Roots 'N' Blues brings more music with a higher price

Wednesday, July 27, 2011 | 8:20 p.m. CDT; updated 11:45 a.m. CDT, Monday, September 12, 2011

COLUMBIA — The cost of admission for the Roots 'N' Blues 'N' BBQ Festival has increased to pay for bigger names and more artists.

The festival is scheduled for the weekend of Sept. 9 and 10. Prices have been increased to $35 for a one-day pass and $60 for the two-day pass. Last year, prices were $15 and $25, respectively.

"Every year, we try to keep the funds sustainable so we can continue to bring it back next year," festival director Jessica Brown said. "We have definitely increased our talent budget, and we've got a knockout of a lineup this year."

Artists and bands expected to hit the stage include the Robert Randolph Family Band, Robert Cray, Los Lobos and Grammy Award winners Mavis Staples and Sam Bush. Taj Mahal will be making another appearance this year.

The festival's location is set to remain on Seventh and Eighth streets between Locust and Elm streets, with performances also at Peace Park and Flat Branch Park.

Five hundred pre-sale tickets are already sold out, and the time frame for early discounted tickets has passed. General admission tickets are still available.

"It's good music, good food, good barbecue and good people," Brown said. "It's a heck of a weekend. We are really happy we are able to bring this wonderful thing to downtown Columbia."


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John M. Nowell, III July 28, 2011 | 12:56 p.m.

If the festival organizers could just get the city of Columbia health department to relax their regulations about food handlers needing to have a two compartment sink on premise to be able to serve food to the public, and sell a wrist band so people could sample BBQ from all of the BBQ contestants, then they would have a real BBQ festival.

Then the festival attendees would vote on the best BBQ, and not a committe, much like the "taste of Columbia" event. When Hy-Vee opened their west location in the Broadway Market Place, I noticed a portable two compartment sink so they could offer samples on the sidewalk.

The way it stands now, it's the music, not the BBQ that is the big draw.

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