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Roots N Blues returns to Columbia, requires vaccination or proof of negative test to attend


Roots N Blues is scheduled to kick off Friday, with the festival making its return after being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year according to the festival's website, attendees will be required to either submit proof of vaccination or of a negative test in order to attend.

The festival said in a statement, "It’s simple: We trust health care professionals. The health of our community is our first priority. The safest way to enjoy live music right now is to be vaccinated against COVID-19."

On its website, Roots N Blues advises attendees not to attend if:

  • Within 14 days before attending the festival you have tested positive, or been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • Within 48 hours prior to attending the festival, you have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., a fever of 100.4 or higher, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking muscle pain/achiness, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, nasal congestion, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, or any other symptoms associated with COVID-19 identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)
  • Within 14 days prior to attending the festival you have traveled to any international territory identified by federal or applicable state or local governments as being subject to travel or quarantine advisories due to COVID-19.

Proof of vaccination can include an original, a direct photocopy or photo of your valid vaccine card.

"They're encouraging folks to kind of take personal responsibility and wear masks and social distance where possible," said Megan McConachie with the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau. "So, all of that is kind of combining to make what will hopefully be a very safe festival."

It is recommended that all attendees, regardless of vaccination status, obtain a negative test before entering.

"For people who are attending roots and blues, just make sure that they're aware of what the protocols are at the festival and make sure you're following those," said Sara Humm with Columbia/Boone Public Health Department. "But then, of course, you can always go above and beyond as far as wearing your mask, especially if you're in a large group of people, washing your hands frequently doing your best to social distance."

Traffic will also be impacted throughout the weekend, said Missouri Department of Transportation Area Engineer Kirsten Munck.

“We know that the closing of one lane of the interstate and the entrance ramp will greatly impact eastbound traffic, especially with the Roots ‘N Blues Festival in Columbia this weekend,” Munck said. “These closures are necessary for the safety of travelers on the road."

A stretch of Old 63 will be Northbound only near the Stephens Lake Park entrance on Old 63, with a section of Walnut also being completely closed off to traffic.

For those attending, The City of Columbia’s Bus Service, GoCOMO, will no longer be providing Late Night Trips from the fest. They will run their regular routes and hours.

Uber/Lyft and Taxis will pick up and drop off only in the indicated lot. They will not be allowed to the gate entrance.

2021 Roots N Blues Festival Grounds Map
Article Topic Follows: Lifestyle

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Ben Fein

Ben Fein is a multimedia journalist for ABC 17 News. You can usually see his reports on weekend mornings or weekdays at 5, 6 and 6:30 p.m. on KMIZ.


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