Headliners include Lucinda Williams, Iris Dement, The Masters of Bluegrass, Keller Williams, Blitzen Trapper and more — many more.
Among the crowd favorites are James McMurtry, The Travelin’ McCourys, Jim Lauderdale, Scythian, Paul Thorn, Claire Lynch Band and Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out, but that’s just scratching the surface.
Ed Snodderly, this mountain Roger Rasnake, Scotty Melton, ETSU Old Time Pride Band and ETSU Bluegrass Pride Band are among the local artists playing this weekend.
The festival happens on the 400 through 800 blocks of State Street and Cumberland Square Park in historic Downtown Bristol between Martin Luther King Boulevard. and Commonwealth Avenue./Volunteer Parkway.
Five main outdoor stages are strategically placed and named for their locals. Acts will perform at a new Jam Tent, the historic Paramount Theatre and Theatre Bristol. In addition, most of the downtown eateries host stages.
Shuttles and cabs pick up an drop off behind the Country Music Mural Stage beside the Downtown Center at 810 State Street, on the Tennessee side.
Day passes are $25 for today, $35 for Saturday and $25 for Sunday. A weekend pass is $70 at the gate. Children 12 and younger will be admitted at no cost. Pets are prohibited as are coolers, recording devices, illegal substances and weapons.
The festival is about more than music, however. On Saturday, the State Street 5K offers runners the chance to race in two states. The starting line is at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and State Street. The 5K starts at 8 a.m. and the two-mile Fun Walk starts at 8:05 a.m.
Children’s Day will be held Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Cumberland Square Park, Cumberland and Lee at the War Memorial. The event will feature a petting zoo, Zappo the Clown, inflatables, cartoon characters, a rock climbing wall, carnival games, arts & Crafts, face painting and music. At 10 a.m., Steve Gryb: The Pied Piper of Percussion will perform followed by Kazoobie Kazoo at 11 a.m. At noon, Gryb returns to the stage; Kazoobie follows at 1 p.m.
Set up for the Chili Cook-Off begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Cooking begins at 9 with judging and tasting at noon. Winners will be announced at 1:30 p.m.
If early morning chili isn’t your thing, try the pancake breakfast Saturday and Sunday from 8-11 a.m. at YMCA Bristol, corner of State Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Five bucks will buy you pancakes, sausage and juice or coffee.
For more information and to create your personal music schedule, visit http://bristolrhythm.com.