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2017: The year in review

-Lucy Shanker, Roots N Blues Intern

2017 is coming to an end, and sometimes when I’m dating papers I still write the year as 2010. All mix-ups aside, 2017 was an incredible year for The Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival, and it couldn’t have happened without you — the fans. Thirty-two performances, 13.1 miles and a whole lot of craft beer later, we cannot believe how quickly this year has passed. Here’s a look back at some of our — and your — favorite moments.

Artist’s Performances

I mean, how can you beat one weekend with Leon Bridges, Band of Horses, Gary Clark Jr. and Ryan Adams? This year’s performances exceeded any expectations. RNB artists pushed musical boundaries by jumping on stage with their fellow artists, creating an atmosphere of collaboration and love. Not only did Margo Price join John Prine on stage, but also EmmyLou Harris joined him as well.

One fan said, “John Prine’s set was wonderful. Seeing him sing with Emmylou and Margo made the set special. You don’t get to see that all the time. Wonderful to have all three artists there and allowing them to sing together.”

Another fan described Emmylou and John Prine’s duet as “pure musical magic,” and we couldn’t agree more.

Cashless Success

This year, fans said goodbye to waiting in long, endless lines for beer, food and merch. Instead, they breezed through and got them with ease thanks to the new cashless system. One fan was honest and said, “I thought I would hate the wrist band payment but loved it.” We knew you would!

It may have seemed daunting at first, but tons of fans were raving by the end of the weekend. One fan said, “Totally impressed that the cash free set-up worked,” and another said “Wristband payment and top-off was perfect.” Without having to fumble for that extra $5 for minutes on end, fans could meander over, grab some BBQ and catch the entire Gary Clark Jr. set.

Fan Experience

We wouldn’t be where we are without the support of the fans, and we’re glad you enjoyed yourselves this year. People come from across the country — and sometimes the world — to experience this weekend of nonstop BBQ, craft beer and of course, music.

One fan told us about their first RNB experience: “My first year! I loved it and can’t believe I missed out the past few years.”

For one group, the festival is a family affair: “This is easily our favorite event/experience of the year! My husband and I both look forward to it, and our 4.5 year old son has come every year and loves it now too. We love the openness of the park, the variety of the vendors and the thought that goes into orchestrating such a large, well-attended event.”

If you didn’t capture your favorite moments on camera, feel free to take a look at the photographers pictures. 


Thanks for coming out to The 2017 Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival. We wish you a Happy New Year, and see you next year at the 2018 festival!