Community

Roots Grow Deeper

Posted by tbaker |

“This event has community soul …the organizers and volunteers are the ones to be commended. I knew this would be a jewel in Fayetteville’s Crown.”

— Gregory Sparrow, Fayetteville

Staff Report

It wasn’t hard to see the joy and excitement emanating through the crowds of people attending the 2012 Fayetteville Roots Festival. Groups of attendees laughed as they walked from one venue to another discussing the acts, while festival workers — mostly volunteers — ran back and forth answering questions, grabbing papers, handing out tickets, explaining what was where and being generally helpful.

Bands played into the night at George’s Majestic Lounge, Kingfish and at the Walton Arts Center, and the weather was just right for a night-time concert and meal of local foods. Not to mention the array of musical talents who seemed to bring their all.

When it was said and done, the lights went out and the curtain down, but the community spirit left behind made people hopeful for the impact Roots will have on Fayetteville and the surrounding area. According to some, it’s exactly the kind of event that will put NWA on the map, and only serves to get larger each year.

The Free Weekly asked one organizer and 3 Penny Acre band member Bryan Hembree how this year went once the crowds dispersed. According to Hembree, the festival raised $6,977 for the two non-profits supported — Folk School of Fayetteville and Feed Fayetteville.

“We are delighted that the community turned out in force to support the overall festival and these two non-profits,” he said.

And ticket sales this year nearly doubled from last year’s 900, with a total of 1,928 tickets to the mainstage sold. This doesn’t include, Hembree said, the more than 1,000 people who attended a late night performance at KingFish or George’s Majestic Lounge.

“There were hundreds in attendance at the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market stage and close to 300 people attended events at the Fayetteville Public Library,” he said.

In total, organizers estimate there were close to 3,000 attendees across all events.

As for next year, the organizers hope to build on this year’s success by continuing to offer a new and fresh line-up of musicians and a growing selection of local food from local farmers.

“Our goal is to pull off a dynamic event where the music heard is wonderful listening and the food is local and of the highest quality. We hope that folks left with a truly unique and memorable experience. We think they did!”

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