After more than a year without live music, the driving beat of a snare drum, the pulsing rhythm of a bass guitar, and sweet vocal melodies floating through the air around Stephens Lake Park will be welcome sounds as the Roots N Blues Festival makes its highly anticipated return to Columbia September 24-26, 2021.
This year, however, the popular music festival will require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to enter during the 2021 run.
Those attending the festival will notice a significant difference in this year’s musical lineup. After taking the reins in mid-2019, the festival’s new owners, Trio Presents – comprised of Tracy Lane, Shay Jasper, and Jamie Vavaro – set out to do things differently right out of the gate. According to the organizers, even though Roots N Blues has always been a champion of female performers, they wanted to do their part to help “reverse the under-representation of female artists at music festivals” by filling every slot in this year’s Roots N Blues lineup with a female-led artist.
The headliners for 2021 include nine-time Grammy Award-winner and University of Missouri alumni Sheryl Crow, six-time Grammy Award-winning artist Brandi Carlile, luminary R&B, and gospel artist Mavis Staples and country music legend Tanya Tucker. Other big-name acts include the undefinable yet funky Tank and the Bangas, Canadian pop star Lennon Stella, acclaimed folk music trio Joseph and country music contemporary Natalie Hemby, who, along with Brandi Carlile, make up half of the Grammy-winning female supergroup Highwomen. This is only a highlight of a few of the celebrated acts performing at Stephens Lake Park this year.
Co-organizer Tracy Lane says the 50-acre space itself is safer than most.
Lane and Jasper, who are also the co-owners of the festival, say that their top priority is keeping the Columbia community and guests safe.
The festival gets started on Friday, Sept. 24 with gates opening at 4:00 p.m. with music beginning at 5:00 p.m. and lasting until 10 p.m. On Saturday, gates open at noon and music wraps up at 10 a.m. For Sunday, gates open at noon with the festival concluding at 9:00 p.m.
Visitors planning to attend Roots N Blues can find more information on where to stay as well as all the other fun events, year-round attractions, excellent options for dining and libations available in Columbia, by visiting the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau website or by calling 573-874-CITY (2489).