RiverRoots Festival

RiverRoots committee moves next year's festival to early June

They hope the move will provide
better weather for the event

(November 2017) – After battling bad weather year after year, the RiverRoots Music & Folk Art Festival committee has decided to move its annual May event to June next year for the first time. The decision was approved by the VisitMadison Inc. board, so the new dates for next year’s festival will be Friday-Saturday, June 8-9, according to festival coordinator Dan Williams.
This year’s festival endured steady rain on Friday night and even worse storms on Saturday, culminating in complete shutdown of the festival around 7:30 p.m. when a tornado blew through the area. Even so, Williams says the festival made money, mostly due to presale of wristbands and dedication of music fans who showed up and braved the elements anyway.
Moving the festival to a later date has been in the works for a while, Williams said.
“The committee had been discussing moving the event to June for a few years, even before I came on board last year,” said Williams, a Cincinnati resident who just finished his first year as festival coordinator. “May is more the rainy season around here and after the weather we had last year, the discussion to move the event needed to happen again.”
In addition to hoping for better weather in early June, the committee members say families can more easily travel to Madison, and from farther distances, since school will be out by then.
“The travel time to Madison will be expanded, and we think our audience will be expanded with those dates,” Williams said.
The committee is busy working to book bands for next year’s event and plans to announce the festival lineup at its Announcement Party,” scheduled for Feb. 3 during a concert night at Red Bicycle Hall, 125 E. Main St. in Madison.
When the tornado shut down last year’s event, several bands performed either in tents or at the Red Bicycle Hall later that evening.
“We are working on arranging for other venues in town to host our bands in the event we ever have to close down due to weather in the future,” Williams said.
Advanced wristband sales will be available in December or January, with considerable discounts available for those who purchase them prior to the Announcement Party. Smaller discounts on the purchase of wristbands will continue after Feb. 3 but before the festival.
So far, there has been no discussion to increase the price of wristbands for next year, Williams said. The festival footprint will remain the same, and only some minor changes are being discussed to help improve the fan experience, he added.
In addition to festival planning, the committee is working on the band lineup for its annual winter Music Series, which kicks off in January. No date has been finalized for the first in a series of monthly concerts that will continue through May, leading up to the June festival. The Music Series lineup will be announced Dec. 1 during a concert night at Red Bicycle Hall, featuring “Possessed by Paul James.”
The festival website is being overhauled, and Williams said he hopes it will launch in December to include all the new information about next year’s event.

• For more information, visit the website: www.RiverRoots.org.

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