15 Reasons to Come to Rhythm N' Blooms

Video produced by Knoxville Weekend

Written by Susan Alexander / Photos by Maranda Vandergriff + Bill Foster

Garrett Thomson of Dogwood Arts and Chyna Brackeen of Attack Monkey Productions discuss Knoxville’s Rhythm N’ Blooms Music Festival and why it’s got to be on your calendar this year: 

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1. “Rhythm N’ Blooms is a lynchpin of music in Knoxville,” said Garrett, who’s worked in music both here and in Nashville. “RNB sets the tone for what is popular -- not only the type of music but how to consume it. We couldn’t have done The Outpost without it.”

2. “The festival focuses on emerging and developing artists,” said Chyna. “It has featured a lot of bands before they became famous, including St. Paul and the Broken Bones.”

3. “About a third of the acts are local. It’s a huge thing for those artists that perform. It allows people to discover their new favorite artists. 

4. “We want to support the revitalization of Jackson Avenue and the Old City,” said Garrett.  

5. “We love using nontraditional rooms and turning them into music venues.”

6. “More artists are considering adding Knoxville to their music tours because of RNB,” said Chyna. “Artists approach us now rather than us always approaching the artists.” 

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7. The 2019 Epiphone Guitar Design Contest, open to high school and middle school students in East Tennessee, selects 15 guitar designs for exhibition at the Songbirds Museum, a guitar museum in Chattanooga, and at Rhythm N’ Blooms Music Festival. The guitars will be auctioned online to benefit Dogwood Arts and the Songbirds Foundation’s youth art programs.

8. The Musician’s Corner is a free feature of the festival that provides educational and informative programming by way of panels and talks from artists, experts, and community leaders. Discussions cover a range of topics from community building to the ins and outs of the music industry.

9. A free street fair will display the work of local artisans and vendors.

10. And the silent disco – you have to be there for it. Participants put their headphones on and dance to 3 different songs.

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11. “It’s such an accessible festival, from very small venues to the main stage,” said Garrett. “Even for people who don’t think they like the idea of a crowded festival, it does not have that vibe. 

12. “It’s a way to experience the city in a different way and to discover great music.

13. “Artists feel comfortable going into venues and listening to other musicians perform. It allows them to experience the fun of the festival and it offers intimate interaction with artists to audience members.”

14. Can we talk about the cost?  “You get three days of music for $75, about the same as the cost of one show at The Tennessee Theatre,” said Chyna. 

15. It’s the festival’s 10th anniversary. “If you’d told me that first year we’d make it to 10, I’d probably have laughed,” Chyna said. “It’s really exciting.”

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Rhythm N’ Blooms

When: May 17-19

Tickets and info: rhythmnbloomsfest.com 

Hosted by: Dogwood Arts

Make. Learn. Grow. | Surviving the Independent Music World

What: Lunch-and-learn panel session on making it in the indie music world 

Featuring: Music professionals Chris Rusk and Kelle Jolly, Garrett Thomson of Dogwood Arts and Chyna Brackeen of Attack Monkey Productions, moderated by Benny Smith of WUTK

Hosted by: The Maker City

When: March 21, 12 - 1:30pm

Where: Knoxville Entrepreneur Center | 17 Market Square, Suite 101

Tickets: Free, but register here