River City Roots Fest

Welcome to the 18th Annual River City Roots Festival!

This free admission event is Missoula’s Signature Celebration and highlights all of the amazing things that make Missoula, Missoula: music, art, culture, local food and drinks, active lifestyles, and community.

As the Heartbeat of Missoula, Downtown is the perfect setting for Roots Fest. Downtown is where you’ll find local businesses, local flavors, local art, and local people all coming together. We invited you to not only experience Roots Fest, but be sure to take some time to take a walk around the historic epicenter of the city we love.

On behalf of our Downtown business, the Downtown Missoula Partnership welcomes you to Roots Fest - we hope you enjoy everything our event, and Downtown, has to offer!

MANY THANKS TO OUR TITLE SPONSORS

MAIN STAGE SPONSORS

MUSIC ON MAIN

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6

12:30 - 2:00pmTBA
2:30 - 4:00pmGive it to ‘em, FLORABELLE!
4:30 - 6:00pmAshleigh Flynn & the Riveters
6:30 - 8:00pm Sol Driven Train
8:30 - 10:30pmThe Band of Heathens

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7

12:30 - 2:00pmCowboy Andy & the Salamanders
2:30 - 4:00pmThe Spills
4:30 - 6:00pmThe Vince Herman Band
6:30 - 8:00pmRapidgrass
8:30 - 10:30pmThe High Hawks

ROOTS FEST EVENTS

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6

12pm - 7:00pmArt Show - Main Street
12pm - 10:00pmFood Court Open - Ryman Street
2:00 - 10:00pmStreet Bars Open - Main Street

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7

8am - 1:00pmSaturday Markets - Downtown Missoula
8:30am4-Mile Roots Run - E. Main Street
10am - 7:00pmArt Show - Main Street
10am - 2:00pmFamily Roots Festival - Caras Park
10am - 10:00pmFood Court Open - Ryman Street
12pm - 10:00pmStreet Bar Open - W. Main/Ryman Street

EXTEND YOUR WEEKEND

THURS, SEPTEMBER 5 - SUN, SEPTEMBER 8

Sept. 5-7, 7pmMissoula Paddleheads vs. Billings Mustangs
Sept. 6-8, All DaySupport Our Roots Sidewalk Sale - Downtown Missoula
Sept. 8, 2pmMissoula Paddleheads vs. Billings Mustangs

FAMILY ROOTS FEST SCHEDULE

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7

10:00 – 11:00amTBA
11:00-11:30amDouble Bubble Dance Party
11:30am – 12:30pmTBA
12:30-1:00pmDouble Bubble Dance Party
1:00 – 2:00pmTBA

Activity Providers: TBA

THE TRAVELIN' MCCOURYS

The McCoury brothers- Ronnie (mandolin) and Rob (banjo) - were born into the bluegrass tradition.  Talk about a source abundant and pure: their father, Del, is among the most influential and successful musicians in the history of the genre.  Years on the road with Dad in the Del McCoury Band honed their knife-edge chops, and encouraged the duo to imagine how traditional bluegrass could cut innovative pathways into 21st century music.”

With fiddler Jason Carter, bassist Alan Bartram, and latest recruit Cody Kilby on guitar, they assembled a group that could take what they had in their DNA, take what traditions they learned and heard, and push the music forward.  In fact, the band became the only group to have each of its members recognized with an International Bluegrass Music Association Award for their instrument at least once. There were peers, too, that could see bluegrass as both historic and progressive.  Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees The Allman Brothers Band, improv-rock kings Phish, and jamband contemporary Keller Williams were just a few that formed a mutual admiration society with the ensemble.

SUPER CHIKAN

As an adult, James “Super Chikan” Johnson began driving a truck for a living. During the long stretches on the road, he started composing his own songs. Super Chikan kicked off his career by playing with renowned local musicians, but soon realized he enjoyed performing by himself. In 1997, he released his debut album, Blues Come Home to Roost. Super Chikan released his first split album and most recent album in 2020 with Terry “Harmonica” Bean, From Hill Country to Mississippi Delta Blues. Today, Super Chikan is known for regularly performing in blues clubs in the Clarksdale, Mississippi area.

BIG RICHARD

Bluegrass with a side of lady rage. What began as an all-female festival collab quickly morphed into a serious passion project driven by sisterhood, harmony and humor….along with the shared desire to rage fiddle tunes and smash the patriarchy. Big Richard is a neo-acoustic super group made up of four well established Colorado musicians: Bonnie Sims on mandolin (Bonnie & Taylor Sims/Everybody Loves An Outlaw/Bonnie & the Clydes), Joy Adams on cello (Nathaniel Rateliff/Darol Anger/Half Pelican), Emma Rose on bass + guitar (Sound of Honey/Daniel Rodriguez/Whippoorwill) and Eve Panning on fiddle (Lonesome Days).

Formed in late 2021, the band gained immediate notoriety for their charismatic stage presence and their vocal/instrumental prowess. After selling out all of their club shows Big Richard quickly started confirming festival appearances across America.

LANEY LOU & THE BIRD DOGS

Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs are an energetic Americana band from Bozeman, Montana, that infuses four-part harmonies, engaging songwriting, and rock-n-roll drive into a modern approach to traditional folk music. Coming from varied musical backgrounds, the five-person ensemble creates a sound unique to them, but one that finds common ground by adding the energy of Montana’s big sky country into their music. The Bird Dogs weave stories through their songs that are reflective, joyous, longing, or meant to share a journey with the listener. Through it all, the band is able to convey heartfelt honesty, getting the audience to immerse themselves in the moment by dancing, singing and laughing along. Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs consists of Lena (Laney) Schiffer on vocals/guitar/percussion, Matt Demarais on vocals/banjo, Ethan Demarais on bass, Brian Kassay on fiddle/mandolin/harmonica, and Josh Moore on vocals/guitar.

TAJ WEEKES & ADOWA

Taj Weekes & Adowa unite a true social consciousness with an unforgettable Reggae groove. Blending in elements of acoustic roots rock and afro-folk simplicity, the band’s vibrant sound defies genre and has garnered critical acclaim and a wide audience across the globe. With band members coming from all over the Caribbean, from Jamaica to Dominica and Barbados to St. Lucia, it’s a pan-Caribbean sound, all of them growing up listening to different native music and bringing their experience to the mix. Vibrant, emotionally challenging and intellectually stimulating, their albums have been consistently ranked as one of the top albums of any given year. Their performances are classic, soul stirring, rootsy, tempos with beautifully enchanting vocals delivering socially conscious, thought-provoking lyrics.

Taj Weekes & Adowa is a a dynamic reggae band delivers a blend of rock n’ roll, reggae one drop rhythms and traditional Caribbean sounds superbly supported Weekes’ haunting falsetto, giving audiences a mesmerizing and fantastic show.

 

Fireside Collective perform at the Salvage Station in Asheville, NC on October 21, 2021.

FIRESIDE COLLECTIVE

A quintet who cheerfully disregard every kind of one-dimensional label that might be attached to their music, Fireside Collective has been on a roll since emerging seven years ago from the fertile roots music scene of Asheville, North Carolina. In quick order, the progressive bluegrass group released its debut album, won the 2016 Band Contest at MerleFest, earned an International Bluegrass Music Association Momentum Band of the Year nomination and embarked on an ambitious touring schedule that’s earned an enthusiastic reception from traditional bluegrass to wide-ranging, eclectic music festival audiences alike.

​Blending the characteristic interplay of bluegrass instrumentation and harmonies with strong original material and exuberant energy, Fireside Collective has drawn on folk, blues, funk and a wide variety of bluegrass sounds to create a distinctive body of work that’s all their own.

SOUL FUNK COLLECTIVE

Montana's premiere purveyors of premium grooves, tasty licks, and parties that last all night long, The Soul Funk Collective is a dynamic group of professional musicians with one goal in mind: to get your feet moving and your hips grooving. When this band hits the stage, be ready to hear the very best of soul and funk music from Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Parliament Funkadelic and many more! We're all about playing that sweet, funky soul music, and we'd love to give you a taste.

JOAN ZEN

As a funky-soul group, the Joan Zen Sextet features: Milan House on keyboards, Eric  Hutchins on guitar and trumpet, Jason Hicks on saxophone and EWI (electronic wind synth), Drew Barker  on drums, Joan Zen on vocals and guitar, and Branden Barker on bass. The synergy between the players in the group is undeniable at their live shows. Drawing from a blended palette of styles, this groovy, soul sextet living in Missoula, MT travels around the Northwest bringing high-energy, dynamic, soulful music to their audiences

COWBOY ANDY & THE SALAMANDERS

Cowboy Andy and the Salamanders is an award winning nationally recognized children and family friendly rock group that offers that has been delighting families all around the Pacific Northwest for over 10 years! Get ready to dance and sing along to songs you probably don’t know! The Salamanders consist of Mr. Blue Sky Ian Smith, Bones Russ Gay, Banana Man Matthew Bainton, The Indispensable Oscar Hunt, and Cowboy Andy!

Travel the world through your tastebuds. Immerse yourself in the local tastes and smells of some of Western Montana’s best food vendors! All vendors are using compostable materials as part of Roots Fest’s sustainability efforts.

BIG DIPPER ICE CREAM

Ice cream, water, soda

BANH MISSOULA

Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwiches

EL CAZADOR

Authentic Mexican food

HORCHATA

Horchata and Mexican street corn

ISLA’S LEMONADE

Freshly-squeezed lemonade

KAMOON ARABIAN CUISINE

Falafel, shawarma, moutabel, hummus

M-80 CHICKEN

Nashville-style fried chicken sandwiches, fries

MOUNTAIN BERRY BOWLS

Acai bowls

PELZ

Hand-mand pelmeni dumplings

RIVER CITY EATS

Sliders and fries

SERVIN’ THYME

Wraps, Salads, Nachos, Rice Bowls, and more

WEMO BISTRO

Smash burgers, cheesesteaks, fries, shake lemonade

Earth without Art would be eh...and so would Roots Fest! Discover art made by local and regional artists from pottery to leathergoods, paintings to jewelry. Support local artists and bring home something unique.

ALPINE LINE ART

Adventure Art - Missoula, MT

BRETASHLEY

Fine Art and Handwoven Wearables - Missoula, MT

BRIAN CHRISTIANSON PHOTOGRAPHY

Photography - Missoula, MT

BRIANCA THORNTON

Jewelry

CAROL FAH

Art Dolls

CLAIRE EMERY ART

Printmaking - Missoula, MT

CLAY STUDIO OF MISSOULA

Hands on pottery making

CLAIRE MANNHEIMER

Jewelry - Missoula, MT

DIANNA COURAGE & MISTY HERZER

Jewelry

ERIC REESE

Photography - Whitefish, MT

GAIL BECKNER

Upcycled clothing and handcrafted artisan jewelry - Florence, MT

GAIL BECKNER

Upcycled Apparel, Jewelry - Missoula, MT

HANNAH SUKUT

Jewelry - Bozeman, MT

HRAEART

Painting/illustrations - Missoula, MT

HUNTER LEACH

Leather work - Missoula, MT

IVERSON JEWELRY DESIGN

Jeweler, Lapidary Artist - Missoula, MT

JACKIE PRIESS

Fabric Arts

JAMIE STOLBA

Paintings - Belgrade, MT

KAY LANGLAND

Jewelry - Missoula, MT

KELSEY WICKWIRE

Mixed media illustration and printmaking - St. Ignatius, MT

KENDALL QUINDRY

Jewelry and miniatures - Missoula, MT

LATISHA BUCK ELK THUNDER

Jewelry

LOUISA BERKY

Jewelry - Missoula, MT

MARIAH LAUGHLIN

Macrame and fiber art - Missoula, MT

MELANIE SOUTHALL

Leather jewelry and accessories

MIKE & JAMIE DOBIESZ

Jewelry, gift cards, urns

MONTANA BISMUTH CREATIONS

Bismuth Metal Art - Missoula, MT

MONTANA TEES

Screen printed apparel - Missoula, MT

NEEDLE AND AXE

Fiber art/sewing - Columbia Fall, MT

RAY GOROSKI

Vintage Jewelry

RICH ADAMS

Fine art paintings and drawings - Missoula, MT

RICK PRECIADO

Tie dye fabrics - Missoula, MT

STACY SCHMIDT

Jewelry

TRUE SOUTH WOOD DESIGNS

Wood pyrography - Missoula, MT

WARM HOUSE DESIGNS

Polymer clay jewelry - Missoula, MT

WEST FORK FLY CO.

Fabric fly fishing gear and flies - Missoula, MT

Looking for the perfect kid-friendly event during Roots Festival? Well look no further. Family Roots Fest takes place in Caras Park on August 26th from 10 AM - 2 PM and has a wide range of kid-friendly activities that are perfect for all ages. From hands on crafts, to obstacle courses, to guitar lessons, to bean bag tosses, Family Roots Fest has it all.

Family Roots Fest Stage Schedule:

TBA

 

Family Roots Fest Activity Providers

TBA

FAMILY ROOTS FESTIVAL IS SPONSORED BY:

Celebrating all things Missoula during Roots Fest wouldn’t be complete without showcasing our active community. Thanks to Run Wild Missoula, the 4-Mile Roots Run takes participants along our river, through historic neighborhoods, and back to Kiwanis park to gather and celebrate the community we love.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7 - 8:30 AM

Start/Finish Location: E. Main St.; Between N. Higgins & N. Pattee

Registration: runwildmissoula.org or rivercityrootsfestival.com (day of registration available)

  • Regular Registration: July 14th through August 24th
    • $32 - 19 and Over
    • $20 - 18 and Under
  • Late Registration: August 25th through Race Day
    • $40 - 19 and Over
    • $20 - 18 and Under

Packet Pickup Information

  • Friday, September 6th from 3 - 5:45 PM at Run Wild Missoula
  • Saturday, September 7th (Race Day) from 7:15 - 8:15 AM at the Race Start
    • Packet pickup ends promptly at 8:15 AM on the 26th

 

2024 Course Map

Coming Soon!

4-MILE ROOTS RUN SPONSORED BY

There’s nothing better than seeing our community coming out to “Support Our Roots” by supporting locally owned shops, boutiques, cafes, and restaurants! Downtown shopping and dining has something for everyone.

Coming Soon!

A cornerstone of our community is our commitment to sustainability, which is why Home ReSource  and the City of Missoula lead the charge on the green scene each year, ensuring the festival is as climate friendly as possible. The Roots Team is committed to reducing the carbon footprint of our festival while improving the health of our community and planet. From expanding zero waste options, to sustainable commute options, to offsetting our musicians’ emissions, the 2024 River City Roots Festival is dedicated to responsibly throwing Missoula’s best party.

No doubt you’ll see our Green Team Zero Waste Ambassadors at the festival managing the “waste stream”. Last year our team diverted 65% of Roots Fest waste from the landfill – and most of this became compost! Look for their bright green shirts and thank them for their efforts!

Here are the many ways we’re greening the Roots Fest in 2024:

  • Shift to aluminum reusable cups instead of plastic; aluminum is more sustainable and more easily recycled       
  • Single-use plastic straws: six years ago, we eliminated these at the festival! Wahoo!
  • Zero Waste Vendors: All food vendors are required to be part of our Zero Waste Vendor Program. All vendors will NOT use any plastic, single-use glass, or Styrofoam food service ware. All containers, drinks, and utensils are recyclable or compostable. If you stop by a vendor, thank them for their actions to go green.
  • All-In-One Recycling Stations with Composting. Four years ago, we expanded our Zero Waste Stations to include compost bins. These green bins—filled with food scraps, plates, utensils and more—end up at the City-owned Garden City Compost, hauled by our friends at Missoula Compost Collection. In addition to MCC’s compost bins, Republic Services provides All-In-One Recycling service. To help festival goers know what and how to discard, you’ll find Green Team volunteers acting as Zero Waste Ambassadors at many of these stations. You can recognize these ambassadors by their green Roots Fest shirts and their nifty trash pickers. Do give them a high five!
  • Stainless Steel Tumblers and Roots Fest Cups: By popular demand, the River City Roots Festival stainless steel tumblers are back this year, to be used and reused throughout the weekend and beyond. These tumblers tend to sell out fast, so snag one before they’re gone! To make sustainable sipping even better, if you bought a tumbler or plastic Roots Fest cup at festivals past, bring it to this year’s Roots for all your beverage needs.
  • Water Stations. If all you need is water (!) stop by one of the Culligan water stations and fill your reusable bottle or Festival cup with cool H20. Stay hydrated!
  • Bike Valet: In our opinion, biking to Roots demands VIP treatment! To that end, Missoula In Motion and Green Team volunteers will again offer a bicycle valet parking service. If you bike to the festival, simply ride up to the secured area located on the Higgins end of the Art Show and let our volunteers do the rest. The Bike Valet will be available from 6pm - 10:30pm both nights of the Festival. If you choose to use your own bike parking arrangements, please only lock up to designated bike racks to avoid chaining up to trees. By riding and parking your bike responsibly, you help reduce carbon emissions, improve traffic flow, and protect our urban forests.
  • Carbon Free Main Stage: Powering the world class musicians performing at the Roost Festival takes serious energy. Between fuel to get here and electricity to run speakers and lights, we leave a carbon footprint that contributes to climate change. We mitigate that contribution with the purchase of carbon credits, using Climate Smart’s “Footprint Fund” dedicated to reducing emissions in buildings in Missoula. That is why we proudly display the “Carbon Neutral” banner prominently on stage.

Have any other ideas for Greening the Roots Fest or working to make our community more sustainable? Stop by the Home ReSource table near the Main Street Parking garage and let us know, or join our efforts.

FESTIVAL GREENING SPONSORED BY

HOW TO HAVE FUN

  • NO TICKETS NEEDED! This is Missoula's signature celebration and we feel there shouldn't be any barriers to folks enjoying live music in the streets of Downtown.
  • Looking for information about the festival or for festival merchandise? Visit our info booth on the corner of W. Main and Ryman (outside of the Missoula Club)
  • Bring your lawn chairs to the festival to enjoy the bands in comfort.
  • Check out the Family Roots Fest in Caras Park (Saturday, Sept. 7, 10am to 2pm) – there are lots of fun activities to keep the kids busy.
  • Check out all the varied art work from our artists. There are all kinds of beautiful and one-of-a-kind items to bring home with you.
  • Looking for some exercise? A 4-mile fun run is slated for Saturday morning (Saturday, Sept. 7, 8:30am) and is open to everyone with all abilities. Register online at rivercityrootsfestival.com or in-person at the Runner’s Edge.
  • Please do not bring your own food and beverages into the festival area. Your purchases from our vendors support locally-owned businesses and help cover the hard costs to help keep this festival admission free for all.
  • Do bring your own water bottle to stay hydrated while you dance the day away. A water-truck thanks to Culligan will be stationed near Masala to refill your bottles as often as you need.
  • Adult beverages are available: purchase your wristband and commemorative cup first (your first drink is FREE thanks to the Missoula Downtown Association), then get in line for a drink. Bring your ID; you will not be able to drink without it.
  • You must have an official Roots Fest Wristband to drink within the festival area. Please stay inside the festival area with your adult beverages. If you take your drink outside the barricades, you risk getting an Open Container ticket.
  • If you need a band-aid, or maybe you lost or found something, go see the folks in the Volunteer Check-In area inside the Central Park Parking Structure.

ARRIVING AT THE FESTIVAL

  • Thanks to the Missoula Parking Commission, parking throughout Downtown Missoula is FREE for the entire duration of Roots Fest. We recommend parking in the Park Place or ROAM garages. Note that lease-parking spaces will be enforced on Friday, Sept. 6 (but are accessible to all on Saturday, Sept. 7). Parking does fill up quickly - we recommend utilizing sustainable means of transportation.
  • Walk the trails: Missoula has an amazing trail system - park outside of Downtown and walk with ease along our beautiful river.
  • Ride the bike: please park your bike at one of the many bike racks throughout Downtown, including the bike corral in Caras Park. Please dismount and walk your bike inside the festival area.
  • Ride the Line: Mountain Line is now Zero-Fare and all routes lead to Downtown Missoula. Visit www.mountainline.com to find your route or download their app. Mountain Line is also a major sponsor that helps keep Roots Fest as green as possible.
  • If you brought your skateboard, scooter, etc., please refrain from riding them within the festival area.

PLEASE BE CONSIDERATE / SAFE

  • PLEASE DO NOT BRING YOUR PETS TO ROOTS FEST! It can be hot with lots of people in the festival area, which may not be comfortable for your pooch. Folks with pets will be asked to remain outside the festival area.
  • Stay hydrated! Early September can still bring hot temps, so be sure to bring a refillable water bottle; a water-truck will be available near Masala thanks to Culligan.
  • Please be polite to the folks who are working the event. Many are volunteering their time or are small business owners helping to create an authentic Missoula experience for you.
  • Please exit the festival area if you would like to smoke or vape. We realize it’s a street festival, but please don’t subject those around you to secondhand smoke.
  • Please stay off the railings on top of the parking structure, as well as the sound and staging equipment. We want you to be safe!

WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE THIS FESTIVAL

  • $120,000: Cost to put on Roots Fest. It’s no small cost to put on a festival like this. As with all events produced by the Missoula Downtown Association, Roots Fest is admission FREE. It’s because of our sponsors, as well as attendees taking advantage of our local food vendors and purchasing the wristband/commemorative cup, that costs associated with the event are covered.
  • $90,000+: Amount of sponsorship dollars from local businesses to help produce Roots Fest; nearly $20,000+ is in trade-out services
  • 15,000+: number of attendees roaming the streets of Downtown Missoula across both days
  • 3,700 aluminum beer cups bought to help reduce waste - please reuse the cups all weekend and recycle them when you're done!
  • 800 t-shirts for sale, for runners, and for our volunteers
  • 120+ volunteers needed to make Roots Fest come alive
  • 4 Production Partners: the City of Missoula, Run Wild Missoula, Home ReSource, Missoula in Motion all help with various pieces so Roots runs smoothly
  • 10 bands, 35 artists, 14 local food vendors, 300+ runners, 120 volunteers, 10 planning committee members, and 25+ children’s organizations make this party!

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Roots Fest website:
rivercityrootsfestival.com
Roots Fest Information & Merchandise Booth

Missoula Downtown Association:
406.543.4238 or [email protected]

Paddleheads Post:
Located across the street from the festival at 140 N. Higgins. They also have general information about Missoula.

TITLE SPONSOR

MAIN STAGE SPONSORS

MEDIA SPONSOR

OFFICIAL VEHICLE OF ROOTS FEST

EVENT PRODUCER

FAMILY FUN SPONSORS

GREEN SPONSORS

4-MILE RUN SPONSORS

ART SHOW SPONSORS

BEVERAGE GARDEN SPONSORS

FOOD COURT SPONSORS

HOSPITALITY SPONSORS

PATRON SPONSORS

A&E Design, Poteet Construction

SUPPORTER SPONSORS

Cranky Sam Public House, DCI Engineers

Questions?