How to look like a veteran festivalgoer at Roots N Blues N BBQ

Learn all of the necessary information to have the most fulfilling festival experience.
Gillian Smith / Graphic Designer

With artists like Leon Bridges performing at the Roots N Blues N BBQ festival, one needs to show up prepared and with food from one of the vendors in hand in order to fully appreciate his sultry voice. The festival is a three-day extravaganza starting on Friday, Sept. 29 and ending on Sunday, Oct. 1 at Stephens Lake Park.

What To Wear

Wear whatever your heart desires. You can dress up as your inner hippie child, as per the typical festival fashion, or wear jeans and a T-shirt. Dress to impress or dress for comfort because you are really only there for the music and food, anyway. Just be prepared for the temperature to drop, as the forecast for the weekend is in the 70s.

Tip: Last year a man rocked a pink tuxedo; try and top him.

What To Bring

Though it may not be as hot for Roots N Blues weekend as it has been the past week, it will still be sunny and warm, so bring sunscreen to reapply throughout the day. Also bring a refillable water bottle because a day in the sun dancing, eating and just being happy really makes a person parched. No outside food or drink are allowed in the festival, but if you bring an empty water bottle, free water will be provided. If you want to lay out on the grass or just take a few minutes to sit out, eat, relax and take in the music, bring a blanket or a chair, but just know that you will be asked to remove the case for camping chairs upon admission.

Don’t bring money; Roots N Blues has gone cashless. The wristband that you get for admission at RNBNBBQ doubles as both a pass to reenter the festival whenever you so please and a debit card. You have to preload the wristband with money prior to purchasing anything, but if you run out of money, you can always reload more money at the top-off stations.

Find the full list of what you can and cannot bring here.


If you live within driving distance from downtown, you can park in any of the downtown parking garages and take one of the free festival shuttles. The shuttle runs at different hours each day of the festival, so read this before you end up waiting for a shuttle that will never come for you. Other options for transportation include riding on the free GoComo busses, Uber, Lyft, taking a taxi or being active and walking or riding your bike to Stephens Lake Park. The one way you cannot get to the festival is driving yourself, as there will be no parking.

Know Your Sales

Certain CoMo retailers have been offering specials starting Sept. 15 and concluding at the end of the festival. Certain restaurants are offering sales on food and drink with the presentation of your RNBNBBQ wristband, such as Lakota Coffee offering 10 percent off any specialty drink or Nourish Cafe and Market offering 10 percent off your order. The Peace Nook is holding a 20-percent-off sale on books and Maude Vintage is offering 20 percent off sunglasses and 20 percent off “Galaxy Tag merchandise” for all festival goers, according to the Roots N Blues website.

Respect Mother Nature

Finally, Roots N Blues N BBQ is making an effort to be sustainable, so you should, too. All vendors are going green, meaning they “use local, organic, fair-trade products,” compost and recycle and use sustainable food and drink containers. Don’t be a jerk and put all this effort to be environmentally friendly to waste by abandoning your trash in the grass.

Now you should be 99 percent prepared for the amazing weekend that is ahead of you. The last 1 percent falls on you. Listen to all of the artists on Spotify or YouTube so you can seek out which bands your want to listen to. Look up the vendors and see what food you might be craving or what crafts interest you so that you don’t miss out on anything you love.

Edited by Brooke Collier |

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