What\'s new at Roots N Blues: t-shirts for recyclers; wristbands for payments

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COLUMBIA - The Roots N Blues Festival opens its doors Friday at 4:30 p.m. There are a few new things to look out for this year. 

The festival features 30 artists. Some of the new artists in the lineup including Leon Bridges and Gary Clark Jr. 

The president of Thumper Entertainment, Richard King, said he expects close to 30,000 people this year. 

A new recycling program allows concert-goers to pick up trash and get a free gift.  

"Guests pick up a recycling bag and they can go with us and help go through crowds to pick up cans and things so it's easier for the city to clean up. As a reward you get a free t-shirt, and they look really awesome this year," said sustainability coordinator Claudia Vincent. 

She said the city does a great job with the perimeter of the festival area, but has a hard time getting inside the crowd to get trash.

The festival is also going completely cashless. Festival-goers will receive a wristband that will be used as a pre-paid account

King said that should save people time and get rid of the hassle of keeping cash or cards.

Festival-goer Betsy Beaparlant said, "Getting it registered was a little challenging just because we didn't know what we are doing at first, but now we are going to be great because we don't have to worry about the credit cards being out all weekend."

Vincent said the wristbands are not recyclable. 

The festival runs from Friday through Sunday. The box office opens everyday at 10 a.m.