Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival to provide free tickets to low-income residents

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COLUMBIA - The Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival teamed up with Columbia Parks and Recreation to provide free tickets to low-income residents.

Thumper Entertainment, the company behind the festival, worked with the Parks and Recreation department to create the initiative, providing tickets to those who might not otherwise be able to afford it. 

"There was never any real debate about it, we said we'd love to participate in that program," Thumper Entertainment President Richard King said. 

Festival coordinators set aside about 300 tickets for the department to give out to those who qualify through an application process.

"It's a simple process. Our staff collects the applications, determines eligibility, then notifies the ticket recipients. The recipients come to the Parks and Recreation office to pick up the tickets, after they are notified," Marketing Specialist Tammy Miller said. 

The annual festival features more than 30 artists from different genres and attracts audiences from around the country. 

"Just the whole experience at the Roots N Blues festival I think people really enjoy. We just try to cover everything in this event, and I think the fact that somebody can get there through this program, it's a feel-good thing for all of us," King said. 

Applications can be submitted through September 8 and winners will be notified on September 11. 

The weekend-long festival is set to begin on September 29 at Stephens Lake Park.