Roots N Blues draws to a close on day three
COLUMBIA - Thousands of people were in Stephens Lake Park in Columbia on Sunday for the final day of the 12th annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival.
Event organizers said they averaged about 10,000 people per day, with Friday being the busiest. They said the crowds surprised them a bit at the onset.
"We were a lot busier on Friday night than we expected, it kind of caught us off guard," Richard King, president of Thumper Entertainment said. Thumper Entertainment puts on the festival every year and King has been its president for the last ten.
King said the inflated numbers on Friday led to a few problems.
"Early on, shuttles were a little bit of an issue, but we got that fixed and there was a little issue at the box office," King said. "It's always something on the opening night."
King said as the weekend went on, they made adjustments and by Sunday, they had the problems fixed.
"I think we recovered and everything has been great ever since," King said.
The Sunday crowd poured in throughout the day, some people coming later to catch musician Nathaniel Rateliff, who closed out the festival.
"He's a Missouri native, so, I think people are really excited to see him," King said.
Missouri artists were a theme all weekend at Roots N Blues as this year they honored the late Chuck Berry. Berry was a singer songwriter from St. Louis and is considered one of the pioneers of Rock and Roll music.
King said this is the first year they have done something like this and it is a tradition they hope to do for years to come.
But everyone, not just Missourians, was welcome at the festival on Sunday. This year was the sixth Roots N Blues for Wisconsin native Marcel Tadych. He said he makes it a point to come every year to learn about new music and visit family who live in Jefferson City.
"I hear new music and I enjoy it," Tadych said. "I get to hear music I haven't heard before."
He also said his favorite part of the weekend trying out beers local to mid-Missouri.
"I tried three and in fact, I'm bringing some home," Tadych said.
Although the festival just wrapped up Sunday, King said he's already thinking about next year.
"As a matter of fact, I've already talked to a couple of artists for next year," King said. "It'll be the same weekend in 2019, the last weekend in September."