Rhythm & Roots Festival celebrates 20 years Sept. 1-3 in Rhode Island
CHARLESTOWN, R.I. >> The region’s largest, most elaborate Labor Day weekend musical party, the annual Rhythm & Roots Festival, which takes place each year just a few minutes over the border in Rhode Island, turns 20 this year — and, boy, are they getting ready to celebrate.
To mark the milestone, producer Chuck Wentworth’s Lagniappe Productions has added a fourth day of camping on Thursday, expanded the actual festival from 2½ days to three full days — with performances now starting at noon Friday — and put together a lineup as strong as any Rhythm & Roots has ever seen.
Rhythm & Roots is suitable for the entire family — with a dedicated kids stage. It takes place on four stages, one of which is a covered dance tent, in spacious Ninigret Park, a South County park (adjacent to Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge) on the grounds of a sprawling former naval auxiliary air station. This year’s festival includes 29 performers, including four Grammy winners and five nominees.
Headliners this year include Roseanne Cash, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (also performing at Infinity Hall in Norfolk on Thursday night) and The Mavericks.
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Rhythm & Roots Festival Early-Bird Tickets Available Jan. 15
The 23rd annual Rhythm & Roots Festival tickets will go on sale Jan. 15. Last year’s festival had the perfect weather, music, dancing, camping, food and fun that turned Charlestown’s Ninigret Park into a massive reunion. This year’s festival, set for Sept. 4, 5 and 6 over Labor Day weekend, will surely deliver all that and more.
Give yourself, or a loved one, something to look forward to this winter. Early-bird tickets will be available online Jan. 15 at the lowest price all year. Three-day tickets, with camping, are available at a cost of $175.
We’re busy planning the lineup for this year’s festival. Confirmed acts thus far include Rhiannon Giddens (of Carolina Chocolate Drops fame), Richard Thompson, Uprooted featuring Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root, Keller Williams, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Trigger Hippy, Donna the Buffalo, Amythyst Kiah and Tami Neilsen just to name a few. More stellar artists will be announced in the coming months.
We’ve decided to return to our tradition of beginning the music at 5 p.m. on Friday, with bands performing on the main stage and dance tent. The gate opens at 4 p.m. Ticket prices have been adjusted to reflect the shorter day. The Saturday and Sunday schedule will remain the same as in the past. Festival hours are: Friday 4 p.m. to midnight, Saturday and Sunday 12 p.m. to midnight. Music begins at 5 p.m. Fri. and 1 p.m. Sat. and Sun.
As the festival evolves, so does traditional music. Year after year, the two dozen or so bands who perform at Rhythm & Roots prove that roots music never stands still, so get your tickets early. These low prices are good for a short time, and tickets sell out quickly.
For information on tickets and camping go to www.rhythmandroots.com, or call 401-783-3926.