Here’s a roundup of news briefs from around Southwest and Southside:

Nickel Creek, Margo Price to headline Bristol Rhythm & Roots

Nickel Creek and Margo Price are among the acts announced this week for the next Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion, slated for Sept. 8-10 in Bristol.

Other acts included in the initial lineup announcement include Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers, Watchhouse, The Mavericks, 49 Winchester, Larkin Poe, Allison Russell, Amythyst Kiah and Walderado, with more artists to be announced in the spring.

The annual music event was established to honor the legacy of producer Ralph Peer’s 1927 Bristol Sessions, which led to the first recordings of the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers.

Weekend passes and a limited number of VIP packages are on sale now at

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RISE now taking pitch applications

The RISE Collaborative 2023 business pitch competition is now accepting applications.

The competition will take place March 28 at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston. It will feature 10 businesses and entrepreneurs selected from the pool of applicants.

Applications are open to all residents of GO Virginia Region 3 counties and cities who have completed either the RISE Collaborative Business Bootcamp or a similar entrepreneurship training program. (Those localities are Amelia County, Brunswick County, Buckingham County, Charlotte County, Cumberland County, Danville, Halifax County, Henry County, Lunenburg County, Martinsville, Mecklenburg County, Nottoway County, Patrick County Pittsylvania County and Prince Edward County). Businesses, including startups, with at least one founder or employee who meets the above criteria are also eligible to participate. All types of businesses are encouraged to apply. 

RISE Collaborative will award prizes totaling $15,000, including $5,000 to the winner of the business growth category and $1,000 to the winner of the business startup category. Prizes are funded by sponsors of RISE Collaborative, including American National Bank & Trust Co., Benchmark Community Bank, First Citizens Bank, Letterpress Communications and Southside Electric Cooperative. Additional support for planning and promoting the competition is provided by the SOVA Innovation Hub and the Longwood Small Business Development Center. Anyone interested in becoming a sponsor or mentor can email Brandon Hennessey, director of innovation, research and entrepreneurship at the Longwood SBDC, at 

Registration and participation in the competition is free, and applications are due by March 7. Applications must include a video pitch (90 seconds maximum), a business plan (five pages maximum) and a financial projections worksheet. RISE will notify participants of their selection in the competition by March 17. 

Participants selected to take part in the competition will make their pitch in person to a panel of judges at the SVHEC’s Innovation Center in South Boston. The event will run from 4 to 8 p.m. March 28 and will include food and networking opportunities with local entrepreneurs and local economic development experts. 

To register or for more information, visit the RISE Collaborative business pitch competition homepage. 

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Wytheville concert series performance set for Feb. 3

The Wytheville Concert Series welcomes back Washington and Lee faculty Anna Billias, piano, and Julia Goudimova, cello, on Feb. 3 for a 7 p.m. concert in Snyder Auditorium at Wytheville Community College. The performances will include selections from Grieg’s “Peer Gynt” and “Holberg Suite.” Violinist Kevin Matheson will perform with Billias and Goudimova on one of Beethoven’s most celebrated chamber works, the “Ghost Trio,” and Grieg’s dramatic and lyrical “Violin Sonata No. 3.” 

Admission is free, but donations will be accepted to support the Wytheville Concert Series and the Wytheville Community College Food Bank. Performances are presented by Wytheville Community College, St. Paul United Methodist Church, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Wytheville Presbyterian Church, the WCC Educational Foundation and the MacDowell Music Club. 

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Kody Norris Show to play in Clintwood

Award-winning country and bluegrass group The Kody Norris Show is coming to the Jettie Baker Center in Clintwood at 7 p.m. March 3.

For tickets, a full lineup and more, visit eventbrite or call 276-926-6034.

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Senators renew effort to name amphitheater for Boucher

U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, both D-Virginia, have reintroduced legislation to designate the Blue Ridge Music Center’s outdoor amphitheater the Rick Boucher Amphitheater after former Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Abingdon.

“We are deeply appreciative of Congressman Boucher’s commitment to public service, and his continued work for Southwest Virginia,” the senators said in a statement. “We can think of no better way to honor his years of public service than by dedicating this treasured music center, which he championed during his years in office, after him.”

Boucher, an Abingdon native, represented the 9th Congressional District in the House of Representatives from 1983 to 2011. He was an early supporter of the development of the Blue Ridge Music Center in Galax and advocated for the project throughout his tenure. He also served as the chairman of the U.S. House Energy Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet as well as chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality.

The Blue Ridge Music Center is home to a visitor center, amphitheater, interpretive center and museum. 

The naming legislation passed the Senate on Dec. 23 but did not pass the House of Representatives before the end of the 117th Congress.

Full text of the legislation is available here.