The 6th annual Roots 'n Blues 'n BBQ Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, Sept. 21 and 22, in downtown Columbia. The largest festival in Columbia, Roots n' Blues is a nationally recognized two-day event featuring musicians from all over the world performing a variety of eclectic roots, blues, country, bluegrass, gospel, folk and soul music on three main stages. There also is a mouth-watering Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned barbeque contest with over 50 competitors from all over the country. Festival-goers can enjoy the delicious BBQ from the best local and regional vendors.
For those looking to run off a few of the calories from all the delicious BBQ, there is a sanctioned half-marathon and 10K. The festival is a fun, true and unique celebration of music, food and culture for all ages. And one of the things that makes this festival so unique and special for the community as a whole is the "Blues in the Schools" (BITS) program. Blues in the Schools, a national initiative and an ever-expanding element of RnBnBBQ, is a music education program provided to Columbia's elementary schools to encourage an appreciation for blues music and its history through mentorship with an artist in residence.
Participating students also get a chance to show off what they've learned live on stage when they perform a number of songs for fest-goers.
"It's been amazing to see the way the community comes together to support the Blues in the Schools program. It's just been fantastic how the organizers have combined world-class artists and an educational program that gives so much back to the community all in one event," says Megan McConachie, communications manager for the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Featured performers this year include the ever-soulful Al Green, John Mayall (whose band, the Bluesbreakers, helped launch the careers of Eric Clapton and the founding members of Fleetwood Mac), the enigmatic singer/ songwriter Rodriguez, country music great Marty Stuart, and the lively collective of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. "We're especially excited about this year's musical lineup," says McConachie. "The organizers have once again taken it to the next level and we hope that everyone is as excited about this year's lineup as we are."
Passes for the 2012 fest are going fast, so order yours today at www.RootsnBluesnBBQ.com/tickets. For more festival information, including musical lineups and registration forms for the BBQ contest, marathon and 10k, visit RootsnBluesnBBQ.com.