Bristol Casino Teams With Cameo Theater To Create Hard Rock Stage

Written By Adam Hensley on March 10, 2023 - Last Updated on August 1, 2023
Virginia Casinos Hard Rock Bristol Casino Cameo Theater Partnership

Bristol Casino — Future Home of Hard Rock just partnered with one of the state’s oldest theaters in Virginia.

The VA casino announced its sponsorship agreement with the Cameo Theater last week. Under the new agreement, the Cameo Theater’s main stage will be dubbed the “Hard Rock Stage.”

“Our partnership with the Cameo is a perfect match,” Allie Evangelista, president of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol, said in a statement.
“Live music is a key part of our DNA.  Hard Rock is an iconic music brand, with proud and deep roots in the industry.  We have a rich legacy of supporting performing artists of all music genres.”

Bristol Casino will help build on existing ‘rich legacy’

Brent Buchanan owns the Cameo Theater. Thrilled with the partnership, he believes it will help sustain a lasting legacy.

“The Cameo is proud to be part of Bristol’s historic music legacy,” he said in a release. “Through this partnership, Hard Rock is helping to sustain, and build on, that rich legacy.  We look forward to welcoming local residents and casino guests to enjoy Bristol’s fantastic live music scene, with performers and groups that appeal to all ages and interests.”

The Cameo Theater first opened in 1925. For decades, it housed entertainment for Bristol residents and visitors alike.

But in the 1970s, the theater closed. It remained vacant until Buchanan purchased the property in 2017. Since then, he restored the theater and helped bring back live music.

Partnership could foster Bristol business

The Bristol Casino location has, so far, proven to be a popular destination for Virginia gamblers.

But this partnership will add more of an entertainment feel to Bristol Casino — Future Home of Hard Rock.

“When our guests visit the casino, we want them to be introduced to all the amazing entertainment and tourism offerings available in Bristol and across the region,” Evangelista said in a release. “This partnership is one example of how we want to help promote Bristol as a wonderful tourism destination.”
In January, Virginia’s casino industry enjoyed its best month yet. Casino revenue topped $22.5 million across the state.
Bristol Casino accounted for $13.4 million of that revenue. That stands as a slight but expected drop-off from previous months. The new Rivers Casino Portsmouth opened in January as well. There’s a chance other casinos may pop up in the future, too.
Regardless, the Bristol location will remain a staple in the Virginia gambling industry. It was the first casino, albeit temporary, to opens its doors to Virginians. And this new partnership could play a role in keeping Bristol dollars within the community.
“This partnership shows the importance Hard Rock places on supporting local artists and working with local businesses to attract more visitors to Bristol who will spend their tourism dollars in our community,” Buchanan said in a release.

Virginia casino has more in store for Bristol

In an interview with WJHL 11, the casino’s VP of marketing hinted at more partnerships and events in the future.

“The sky’s the limit,” Marc Deleo told the TV station. “We’re just getting started. We don’t know all the details yet, but definitely a lof of cross-marketing. We’ve already started to fill the shows with our best VIP guests, so there’s a lot more to come.”

According to the Bristol Herald Courier, the spring could feature a variety of bands and tributes. The highlight, though: a live parking lot show feature Billy Idol and Bret Michaels, which could draw upward of 15,000 people.

Upcoming events at Bristol Casino — Future Home of Hard Rock

Bristol Casino — Future Home of Hard Rock offers more than 30,000 square feet of space for patrons. The temporary full-service location boasts 870 slots, 21 tables and a sportsbook.

Officials expect the permanent Bristol casino to open in roughly a year from now.

But if  you’re looking for some entertainment at the Bristol location, the casino has you covered these next few weeks.

  • Friday: DJ Stacie, 8 p.m.; Julie Williams and The Hired Guns, 8:30 p.m.; Brandon Maddox, 11:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: Lauren Cole Band, 5 p.m.; COAL CAMP, 7:30 p.m.; DJ Amy, 10 p.m.
  • March 16: DJ Amy, 8 p.m.
  • March 17: If Birds Could Fly, 8:30 p.m.; DJ Jessie D, TBA
  • March 18: Mac Arnold, TBA; Cash Crop, 11 p.m.
Photo by Gareth Patterson / AP Photo
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Adam Hensley

Adam Hensley is a journalist from Des Moines, Iowa. His byline has appeared in the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and sites within the USA Today Network. Hensley graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 and spent his college career working for the Daily Iowan’s sports department, both as an editor and reporter.

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