Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival: The First Beat of Fall

With the entrance of Fall comes a flurry of traditions that Mizzou students and locals look forward to each year: Tiger football, Homecoming Week, pumpkin spiced lattes from local cafes, and Fall parties- just to name a few. But one that is the first to kick off Fall festivities and has become an iconic Columbia Fall tradition is the annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival. It’s a musical celebration that features over 30 artists from the genres of roots, blues, gospel, country, folk and soul. Each year the festival draws thousands upon thousands of music lovers from across the country. But it’s more than a music festival; it’s a cultural celebration that embraces all flavors and walks of life. And it’s an event that locals and festival-goers rave about long after the festival is over; which is easy to see why- these folks know how to have a good time!

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The festival takes place in the beautiful Stephens Lake Park. If the scenic setting of park in the early Fall season isn’t enough to draw folks in, then the music sure will! The line-up includes international, national, regional and local artists that features some of the most prominent artists in the roots n blues musical genre- and the festival is ripe with some great beats that will blow you away!

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Trombone Shorty

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Local act, Todd Day Wait’s Pigpen

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Internationally-known act, The Black Crowes

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ZZ Ward

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Alejandro Escovedo

Ferris wheel view of part of the venue in Stephens Lake Park

Ferris wheel view of the venue at Stephens Lake Park

One of the things that makes the festival so unique is the lively, likely never before-seen outfits that pop up all over the festival grounds…

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Like folks dressed up as mushrooms….

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Festival-goers rocking out with guitars signed by all the artists who played at the festival this year

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Aliens got to have fun too!

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And here comes another one!

The non-stop music keeps people singing and dancing all night long, however, it’s clear that all the fun doesn’t just happen on stage either.Once night falls, the festival takes on a majestic, almost other-worldly atmosphere. Colorful lights, spinning wheels, and glowing creatures illuminate the festival grounds.

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But the best part of the festival is how it brings people together, which is why it is one of Columbia’s favorite traditions. So once again, families, friends, and folks from every walk of life descended on the 7th annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival to spend time together, to laugh and dance together, and to enjoy something that brings us all together- the beauty of music.


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All Photos by the Photo Kingpin Crew – L.G. Patterson – Corey Hale – Scott Schaefer – Christy Lemons – Justin Kelley

One thought on “Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival: The First Beat of Fall

  1. Pingback: 7 Resources for International Students at Mizzou | Missouri Global

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