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What is the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival?

First Launched in 2007, The Festival features over 30 artists representing the genres of roots, blues, gospel, country, folk, bluegrass, rock, and soul. The line up includes international, national, regional and local artists. American Blues Scene Magazine called it “One of the most prominent festivals in the country!” As well as live music, fans enjoy delicious BBQ from local and regional vendors. The Festival includes a kick-off event Thursday night, a ½ Marathon, 5K and 10K race on Saturday morning and a Sunday Gospel Celebration. The Festival is a fun, true, and unique celebration of music, food and culture.

How do I purchase tickets?

It’s easy! Our ticketing partner, Ticketfly, makes it simple for you to have your tickets in an instant. Order tickets online or over the phone at 877-987-6487 for an additional fee.

Can’t find your tickets, receipt, or still have questions?

Box Office Coordinator, Erika Hammerschmidt

Ticketfly Customer Support
Email Ticketfly
877-435-9849 (7AM – 6PM PST)

When is the festival?

The 12th Annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival presented by StorageMart will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 28-30th at Stephens Lake Park in Columbia, Missouri.

When and where can I get tickets?

Tickets are available online and at the MSA/GPC Student Box Office located at the MU Student Center. Student and Faculty discounts will be offered for Mizzou students starting August 17. Ticket prices will only be offered at the MSA Student Box Office with a valid student/faculty ID.

Why do I have to pay fees?

Ticket fees include local and state sales tax, credit card processing fees, an online/box office processing fee, shipping fees, and a $3 park fee that goes directly to Columbia Parks & Recreation and efforts to improve our city’s beautiful parks and trails.

All fees are applied online, in our box offices and at the ticket gate.

What about kids?

Everyone is welcome at The Festival. Kids 12 and under get in for free. Secured stroller parking is available with the bike parking at the main gate of The Festival.

*While General Admission is free and open for children 12 and under, The Roots N Blues Whole Hog VIP experience caters to adults. An additional $50 VIP ticket will need to be purchased for children ages 2-12 that accompany adults in the VIP areas. Fans over the age of 12 must purchase a full price VIP ticket to be admitted into the VIP areas.

How does the cashless payment system work?

Roots N Blues has gone cashless! Instead of paying with cash or card at festival vendors, you’ll simply use your pre-loaded wristband to pay. Check out our cashless page for more information on why cashless will improve your festival experience, how it all works and how to get started with registering your wristband.

Where should I park and how will I get to the festival from there?

Take the FREE Festival Shuttle

FREE Festival Shuttles will be running round trips to and from Downtown Columbia. Park in any of the downtown parking garages and hop on the shuttle to be transported directly to the festival gates. Shuttles start 1 hour before gates open each day. Parking in Garages is free after 6pm on Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday. ADA Accessible buses are available.

Take Go COMO for FREE

The City of Columbia will be running Go COMO for FREE all festival weekend! Ride from your house, hotel, or another location, we’ve got stops all over the city! Get the complete Go COMO or route specific maps here. Call (573) 874-7282 for free, individualized trip planning. All Go COMO buses are ADA Accessible.

Late Night Trips Home: Meet your bus at the gate and don’t worry about transferring buses! For the last trip of the night (ONLY), all routes will pick up at the Riechmann Pavilion after the last performance.

Ride your bike

To support our sustainability efforts, check out the GetAbout bike map and take one of the routes to the festival. Then, park your bike in our free secure bike parking at the festival entrance.

Bike maps can be found at all local bike shops and at the Columbia Parks and Recreation Office located at 1 S. 7th St in downtown Columbia. For bike safety and tips, read GetAbout Columbia’s A Guide To Your Ride.


The festival entrance is only about a mile from downtown. That’s a leisurely 16 minute walk. Follow Walnut Street East all the way to the festival and be sure to use the cross walks for safety.

Can I bring my bike and where will I park it?

Bikes are encouraged! Secure bike and stroller parking will be available at the main entrance of the event. Check out the GetAbout bike map and take one of the routes to the festival. Please do be sure to park your bike in the designated area before entering the festival.

Maps can also be found at all local bike shops and Columbia Parks and Recreation, located at 1 S. 7th St. Please be sure to follow all traffic laws and bike safely! For tips, read GetAbout Columbia’s A Guide To Your Ride.

Can I leave the festival and come back in later in the day?

Yes, re-entry will be allowed. Check out The District and enjoy local restaurants, retailers and all Columbia has to offer.

Individuals seeking re-entry will need to wear and present their valid day-of or weekend wristband to enter. Wristbands that have been tampered with are not considered valid. Damaged, lost, or stolen wristbands will not be replaced or allowed entry.

What is allowed in the festival area?

The following items are ALLOWED at Roots N Blues N BBQ:

  • Blankets
  • Chairs- you will be asked to remove camping chairs from cases upon entry.
  • Baby strollers
  • Non-professional recording equipment (point & shoot cameras, flip video cameras, etc.)
  • Re-fillable water bottles (please make sure to bring them with you EMPTY!)

The following items are NOT ALLOWED at Roots N Blues N BBQ:

  • Outside beverages, including water, soda, alcoholic beverages, coffee, etc. (beverages and free water are available inside the gate. The water refilling station is located at the East end of the food vendors, near the Missouri Lottery Stage.)
  • Outside food
  • Coolers
  • Glass Containers of any kind
  • Umbrellas
  • Weapons
  • Noise makers and laser pointers
  • Pets (however, service animals which have been trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability are welcome).
  • Professional recording equipment

*All fans are subject to search by festival security upon entry.

Can I bring a chair or blanket?

Chairs and blankets are welcomed and encouraged at the festival. However we ask that everyone follow our festival seating guidelines and keep all chairs back beyond a certain marked point to keep pathways clear.

All camping chairs must be removed from cases before entering the festival.

Can I bring water in with me?

We don’t allow outside food or beverages to be brought in to the festival, but there will be a FREE water filling station located at the east end of the row of food vendors. Refillable water bottles are encouraged, but please be sure to bring them in empty. Other beverages will be available for purchase at festival bars and from vendors.

How do I get to Columbia and the festival?

For directions and accommodations, check out our travel page.

Where should I stay in Columbia?

Stay at one of our Roots N Blues preferred hotels!

Or check out some of these other options:

Hotels, Inns, Motels


Bed and Breakfasts

Is there camping?

There is no camping at Stephens Lake Park. But Columbia has several nearby camping locations

What else is there to do in Columbia?

While you’re in Columbia, check out our awesome downtown area, The District and all of the restaurants and retailers it has to offer. Or take a hike or bike ride on one of Columbia’s scenic trails.

Don’t miss the Columbia Farmers Market or Boone County Farmers Market on Saturday morning, or the North Village Farmers and Artisan’s Market on Sunday morning.

Find more information about what’s happening in Columbia at

What is going on in The District during Roots N Blues week?

Discover the District on the Road to Roots N Blues

Tuesday, September 25 –  Family Night at Flat Branch Park, featuring Jim Valley


  • Location: Flat Branch Park, 300 S Providence Rd, Columbia, MO 65203
  • Time: 7 p.m.

Wednesday, September 26 – New York based Comedian & Juggler, Marcus Monroe

Supported by local folk duo, The Burney Sisters


  • Location: Missouri Theatre, 203 S 9th St, Columbia, MO 65211
  • Time: 7 p.m.

Thursday, September 27 – May it Last: A portrait of the Avett Brothers

  • Location: Rose Music Hall, 1013 Park Ave, Columbia, MO 65201
  • Time: 7 p.m.

Can I upgrade to VIP Whole Hog?

Yes. Check out the Whole Hog experience here and upgrade before they’re sold out.

Contact: Erika Hammerschmit at

Where can I pick up will call tickets?

Will call tickets can be picked up at the festival box office near the ticket gate. Please bring your photo ID and/or confirmation number with you to make the process quick and easy.

What is Blues In The Schools and The Roots N Blues Foundation?

The Roots N Blues Foundation, a 501©3 non-profit organization, positively impacts the lives of children by celebrating the rich cultural heritage of American music through local educational programs.

The Roots N Blues N BBQ Foundation has brought joy and music education to thousands of children by providing the Blues in the Schools program. Students have the opportunity to write and perform with award-winning guest musicians and internationally recognized music educators in their classrooms.

For more information on The Roots N Blues Foundation or Blues in the Schools, please check out our website, or email us at

What kind of arrangements do you have for accessibility?

We are happy to do our best to accommodate everyone and have been working with a committee to make the festival accessible for all our fans. ADA parking will be available at the Riechmann Pavilion Lot on a first come, first served basis. If you are in need of assistance or have any requests, please contact Chuck Graham, Accessibility Coordinator at or call 573-442-5862 to identify your needs and give an approximate arrival time in order that we may better serve you. Visit the accessibility page for more details.

Do you offer a Military Discount?

Yes! Together with Veterans United, we are happy to honor our service members with a 50% ticket discount on single day or weekend passes. Valid Military ID must be presented at ticket gate upon redemption. 1 ticket per valid ID please. Use code V3T3RANS at checkout.

Will you be recycling?

Yes, The Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival is doing its part to help keep the festival green. Please recycle all appropriate materials in the designated bins throughout the festival footprint.

Check out our other sustainability projects!

Will festival merchandise be available for purchase?

A variety of Festival and artist t-shirts, hats, posters, and other items will be sold at the festival!

When is the Roots N Blues N BBQ Race and how do I sign up?

The Roots N Blues N BBQ ½ Marathon, 5K and 10K will be held Saturday, September 28, 2018. The ½ Marathon begins at 7am, the 10K at 7:30am and the 5K at 7:45am. Runners receive a commemorative t-shirt, enjoy music along a scenic route, and a BBQ sandwich, cold beer (21 & over only), and a medal at the finish line. More information, map routes, and sign-up can be found on the race page. Contact: Mike Denehy at

What is the Gospel Celebration and how do I get tickets?

The Sunday Gospel Celebration presented by Broadway Christian Church will be on Sunday, October 1, gates open at 11:00am. Your Sunday festival ticket or weekend pass gets you in.

How do I volunteer for the festival?

Follow the instructions on the volunteers page to sign up to volunteer for The Festival. Assignments will be made beginning in July. Contact: Melissa Roach,

How do I vend at the festival?

The Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival is no longer accepting vendor applications.

What happens if it rains?

Firstly, it is a rain or shine show, so the show will go on! If the weather gets too bad and we have to delay the festival, we will be shuttling people to Boone Hospital. We will be keeping track of the weather for you & there will be announcements on the stage if necessary. There will be volunteers who will direct you to the shuttles. Be sure to download the official Roots N Blues N BBQ mobile app to keep up with any delays and urgent information. Click here to download: Google Play & iTunes. Also, make sure to download the KOMU Weather App to keep updated with all the current weather conditions.


Still can’t find the answer? Contact us!