Old City prepares for Rhythm N’ Blooms music festival, thousands expected

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Ahead of the Rhythm N’ Blooms festival, businesses and artists are getting ready to open their doors and take some of the seven stages, respectively. Thousands are expected to flock to Knoxville’s Old City for the yearly festival. 

Some tickets have already sold out, which business owners say is a good sign for the number of people expected to attend. 

“We have 17 shows lined up over 3 days, that’s just one venue,” said Gina Truitt, General Manager at Boyd’s Jig and Reel. 

Truitt says she’s worked during a few festivals and says there’s “something special” about so many people celebrating music in the Old City. 

“You might not even know all the bands that are playing, but find something new,” said Truitt. 

Down Jackson Avenue, a new business is opening the doors to the public for the first time Friday, hoping the festival brings new customers. 

“That was definitely part of the strategy. What a great opportunity to open the doors when you’ve got 15 to 20 thousand people coming down here this weekend,” said Joe Fox, CEO and Co-Founder of Blühen Botanicals

The company’s first storefront, open on Jackson Ave., is a brewery/pub meets coffee shop. Fox says he hopes the weekend will allow new customers to try the Tennesse grown and created products. 

Meanwhile, artists on the Blooms’ lineup are preparing for performances in 7 venues across Old City, including the Cripple Creek stage, on Jackson Ave. 

“Defniitely the audience is extremely good at listening and interacting. You’re not walking a mile between venues, not lost,” said Taylor Kress, part of the band “Jubal.” 

Kress and the band have played Rhythm N’ Blooms before. He says they like the enviornment for the performances, especially this year, playing at two venues they frequent: Jig and Reel and Pilot Light. 

“The type of venue influences what we might do as far as a setlist goes… and the time of night,” said Jake Smith, a bandmember of “Jubal.” 

Other artists taking the Blooms’ stage will be doing so for the first time, like Haley Labelle. 

“Every local knoxville muscian dreams of playing Rhythm N’ Blooms… but to have a festival at home, like this, where you live and where you work. It’s incredible,” said Labelle. 

Labelle is a singer/songwriter and plans to play the electric guitar during her sets at Boyd’s Jig and Reel on Saturday and Sunday. She’ll also sing original songs inspired by her life. 

“I honestly just feel super lucky to get to play here at all. It feels nice, you put in the practice, the work, and its nice,” said Labelle. 

Some tickets are still available online. Tickets are available to volunteers, for every 4-hour shift completed, volunteers receive a free day pass. To sign up to volunteer the day of the event, that can be done at the volunteer booth.

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