BRISTOL, Tenn./Va. (WJHL) – The annual Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion festival came to a close Sunday evening. Various artists and bands performed during the weekend across stages located throughout Downtown Bristol.

For some groups, this year’s festival was their first time performing on the city streets.

“It’s a very different festival experience than a lot of other ones we’ve played with it being downtown in a town,” said Sasha Landon, a member of the Southwest Virginia-based Band Palmyra. “It’s really cool.”

While Palmyra is experiencing its first Rhythm and Roots performance, some artists are returning to the Twin Cities once again.

“Ever since the first time I played here several years ago I wanted to come back,” said Jim Lauderdale, a singer and songwriter. “And so it’s a real privilege when I get invited back. I just can’t get enough.”

Throughout the weekend, the festival attracted thousands of people from all over the region to Bristol. For some, the streets hold special memories.

“My dad loves to tell the story of how the Bristol Sessions started here in Bristol,” said Diane Flannigan, a Washington County, Virginia resident. “And it’s just, I love meeting new people and hearing all the new music to different genres and it’s just fantastic.”

After all the work that goes into organizing the festival, event organizers said the turnout has made it all worth it.

“This year’s been particularly eventful and the crowds have been great, and we’ve had amazing headliners,” said Kris Truelson, Program Director for Radio Bristol. “We’ve had amazing artists that I didn’t know about. So there’s always surprise artists. And it’s just been it’s been a beautiful, beautiful weekend, as always.”

For Flannigan, the music is truly the heart of the festival.

“Everyone has the love of music and you can get together and just relax and have fun,” she said. “We all have fun.”