineage.”
During Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion customers can shop the entire line of clothing made today by the 100 year old factory, including the popular Brown Duck Chore Coat, Overalls, and our American Original Jean in both prewashed and raw denim styles. There will be a changing room, historical archive on display, one-of-a-kind samples for sale, T-shirts, hats, limited edition wallets and more. The store will be open Friday and Saturday from 10am – 6pm and possibly Sunday depending on inventory. Please check PointerBrand.com or Facebook.com/PointerBrand or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Birthplace of Country Music® presents “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”, Saturday, September 14, 2013, at 6:30 p.m. at Theatre Bristol.
The evening is a tribute to The Carter Family and will be hosted by John McEuen and feature John Carter Cash and family. Come celebrate the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s landmark album Will the Circle Be Unbroken and tell the story of The Carter Family.
John Carter Cash will share his family history through music, narrative, and photos.
Heavy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails will be served. Reserved seats are $75.00 per person. Call (423) 573-1927 for more information.
The Bear Family Records release of the Johnson City Sessions will be a weekend long celebration, October 17-20, 2013, and Mountain Stage with Larry Groce is the Grand Finale!
Sunday, October 20 at 7:00pm Birthplace of Country Music® and East Tennessee State University will host Mountain Stage at the DP Culp Center Auditorium. Tim O’Brien & Darrell Scott, Sarah Jarosz, Old Man Ludecke, The Deadly Gentlemen and the ETSU Old Time Pride Band will perform.
Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 day of show. For more information call 423-573-1927.
Other Johnson City Sessions Weekend Events include:
Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 5:00 PM
Reception for and Talk by Johnson City Sessions Box Set Co-Producer and Country Music Historian Tony Russell, Reece Museum, East Tennessee State University. Free event. For information call 423-439-4392.
Friday, October 18, 2013:
Tri-Cities area media appearances by Richard Weize and Tony Russell and others with the Johnson City Sessions Weekend Planning Committee.
Saturday, October 19, 2013: 7:00 PM
Johnson City Sessions Box Set Release Party, The Down Home, downtown Johnson City [featuring performances of 1920s-era Appalachian music]. Ticketed event. For information call (423)573-1927
Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 5:00 PM
VIP Event at The Venue, downtown Johnson City [featuring gathering of Johnson City Sessions family members]. Ticketed event. For information call (423)573-1927.
The Birthplace of Country Music® and East Tennessee State University will work together during the Johnson City Sessions Weekend, to be held October 18-20, 2013, in Johnson City, Tenn., to bring West Virginia Public Broadcasting‘s “Mountain Stage with Larry Groce” to ETSU’s DP Culp Center that Sunday. The line-up includes the singer-songwriter and instrumental duo of Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott and bluegrass phenom, Sarah Jarosz.
“Johnson City has long been an important stop for the musicians of our region and beyond. ETSU is growing artists who will carry on the music tradition of our region,” said BCM Board President John Rainero. He added, “BCM sees a wealth of opportunity in working with ETSU on future projects.”
Dr. Ted Olson, BCM Content Team Member and Professor of Appalachian Studies at ETSU is spearheading the Johnson City Sessions Box Set project, whose release is slated for early October on Germany’s Bear Family Records. This effort follows the success of 2011’s Bristol Sessions Box Set, also released by Bear Family. Olson, who served as co-producer and co-writer on both sets, played an instrumental part in making them a reality.
“While many people around the world have heard of the Bristol Sessions, very few people – even locally – have heard of the Johnson City Sessions. Yet the recordings from Johnson City are wonderful in their own right,” said Olson.
For more information about the Johnson City Sessions Weekend, please visit its Facebook page.