The Stage Is Set – Roots n Blues n BBQ 2018

Read about the lead-in to the 2018 Roots n Blues n BBQ


Columbia Missouri 27 September 2018 TriFest Music Tour

Images – Jim Jacob

Words – Rob Dickens


It is the Thursday before the three-day festival kicks in.  Listening Through The Lens visited the site, talked with three of the festival Principals and photographed the location during its ‘dress rehearsal’.

The 12th Annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Music Festival will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday, September 28 – September 30 2018 at Stephens Lake Park in Columbia, Missouri.  The festival is an internationally recognised event featuring over thirty musicians and bands from all over the world.

First launched in 2007, the music festival features artists this year such as The Avett Brothers, Sturgill Simpson, Nathaniel Rateliff  and the Night Sweats and represent the genres of roots, blues, gospel, country, folk, bluegrass, rock and soul music on two main stages.



As well as live music, the festival hosts over twenty food trucks and craft vendors, numerous beverage tents selling locally crafted beers and other refreshments, vendor villages, a large ferris wheel as well as interactive art installations decorating the park, put together by Lisa Bartlett (Visual Arts Director) and her team.  There will also be a fully equipped walk-up ‘front porch stage’ where festival goers are invited to show off their musical skills.  Lisa’s aim is to change the face of the park and make the space a visual and aromatic feast.

Richard King, president of Thumper Entertainment and the festival organiser, has more than thirty-five years’ experience bringing the biggest names to Columbia.  Richard’s uncanny ability to select and persuade the best performers is notable and his 2014 line-up is what brought Listening Through The Lens here in 2014 – you can read our musical adventures HERE and HERE.  The fact that King has been pitching in for Columbia for so long (since 1980) with established and well-regarded tentacles into the music business means that he provides a key RBBBQ ingredient to the talent force that makes this event special.

“2018 has been a banner year for us so far” says King.  “The festival continues to grow and enjoys a great partnership with the city of Columbia.  This year’s line-up is one of the strongest in the festival’s history and I’m proud to welcome back some festival favourites along with acts who have never appeared in Columbia before”.

Thumper Entertainment will also be debuting a new festival tradition.  Each year, the festival will select one musician from the state of Missouri who has had a significant impact on music and culture to be inducted into the “Missouri Roots Songbook”, a Missouri music ‘hall of fame’, created by festival director Tracy Lane.  This year’s honoree is Chuck Berry.  (Tracy is returning to the position after being one of the earlier stalwarts).

RBBBQ will be celebrating the music of Berry along with patrons, by recognising the historic and cultural impact that his music has had on the music community.  Berry’s family will be in attendance to accept the honor on the stage during the third day.



The Roots n Blues Foundation provides a music education program with mentorships, artist in residence programs and school visits from professional musicians to Columbia’s youth.

As well as the above, the Betsy Farris Memorial Run will take on Saturday morning which honors Betsy one the festival’s founders and greatest proponents of health and fitness – three events: half-marathon, 10K and 5K.

Festival organisers are expecting around 10,000 festival goers each day in Stephens Lake Park where the event has been held over the past six years (it was downtown prior to that).  It takes four days to set the place up and there’s still a lot of work to go over the last 24 hours.

Electronic wrist bands will be the order of the day as no cash or card purchases are allowed.

We will be reporting each day – keep checking in or subscribe to get automatic feeds (you can un-subscribe at any time).

Until tomorrow then.


Read about the lead-in to the 2018 Roots n Blues n BBQ

Read about the lead-in to the 2018 Roots n Blues n BBQ

Read about the lead-in to the 2018 Roots n Blues n BBQ







(Visited 239 times, 1 visits today)

Author: Rob Dickens

Share This Post On
468 ad

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: