Bristol's Pickin' Porch location moves downtown

BRISTOL, Tenn. - A new year and a new tradition begins in downtown Bristol -- the Appalachian Cultural Music Association brings its Pickin' Porch performances to downtown.

For the past 15 years they've been held at the Bristol Mall on Thursday nights. But with announced plans to move the music association's museum to a downtown location, it was a natural move to bring the Pickin' Porch along too.

This means there's music downtown every week now.

The excitement began to build when late last year the Appalachian Cultural Music Museum announced plans to move to downtown Bristol.

A component of that was a live music performance each week from their Pickin' Porch.

And now the Pickin' Porch has a new location within the Foundation Facilities and a new night, Monday night.

ACMA co-founder Tim White told us about their new stage. "[It's got] state-of-the-art lights, state-of-the-art sound, we can get 500, 600, 700 people in there. It's a big step up," he said.

The new venue and the new night means there will be music downtown almost every night of the week. "Being on Monday night will help a lot of the merchants downtown. It's going to a great opportunity to showcase the ACMA Pickin' Porch here downtown at the Birthplace of Country Music. It's going to be the first show in a long, long time that's live every week right here in downtown Bristol," Allen Hurley with the Foundation Facilty said.

The new location and day of the week in their new home breaks a 15-year history at the Bristol Mall location, but a new tradition is beginning. "I want our folks who've been religiously coming to the Pickin' Porch not to be negative. To come out and support what where doing and give it a chance. I think we're going to pick up new people that will be coming to the Pickin' Porch whether it's the new location or the new night," White added.

It's just a link in a long chain of events that's brought the musical heritage and a downtown back to life.

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