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A Traveler's Guide to Traditional Music and Dance Along the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia

 

Find the Music



Search by Keyword
(county, venue, town, city, festival)
 


OR


Choose your LOCATION
(county, city, town, zip code)

Radius in MILES
 


OR

List ALL events by COUNTY  

Purpose of Blue Ridge Music Trails – Virginia

The folk music of the Blue Ridge began attracting song collectors over a century ago. Today that music, an important part of heritage tourism, brings in thousands of visitors each year. Though old-time string bands and bluegrass groups are the most popular draw, the region’s musical legacy also includes blues, gospel, balladry, and dancing—all carried on largely outside of formal music instruction or the commercial drive of popular culture. Blue Ridge Music Trails – Virginia guides travelers to the many public venues where local folk music and dance thrive today along the Commonwealth’s Blue Ridge Parkway corridor.

Accuracy of the Listings

Before you visit an event, check that venue’s listed website (if any) or call the listed contact person to confirm dates, times, locations, etc. Direct your questions about a specific event to the contact person in the listing. Many of the events listed on Blue Ridge Music Trails – Virginia are small and informal. An event organizer may make changes or close a venue entirely without notice. The information offered on Blue Ridge Music Trails – Virginia is usually updated once a year.

How Venues Are Selected

The venues on Blue Ridge Music Trails – Virginia are chosen for their folk character by folklife staff at Ferrum College’s Blue Ridge Institute & Museum. Though listeners may well hear all styles of music at a given venue, the criteria for a listing on Blue Ridge Music Trails – Virginia include:

  • The venue/event must offer a substantial amount of the region’s traditional music performed by musicians native to the region.
  • The venue/event must be located in a county within 25 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
  • The venue/event must be on-going, not a one-time event.
  • The venue/event must be open to the public.

Website Maintenance

Blue Ridge Music Trails – Virginia is maintained by Ferrum College’s Blue Ridge Institute & Museum (www.blueridgeinstitute.org), the official State Center for Blue Ridge Folklore, with support from the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Comments or questions about the website as a whole should be sent to bri@ferrum.edu.

Project Background and Partners

Launched in 2003, Blue Ridge Music Trails grew out of the Blue Ridge Heritage Initiative, a multi-state partnership of organizations, communities, and individuals committed to promoting the cultural heritage of the region. The BRHI was founded on the idea that heritage—the cultural traditions, natural resources, and historical events that together create a distinctive identity for the region—is integral to the well-being of communities and that the Southern Appalachians should preserve the heritage significant to the region and the nation.

Major institutional partners involved in the initial Blue Ridge Music Trails project included:

Produced by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum of Ferrum College. © 2017

Virginia Commission for the Arts   Blue Ridge Institute