WHAT: 2021 Roots N Blues Festival

WHEN: September 24-26, 2021

WHERE: Stephens Lake Park, Columbia, MO

WHO: Festival organizers and Columba tourism officials are available now until the start of the festival for pre-scheduled interviews:

MEDIA CONTACTS:  To schedule an interview with Tracy, Shay, Jamie or Megan, please email Jo Duncan or Kyle Stewart, or call 1-800-544-8474.    ABOUT THE FESTIVAL: The 2021 Roots N Blues Festival will be held the weekend of September 24-26, in picturesque Stephens Lake Park, just 1.5 miles east of downtown Columbia. The largest festival in Columbia, Roots N Blues is an internationally recognized event featuring over two dozen musicians and bands from all over the world performing a variety of eclectic roots, blues, country, bluegrass, gospel, folk and soul music on two main stages. 


Columbia’s Roots N Blues Festival Makes Its Highly-Anticipated Return

After more than a year without live music, the driving beat of a snare drum, the pulsing rhythm of a bass guitar and sweet vocal melodies floating through the air around Stephens Lake Park will be welcome sounds as the Roots N Blues Festival makes its highly anticipated return to Columbia September 24-26, 2021.

Missouri’s largest outdoor music festival, presented by Veterans United Home Loans, Roots N Blues takes place across 50 acres of the picturesque Stephens Lake Park near downtown Columbia and features over two dozen artists performing on two main stages spread over three days and nights. The international, national, regional and local artists selected to perform cover the gamut of American “roots” music, from blues and soul to country and bluegrass, rock ‘n roll to pop and nearly everything in between. Fest-goers will notice a significant difference in this year’s musical lineup. After taking the reins in mid-2019, the festival’s new owners, Trio Presents set out to do things differently right out of the gate. According to the organizers, even though Roots N Blues has always been a champion of female performers, they wanted to do their part to help “reverse the under-representation of female artists at music festivals” by filling every slot in this year’s Roots N Blues lineup with a female-led artist.

2021 Roots N Blues Festival Musical Lineup

The headliners for 2021 include nine-time Grammy Award-winner and University of Missouri alumni Sheryl Crow, six-time Grammy Award-winning artist Brandi Carlile and luminary R&B and gospel artist Mavis Staples. Other big name acts include the undefinable yet funky Tank and the Bangas, Canadian pop star Lennon Stella, acclaimed folk music trio Joseph and country music contemporary Natalie Hemby, who, along with Brandi Carlile, make up half of the Grammy-winning female supergroup Highwomen. This is only a highlight of a few of the celebrated acts performing at Stephens Lake Park this year.

For a complete list of this year’s performers and stage schedule, please visit www.RootsNBluesFestival.com.

Sheryl Crow to be Inducted into the “Missouri Roots Songbook” Hall of Fame

Another highlight of the festival is the bestowment of the Missouri Roots Songbook award. Each year the festival management team selects one musician from the state of Missouri who has had a significant impact on music and culture to be honored by being inducted into the Missouri Roots Songbook hall of fame.

The 2021 inductee is Sheryl Crow and she will be presented this honor on stage on Sunday, Sept. 26. The primary purpose of this newer annual tradition, now in its third year, is to encourage the young people of Missouri to take pride in the incredibly rich musical heritage of their home state. The inaugural honoree was Chuck Berry, who hailed from St. Louis, and the 2019 recipient was John William “Blind” Boone, an immensely gifted pianist who pioneered ragtime music and called Columbia home for many years.

Roots “Run” Deep

In addition to the music and festivities, Roots N Blues hosts the Betsy Farris Memorial Run. The run honors one of the festival’s founders and greatest proponents of fitness and health. There are three races to choose from: half-marathon, 10k or 5k. All races take place on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 25. The half-marathon begins at 7 a.m. while the 5K and 10K begin at 7:30 a.m. The half-marathon and 10k courses wind through Columbia’s urban trails, its historic downtown, the beautiful University of Missouri campus and conclude at Stephens Lake Park. The 5k consists of two laps along the perimeter of the trail along Stephens Lake Park. Racers will enjoy live music along the routes and will receive a commemorative medal, a collector’s t-shirt, free barbecue and beer (or a non-alcoholic beverage) and a discount voucher to use when purchasing festival tickets. For additional details about the races, or to sign up, visit the “Run” page on the festival’s website.

Columbia, Mo. is What You “Unexpect”

Home to the University of Missouri, Stephens College and Columbia College, Columbia is a vibrant college town with urban amenities. Concerts, music festivals, film festivals and art festivals take place in Columbia throughout the year. “The District,” Columbia’s historic downtown, is home to a number of locally owned boutiques, bars, breweries, music venues and myriad chef-owned locally-focused dining options. Whether it’s coffee in the morning or martinis at midnight, The District’s friendly and energetic vibe is up early and stays out late. Columbia’s farmers markets have been recognized as some of the best in Missouri. The city’s green spaces, consisting of city parks, the 4,286-acre Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, two beautiful state parks and the 240-mile Katy Trail State Park, attract outdoor enthusiasts year around.

For a real taste of the action, come sample Columbia’s award-winning micro-breweries and wineries or rock out at one of the Midwest’s biggest annual food and music celebrations at the Roots N Blues Festival. Columbia also is home to one of the “coolest film festivals in the world,” according to MovieMaker Magazine: the internationally-acclaimed True/False Film Fest, a thought provoking celebration of documentary films. Another exciting Columbia festival is the Unbound Book Festival, a free celebration of literature featuring many premiere best-selling authors and poets. Columbia is a wonderful place to visit any time of the year. Whether visiting for a festival, football game, great dining, live music or outdoor adventure, there’s more to Columbia than you might expect. Discover what you’ve been missing in Columbia.

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