Excitement is brewing all over the US for the return of bluegrass festivals in 2021. After a forced absence last year, bands, fans, vendors, and promoters are eager to get back outside with the rest of us and hear bluegrass music in the fresh air with friends and family.
Also pleased to see the music return are stage sound and sound reinforcement companies who likewise missed a full year of work during the shutdowns.
With an eye towards the return of live music in large outdoor venues, Blue Ridge Sound of Morganton, NC and Acoustic Sound Waves and Stage of Ivor, VA have announced a strategic alliance. Both firms are dedicated to providing transparent acoustic audio reinforcement, with many years of experience in the real world. Together, they believe they can provide everything that a large, live, outdoor music event needs with acts of a primarily acoustic nature, from an expert house and monitor mix, to complete lighting and staging.
John Holder, owner of Blue Ridge Sound says that a number of considerations have led to this decision to work together.
“I have known Jay Andrews, owner of Acoustic Sound Waves, for several years, and have always been impressed with his work ethic, attention to detail, and professionalism. These are the qualities that we at Blue Ridge Sound have built our business and reputation on as well. I’ve been in this business for many years, and Jay holds the same standards of excellence that I strive for. Several factors have played into our decision to work together for the betterment of concerts and festivals in the bluegrass and acoustic/Americana genres. Even though we do all production for all types of music, making acoustic instruments sound correct (not just loud) is harder than any other genre.
This decision to partner together was driven by the return of musical events as we begin to emerge from the hardships we all endured due to the pandemic. Both Jay and I purchased Stagemobile mobile stages (26′ x 20 XL and 22′ x 20′ L) recently, anticipating that many concerts and festivals will be held outdoors going forward. Since the retirement of Norman and Judy Adams (of Adams Bluegrass Festivals), Blue Ridge Sound has been inundated with requests to provide production for new festivals, as well as for expansions of production for established festivals. In my opinion, mixing acoustic music live correctly is much more difficult than mixing most other styles of music. Many engineers can get the music loud, but making acoustic music sound like a recording takes skill. Due to existing commitments, plus my tour schedule with Balsam Range, I’m unable to handle all of the new opportunities. Jay and I realized that the best way to help each other with new opportunities was to work together: sharing ideas, equipment, and personnel when needed. You are likely to see Jay on a BRS show and me and my team on some of Jay’s events.
We both strive to be the best value in bluegrass/acoustic/Americana production. We aren’t the cheapest, as we are both professionals with extensive training, resumes, equipment, and quality personnel. On that note, we are not as expensive as the big production houses, either. With our recent acquisition of the 2 stages, we can certainly accommodate larger events now. When quality at an affordable price is important, please contact us. We look forward to working together as live music begins to return to a new normal!”