Acclaimed Music Event Bluegrass Underground Moving to New and Permanent Venue: The Caverns Projected Opening in Early 2018
Nashville, TN August 18, 2017 — Bluegrass Underground, the international concert destination and 13-time EMMY award-winning PBS music series, has found a permanent home in The Caverns, located within the base of Monteagle Mountain in Tennessee’s beautiful Cumberland Plateau. The announcement was made today by Bluegrass Underground Creator and Executive Producer, Todd Mayo.
The new venue, The Caverns, boasts singular natural acoustics and will accommodate many more subterranean music lovers in response to increasing demand for tickets to Bluegrass Underground and for other live music concerts across expanding genres.
“This is a dream come true to find a cave system that expands and improves the live and televised musical experiences of underground performances we have been curating since 2008,” Mayo said. “Our new home at The Caverns will enable us to add infrastructure with permanent power, professional audio and lighting with enhanced food and beverage concessions that have never before been possible, including a longtime request from our patrons: cold beer.”
The Caverns’ enhancements will greatly benefit the Bluegrass Underground PBS series as well, says television producer Todd Jarrell. “In the past, we taped the entire 12-episode season over one weekend due to the difficulty and expense of bringing literally tons of cabling and show gear a quarter mile into the cave,” explains Jarrell. “But The Caverns permanent infrastructure presents us the flexibility to match calendars with some of the world’s greatest performers, enticing them underground to offer our fans a ‘deep down’ lifetime experience throughout the year.”
With a more fluid taping schedule, Bluegrass Underground producers promise to shine a broader and even brighter light on America’s deep and wide musical culture through their partnership with WCTE Upper Cumberland PBS and the 300+ stations of the national PBS system.
The Caverns located in Grundy County near Pelham, TN, at the base of Monteagle Mountain is just 10 minutes off Interstate 24’s Exit 127. The Caverns is 30 minutes closer to two of it’s major markets: Nashville and Chattanooga. Only 75 minutes from Nashville and 45 minutes from Chattanooga, the Caverns is also a 2.5 hour drive from the major population centers of Atlanta and Birmingham, 45 minutes closer than ever before.
“Bluegrass Underground is now far more easily accessible to the vast majority of our regional patrons as well as our national and international fly-in fans,” adds Joe Lurgio, General Manager and Associate Producer of Bluegrass Underground. “And for the first time, Bluegrass Underground will be more easily accessible for patrons with physical disabilities.”
Mayo projects as many as 50 performances for 2018, expanding the “underground experience” to span more musical genres including symphonic music, comedy shows and some truly unexpected underground surprises.
The Caverns actually adjoin a number of connected cave systems, known to spelunkers for their beautiful formations, vast rooms, winding underground rivers and pristine natural condition. Most of the cave systems on the property are slated to remain accessible to qualified cavers. “In time we’d like to sustainably develop and share portions of these amazing caves for both educational and recreational purposes, allowing a wider audience to enjoy and learn from the underground beauty of Tennessee,” Mayo added.
Executive Producer Mayo says securing a permanent home with full production infrastructure will provide stability and long term security for Bluegrass Underground, which celebrates its 10th Anniversary in 2018. He adds, “We are so excited to present music in our own magical space for an experience that truly represents the Bluegrass Underground family and brand.”
ABOUT BLUEGRASS UNDERGROUND
Bluegrass Underground was “discovered” by Todd Mayo in the summer of 2008 when he proposed the simple idea of producing live performances in a cave. The inaugural show featured The SteelDrivers with Chris Stapleton on lead vocals and since that serendipitous August day the event has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, drawing music fans, media attention and cave buffs from around the globe.
Bluegrass Underground will soon be premiering on WMOT Roots Radio 89.5 and is premiering its 7th season of national distribution this year on the national PBS system via presenting station WCTE Upper Cumberland PBS. The show has won 13 Regional Emmy awards for Entertainment, Technical Achievement, Lighting, Audio and Directing. The series has aired in over 95% of the United States television markets and across southern Canada.
In this majestic setting, Bluegrass Underground celebrates the power of music to bring people together. The show prides itself in offering fans a wide variety of genres and has featured such artists as Vince Gill, Del McCoury, Widespread Panic, Jason Isbell, Rhonda Vincent, Amos Lee, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, David Grisman, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Doyle Lawson, Lee Ann Womack, Leon Russell and Old Crow Medicine Show. Bluegrass Underground has welcomed patrons from all 50 states and more than 50 foreign countries.
With its move to the base of Monteagle Mountain, Bluegrass Underground will join an array of historic and popular Tennessee attractions, including the landmark University of the South in Sewanee and the Monteagle Assembly. For those who love the great outdoors, there is much to see and do and all within 30 miles of The Caverns. South Cumberland State Park, Tim’s Ford Lake, The Stone Door and Fiery Gizzard Trail are but a few of the uniquely Tennessee experiences awaiting day-trippers as well as the fan traveling from afar.
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