RiverRoots Festival prepare for 10th year

Festival has grown to
16 bands on two stages

(April 2015) – Planning for the 10th anniversary of the RiverRoots Music and Folk Arts Festival is in high gear, with the committee coming up with some new elements for the May 15-16 event on the Madison, Ind., riverfront.

The Wood Brothers

One new element is the addition of a VIP tent, which will be set up just east of the stage with ideal viewing. The VIP Tent package will include food, beer and wine in a fenced, seating area. The group also is marketing its “Friends of the Festival” fundraising drive, which now combines membership and sponsorship drives into one, according to festival coordinator Greg Ziesemer’s reports to the VisitMadison Inc. tourism board.
Most of the bands have been booked for the 2015 festival, which will enjoy a $60,000 boost in the budget for hiring the bands. This year’s Saturday night headliner will be The Wood Brothers. Friday night’s headliner will be Scythian.
The festival committee in 2013 added a second “River Stage,” offering additional acts. This year, the River Stage has been expanded and together with the “Main Stage,” the festival will present 16 musical acts. That is double the number of acts in 2012, said Ziesemer, in his fifth year as the festival’s coordinator.
Back in September 2014, the group launched its new RiverRoots Music Series, with monthly concerts held through March 2015 at the Red Bicycle Hall at 125 E. Main St., Madison. Several groups that have been booked for the 2015 festival have been performing at these monthly concerts.

Greg Ziesemer

The committee also has revamped its “Halfway to RiverRoots” party, previously held in November, and its former March “Kickoff Party” to instead hold a “Lineup Announcement Party,” which was held at the Music Series Concert in late January. That party launched the committee’s Membership Drive.
The committee also plans to hold a “Kickoff Event,” set for the Thursday night before the festival, on May 14 at the Boneyard Grill on the Madison hilltop. The sponsored event will feature on of the Main Stage level bands.
“I am extremely proud of the exponential growth this festival is achieving,” Ziesemer wrote in a recent tourism board report. “Consider the huge leaps we have made in the last five years as we approach our 10th anniversary. I think (the late festival coordinator) John Walburn would have been as proud as I am, and I am looking forward to a great celebration.”
Last year’s event attracted its largest crowd to date and netted $5,650, Ziesemer reported. Sponsorships reached an all-time high.

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