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ROOTS N BLUES FEST ALL ABOUT THE WOMEN

Rocking a historic, all-female lineup, the Roots N Blues Festival—the only entirely woman-owned musical outing in the U.S.—was held last weekend at Stephens Lake Park in Columbia, Mo.

The three-day, multi-stage event boasted headliners Brandi Carlile, Sheryl Crow, Mavis StaplesLarkin PoeLennon Stella and Tank and the Bangas, as well as 19 other female or non-binary performers, including Mickey GuytonNatalie Hemby, Latin Grammy winners Flor de Toloache, Sifa, Brittney Spencer, Shemekia Copeland and Southern Avenue.

The festival was a success for this year's producers, Tracy Lane and Shay Jasper, welcoming more 18-24- and 25-34-year-old fans than in previous years. 60% of the 7k festivalgoers were women. Moreover, the proceedings were photographed and filmed by an equal mix of women and men, and there were more women working on the security team and production crew than in previous years.

“It’s a powerful feeling to be on the other side of this event knowing that it was developed two years ago out of frustration over the lack of representation in this industry,” said Lane and Jasper in a joint statement. “The 2021 event was a clear celebration of a new direction, but we have more work to do on the path to 2022.”

Grammy winner Crow became the first woman presented with the 2021 Missouri Roots Songbook honor, founded by Lane and Jasper in 2018. Chuck Berry and John "Blind" Boone were honored in 2018 and 2019.

The Roots N Blues festival will return to Stephens Lake Park next year 10/7-9.

(L-R): Brittney Spencer, Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby
(L-R) Tracy Lane, Sheryl Crow, Shay Jasper
Mavis Staples

Photos: L.G. Patterson, Justin Kelly and Fatimah Krgo

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