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Back to blues: The 2021 Roots N Blues Festival gives women the spotlight

After being canceled in 2020, Roots N Blues Festival returns with a commitment to inclusivity, sustainability and COVID-19 safety

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Roots N Blues Festival is full of performances, but new owners Trio Presents are not about performative allyship.

From the moment the owners took over the festival in December 2019, they knew they wanted to “ethically put our money where our mouth is,” says festival co-producer Shay Jasper.

As a two-thirds women-owned event, the festival is giving women the spotlight on the stage. This year’s event will have 100% female representation on stage in every show of the weekend, whether it be lead singers, guitarists or other band members. “Artistry and the level of talent doesn’t in any way decrease by having women featured,” Jasper says. “It’s being well received by the community, and we’re proud of it.”

​​Roots N Blues will not be female-only every year, but Trio Presents plans to continue being intentional with providing space on their stage for everyone for future events. The female-forward approach has also been extended to production and security positions.

This year’s festival comes on the heels of an unusual year for Roots N Blues. Due to the pandemic, Trio Presents decided in June 2020 to cancel that year’s event.

Now the festival is back with a few changes and a continuing commitment to safety. Attendees will be required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in order to attend this year’s festivities. A negative test needs to be obtained less than 72 hours before entry. The festival also recommends that all attendees, regardless of vaccination status, receive a negative test for extra security.

Vox has crafted the following guide so you can enjoy the music safely and soundly.

Click the tiles below to learn more about this year's festival and performers.

Click on the names in the matrix below to explore the all-female musicians performing at this year's festival.

Still not sure where you land on the Vibe Check matrix? Listen to some of our favorite songs from the lineup of this year's festival.

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