Plans for the Blue Ridge Music Center began almost twenty years ago when the city of Galax, VA, long known for its link to traditional and old-time music, gave one thousand acres of land to the Blue Ridge Parkway for the purpose of building a music center devoted to the preservation and interpretation of regional music.
Music seems to be a natural part of these mountains, and nowhere is that heritage felt more strongly than at the Blue Ridge Music Center. People here have created and kept alive some of the richest traditions of folk music and dance in our nation. This music, produced by the sounds of banjo, fiddle and guitar are found at a crossroads between the Parkway, Virginia’s music heritage route, The Crooked Road, and the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina. You can find the Music Center at MP 213 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, only 12 miles from Galax, Va, in the shadow of Fisher Peak.
The variety of styles is a reflection of the landscape, the culture, and the people who migrated to the Blue Ridge. Music happens daily in the breezeway, and concerts take place in the 3,000-seat capacity outdoor amphitheater on weekends during the summer season and indoors in the fall with state-of-the-art sound. Throughout the summer months, performances by national and regional bands have filled the arena each weekend. Doc Watson, Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury and others have taken the stage of the Blue Ridge Music Center.
Discover an indoor theater for films and more intimate performance talks, and a shop for instrument construction. The “Roots of American Music” exhibit offers ample opportunity for Parkway visitors to absorb this rich part of mountain heritage. This exhibit traces the history of the music of the Blue Ridge back through the generations to its European and West African roots and shows how it continues to influence folk, country and other popular music styles today.
Visit our concert series event page or the Blue Ridge Music Center website to learn about upcoming concerts and musical events.