▶ BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY
Blue Ridge Music Center
Located just over the Virginia state line at Milepost 213 of the Blue Ridge Parkway, The Blue Ridge Music Center is the High Country’s home for classic bluegrass and mountain music. Established by U.S. Congress in 1997, the site includes a 3,000-seat capacity outdoor amphitheater and indoor theater used for films and more intimate performances. These events are used to highlight an important strand of American musical culture, which is still alive and thriving in the region. Concert series, performance-talks, and an on sight museum trace the history of this music from local artists back to the creation of the music generations ago, and show how it continues to influence many forms of folk and popular music made across America today. Some past performing musicians include Doc Watson, Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury and Ralph Stanley. This state of the art performing arts facility is buzzing with music from June to October. For more information call 276-236-5309 or visit the website.
BRMC operates from May through October each year.
The Blue Ridge Music Center celebrates the music and musicians of the Blue Ridge. Established by the U.S. Congress in 1997, the site includes an outdoor amphitheater and indoor interpretive center used to highlight an important strand of American musical culture, which is still alive and thriving in the region.
The site is operated through a partnership between the National Park Service and the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.
In this region one finds many variations of the ancient fiddle and banjo music of Virginia and North Carolina. This music can be traced to the meeting of the African banjo and the European fiddle in the Tidewater before our nation was created. Here also are found older ballads and religious music that reach deeply into the American past.
Our concert series, performance-talks and museum, The Roots of American Music, traces the history of this music through local artists back to the creation of the music generations ago by persons from Europe and West Africa, and show how it continues to influence many forms of folk and popular music made across America today.
The Blue Ridge Music Center is a state-of-the-art performing arts facility built to preserve and promote the historic music of Virginia and the Blue Ridge. The Blue Ridge region has produced more old-time and bluegrass musicians per capita than any other and it is the epicenter or heart of many of America’s living music traditions.
Drawing from this rich heritage, which continues to thrive, the air at the BRMC is almost always filled with music, even when there is no concert on the stage. From June through October when you leave your car you’ll likely hear the ring of the banjo and the song of the fiddle wafting on the air from the breezeway that separates the visitors center from the indoor auditorium. Well-known local musicians volunteer their time to share the music they love with visitors, inviting those who can pick a tune to join them as well. Listeners relax in rocking chairs and enjoy both the music and the scenic view of Fisher Peak.
What to Do
Explore the visitor center as well as permanent and changing exhibits that trace the diversity of American roots music to the region.
Experience the region’s musical traditions through live performances – past performances include Doc Watson, Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury and Ralph Stanley.
Enjoy music at a 3,000-seat capacity outdoor amphitheater with state-of-the-art sound and lights
Discover an indoor theater for films and more intimate performance talks, and a shop for instrument construction.