Bluegrass Underground is an Emmy award-winning PBS concert & live radio series that originates over 333 feet underground at Cumberland Caverns in beautiful Middle Tennessee, a short drive from the metropolises of Nashville and Chattanooga. This amazing concert series has been featured on NBC-TV news, NPR, Money Magazine and dozens of blogs and internet sites, lauded as one of the world’s “coolest venues”.
Featuring musical legends, established artists and rising newcomers, all of whom are creating their own paths in the world of music, Bluegrass Underground shines a light on a full spectrum of bluegrass, from traditional to cutting-edge, as well as a tasteful array of Roots, Folk, Gospel, Jazz, Jam Band & Americana. The venue is a spectacular otherworldly subterranean amphitheater featuring unsurpassed natural acoustics. The show has quickly become one of the world’s premier musical venues, attracting the highest caliber artists and a loyal, international fanbase.
Bluegrass Underground promotes 25-35 concerts a year, recorded for our radio program before a live audience 333 feet below the Cumberland Plateau in the Volcano Room of Cumberland Caverns, near McMinnville, Tennessee. The PBS series is captured over the course of one spring weekend each year and tickets to this taping have become highly sought after. Season VI premiers on PBS in September, 2016.
Unlike some ‘live-to-tape’ music programs there is true, audience-building continuity in the family of genres our artists represent. Whether Vince Gill, Chris Stapleton, The Civil Wars, Andrew Bird, Widespread Panic, Ricky Skaggs, Old Crow Medicine Show, Darrell Scott, Lucinda Williams, David Grisman, Del McCoury, Jason Isbell, John Anderson and so many more, the core description for Bluegrass Underground artists is always “genuine” and “diverse.” Bluegrass Underground reaches a loyal demographic of music lovers the world over, who tune in knowing they’ll find the absolute best in authentic music, past, present and future.
Bluegrass Underground began in 2008, when promoter Todd Mayo took his family on a routine cave tour of Cumberland Caverns. Soon after, Mr. Mayo had the idea to partner with the cave to create a unique adventure/concert experience, bringing music where it had never been before, 333’ underground. One of the first shows he produced in the cave featured The SteelDrivers with Chris Stapleton, a sound that must have shaken the earth like never before. After producing Bluegrass Underground on radio for two years, in 2010, Mr. Mayo partnered with television producer Todd Jarrell to bring the show to PBS .
Bluegrass Underground currently airs in over 80% of North American PBS markets. As it enters its sixth season on PBS this fall, the series has garnered more than a dozen MidSouth Emmy Awards.
As demand for concerts in the cave continued to grow, Live From the Underground was founded in 2015. This new brand allows for unique, cutting-edge popular acts who may not quite BGU’s signature acoustic, roots sound to perform in The Volcano Room, including Keller Williams, Widespread Panic, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes and more.
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