The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

CU Folk and Roots Festival returns for 15th year of music, festivities

The 15th annual Champaign-Urbana Folk and Roots Festival will be held Oct. 12-14 at various locations in downtown Urbana. 

Over three days, the festival will host a variety of musicians, performers and workshops — all honoring folk and art. 

Events will be held at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Rose Bowl Tavern, the Channing-Murray Foundation, the Red Herring, Gallery Art Bar, the Community Center for the Arts, the Cohen Building, the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, the Urbana Dance Company, the Urbana Free Library, Common Ground and Cloud Mountain Kombucha. 

The festival will host musical artists Eddie Barbash, The Young and the Fretless, Tee Dee Young, Adeem the Artist, Dom Flemons, KASA, Son Monarcas and many more.

Barbash will be one of the headliners for the opening night at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. Barbash is an alto saxophonist and one of the founding members of the house band for “The Stephen Colbert Show.” 

    Sign up for our newsletter!

    Festival volunteer Scott Dossett said he is very interested in seeing Adeem the Artist and is glad Adeem is on board. Dossett said Adeem’s performance may expand the scope of people who may be interested in participating in the festival or enjoying the music.

    The festival is not only a place of music but also of inclusion. Dossett said it is important for people to realize that everyone can enjoy the variety of music and events that they have to offer. 

    Dom Flemons, a three-time Grammy Award nominee and one-time winner of Traditional Folk Album for “Genuine Negro Jig,” will be hosting an American Songster Workshop at the Urbana Free Library on Saturday at 3 p.m.

    Dossett said that in the workshop, Flemons will be talking about the history and development of roots music, with an emphasis on African American folk music.

    After the talk, Flemons will perform at the Rose Bowl Tavern at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.

    The Folk and Roots Festival not only pulls in big names to perform, but many Champaign-Urbana natives as well. 

    “We try to use the budget we have to go out nationally and regionally and grab four or five of these bigger groups you’ll see on the web page,” Dossett said. “But the festival is also really deep with local talent. We have a really good music scene here in Urbana.” 

    The festival will also hold workshops on various musical techniques and instruments.

    “We have workshops this year on introductory blues harmonica, a guitar workshop, a claw hammer banjo workshop and a couple of other things,” Dossett said.

    Dossett said he will be participating in the Bluegrass/Acoustic Slow Jam workshop on Saturday from 1-3 p.m. at the Gallery. 

    Dossett said these workshops welcome people with all ranges of talent and ability who want to come and learn more about an instrument, or others who want to be able to perform their music with similar people. 

    Nonmusical events include swing dance lessons, yoga and bilingual storytelling for children. 

    The festival organization is made up of several different committees that are composed of people who stepped forward with an interest in running and arranging the festival.

    The festival is also primarily volunteer-run and is a nonprofit organization. The festival has a close relationship with the City of Urbana and gets some of its funding through the Arts and Cultural Program Office in the city. 

    The rest of its funding comes from promotions and donations, which are run by a committee of the festival. 

    The festival is still open for volunteers. People who volunteer for at least a four-hour shift can get a free wristband that gets them into any of the events at any location. More information can be found here.


    [email protected]

    [email protected]

    More to Discover
    About the Contributor
    Hi! My name is Kiran Bond and I'm a junior majoring in journalism and minoring in informatics. I started writing for The Daily Illini in the features section back in early 2022, before coming to buzz. I'm very passionate about music and journalism, so buzz editor is an awesome position for me! In my free time, I'm usually doing something musical! I'm in the Women's Glee Club choir and I play piano and guitar. I'm also probably listening to Fall Out Boy or another pop-punk or post-hardcore band. For any inquiries, feel free to reach out to me at !
    ILLordle: Play now