The RTE 23 Music Festival has its origins back in February of 2009, when The Bristol Rhythm & Roots Concert Series at UVa-Wise hosted its first show in the college’s student center. The goal then – and now – was simple: bring the best Americana bands possible to music lovers in Southwest Virginia.
Seven years of concerts and festivals later, we have done just that. Both on campus at UVa-Wise and at Big Glades Community Square in Downtown Wise, we have hosted more great bands than we can name. Just some of the bands that we have brought to town include St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Folk Soul Revival, The Black Lillies, Yarn, The Corduroy Road, Holy Ghost Tent Revival, The New Familiars, Dave Eggar, Amber Rubarth, and Last Train Home. All manners of sounds and genres have been represented; if it is good music, we welcome it to our stage.
The year 2014 marked the advent of the RTE 23 Music Festival and the return of our efforts to the campus of UVa-Wise. By far our most ambitious effort to date, we wanted to create for music fans in our region and genuine festival experience. We welcomed four incredible acts – The David Mayfield Parade, Sol Driven Train, Jarekus Singleton, and Derek Hoke, The London Souls, Desert Noises, and this mountain – and a host of local craft and food vendors to the campus.
And then we offered it up for free.
That’s right. For free. All of our efforts here are completed supported by the generosity of a bevy of local sponsors so that we can invite music lovers to our events for free. This outpouring of support from our local town and college governments and business from around the area have enabled us to continue our mission for seven years.