Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 213: Blue Ridge Music Center
The Blue Ridge Music Center is a state-of-the-art performing arts facility built to preserve and promote the historic music of Virginia and the Blue Ridge. The Blue Ridge region has produced more old-time and bluegrass musicians per capita than any other. It is the heart of many of America’s living music traditions.
Drawing from this rich heritage, which continues to thrive, the air at the Blue Ridge Music Center (BRMC) is almost always filled with music, even when there is no concert on the stage.
From June through October when you leave your car you’ll likely hear the ring of the banjo and the song of the fiddle wafting on the air from the breezeway that separates the visitor center from the indoor auditorium.
Well-known local musicians volunteer their time to share the music they love with visitors, inviting those who can pick a tune to join them as well. Listeners relax in rocking chairs and enjoy both the music and the scenic view of Fisher Peak.
What to Do
- Explore the visitor center as well as permanent and changing exhibits that trace the diversity of American roots music to the region
- Experience the region’s musical traditions through live performances – past performances include Doc Watson, Ricky Skaggs, Del McCoury and Ralph Stanley
- Enjoy music at a 3,000-seat capacity outdoor amphitheater with state-of-the-art sound and lights
- Discover an indoor theater for films and more intimate performance talks, and a shop for instrument construction
The site is operated through a partnership between the National Park Service and the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.
The BRMC was built through the efforts of three organizations: the City of Galax, VA, which donated 1,000 acres of land on Fisher Peak near the Parkway – land originally purchased to protect the city’s watershed, the Blue Ridge Parkway (National Park Service, US Department of Interior), which owns the facility and maintains it, and the National Council for the Traditional Arts, (NCTA) a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of traditional music.
It operates from May through October each year.