Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival FAQ 2015

Jacob Hamilton/Missourian file photo/2013

Even if you've been to Roots N Blues N BBQ before, it can be confusing. From location to parking to ticket prices — every year the festival is a bit different, and that's not even including the 28 musical acts, 25 food and drink vendors and all the other activities going on over the weekend. That means probably everyone has a few questions they need answered before they head to Stephens Lake Park.

Let's start with the basics, shall we?

When is it?

The festival kicks off on Thursday night with a party in downtown Columbia. The main festival runs from Friday evening through Sunday evening, Sept. 25-27. The half marathon and 10K are both at 7 a.m. Saturday morning. The Blues in the Schools performance will be at noon Saturday, and the Gospel Celebration is at 11:30 Sunday.

Where is it?

Roots 'N' Blues is held at Stephens Lake Park for the third year. Click here for a downloadable map.

How much are tickets?

Ticket prices increased from last year. However, kids 12 and under are free, and discounted tickets are available for those who run in the Roots N Blues half marathon or 10K. New this year is the Weekend 4-pack, which offers 4 weekend passes and saves you $125!

  • Friday: $49.50
  • Saturday: $65
  • Sunday: $49.50
  • Weekend Pass: $125
  • Weekend 4-Pack: $395

Okay, it's about to get a bit more complicated, people.

Where can I buy tickets?

Online: Roots 'N' Blues' website

In person:

  • Vinyl Renaissance & Audio, 16 North 10th St. Open Monday-Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.;

    Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday. 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

  • MSA/GPC Student Box Office, MU Student Center. Open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

At the festival: The festival box office is located next to the festival entrance near Riechmann Pavilion on East Walnut Street.

Where can I park?

ADA parking will be available at the Riechmann Pavilion Lot on a first-come, first-served basis. Otherwise, there is no parking available at Stephens Lake Park.

Parking will be free in all six downtown parking garages starting at 6 p.m. Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday.

Wait, so how do I get to Stephens Lake Park then?

Free shuttles will run from all six downtown parking garages to the festival entrance at Stephens Lake Park. Shuttles will start an hour before the gates open each day.

COMO Connect will also provide free rides all weekend. Find COMO Connect routes here.

You are also welcome to ride your bike or walk to the festival. Then you can park your bike at the free secure bike parking at the festival entrance.

What's the schedule?


Missouri Lottery Stage

6 p.m. — Tab Benoit

7:45 p.m. — Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires

9:30 p.m. — Buddy Guy

Shelter Insurance Stage

5:30 p.m. — Danielle Nicole

7:15 p.m. — The Wood Brothers

9 p.m. — Dr. John


Missouri Lottery Stage

11:45 a.m. — Chump Change

1 p.m. — Whitey Morgan

2:30 p.m. — Justin Townes Earle

4:15 p.m. — Irma Thomas

6 p.m. — G. Love & Special Sauce

7:45 p.m. — Lucinda Williams

9:30 p.m. — Dwight Yoakam

Shelter Insurance Stage

12:30 p.m. — Dave & Dyno with The Roadkill Orchestra

2 p.m. — Junior Brown

3:45 p.m. — Lucero

5:30 p.m. — Here Come The Mummies

7:15 p.m. — Robert Cray



Missouri Lottery Stage

11:45 a.m. — Broadway Blues

1:30 p.m. — Mike Farris

3:15 p.m. — Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors

5 p.m. — Punch Brothers

6:45 p.m. — Brandi Carlile

Shelter Insurance Stage

12:30 p.m. — Music Maker Blues Revue

2 p.m. — Dale Watson

3:45 p.m. — Rebirth Brass Band

5:30 p.m. — The Word featuring Robert Randolph, John Medeski, and The North Mississippi Allstars

What app(s) should I use to keep track of all of this?

Roots 'N' Blues has a free app on iTunes that gives you access to performance times, festival maps and bus schedules.

Here are a few other helpful apps to get you through the festival.

  • WaterIn (free) — With the heat and the general fun of the day, it's easy to get dehydrated and not even notice. WaterIn has one simple aim — to remind you to drink water often.
  • Shazam (free) — Listening to an artist but don't what the song they're playing? Shazam has you covered. It’ll listen and tell you exactly what’s playing, then give you the option to buy or watch it online.
  • VSCO Cam (free) — There are always lots of picture-perfect moments at music festivals. Capture them all with VSCO Cam, which has easy but sophisticated photo editing features.


And now on to the important questions... what to bring!

Can I bring my kids?

Yes! The festival is open to people of all ages, and kids 12 and under are free.

Can I bring my pets?

Sadly, no pets are allowed in the festival. However, service animals that have been trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability are welcome.

Can I bring my camera?

Maybe? Non-professional recording equipment such as point-and-shoot cameras are allowed. However, professional equipment is not.

Can I bring bottled water?

Outside beverages are not allowed, but you are allowed to bring a refillable water bottle with you. Just make sure it's empty upon entering the festival. There will be a free water filling station located at the east end of the row of food vendors.

Can I bring my own food?

Sadly, no. Outside food is not allowed. BUT there will be 25 food and beverage vendors at the festival, or attendees are allowed to come and go from the festival throughout the day if you want to eat at home or elsewhere in Columbia.

Can I bring a blanket or a chair?

Yes! Chairs and blankets are welcome and encouraged at Roots N Blues.

Can I bring a tent and camp out?

Alas, no. There is no camping at Stephens Lake Park.

Have any questions that we didn't answer? Tweet them to us at @VoxMag on Twitter.

Recommended for you

comments powered by Disqus