The Rhythm & Roots festival, as its name suggests, attracts musicians that defy categorization. Bands play Zydeco, delta blues, swing, swamp pop, polka, honky tonk, klezmer, boogie woogie, Cajun, all of the above, or any mixture you can imagine. Producer Chuck Wentworth has earned the trust of Rhythm & Roots fans for his spot-on abliity to book an appealing mix of talented, but little known, musicians and longtime festival favorites. (Steve Riley – we’re talking to you!) Fans don’t even wait to hear the lineup before they buy their tickets. They know he’ll get it right.
Wentworth is all about keeping authentic roots music alive and thriving. He’s invested in an amazing sound system that showcases the musicians at their best on all four stages:
The RHYTHM STAGE is the focal point of the festival. Seven bands each day perform on the “big stage” to showcase the massive variety of roots music in a concert-style setting.
The popular DANCE STAGE features a covered, 4,400-square-foot wooden floor that attracts dancers from 38 states and three Canadian provinces. Don’t be intimidated – you’ll see accomplished and amateur pairs – young and old, tall and short, serious and carefree – all having a swinging time.
Find a more intimate setting at the ROOTS STAGE, which features four workshops each day and up-close seating for extended performances and jams.
The FAMILY STAGE features music, dance, storytelling, comedians, games, crafts and nighttime movies for kids of all ages. The performance from the Rhythm & Roots Youth Music Camp is on of the highlights.
Don’t expect typical carnival fare here. While there’s nothing wrong with fried food and ice cream, the fans at Rhythm & Roots expect more. And boy do they get it. The diverse range of foods includes everything from PoBoys and potato pancakes to crepes and kimchi. Try the chili, Cajun shrimp, seafood chowder, fish tacos, Thai noodles, grilled chicken, shish kabob, smoked meats and more.
If you’re a foodie, we’ve got you covered. Need meat-free options? No problem. A bit of a beer snob? Find craft beers on tap. Wine is available and weary campers welcome the fresh-roasted coffee every morning. And don’t worry, if you’re craving a burger and fries, fried seafood or shaved ice, our friendly food vendors are here for you.
Fun For All Ages
More than 10,000 visitors can’t be wrong. Rhythm & Roots is known for its laid-back, friendly vibe, which turns first-time festival attendees into devotees. Rhythm & Roots is a perennial favorite on the festival circuit for fans, families and the hundreds of volunteers who help run it. Try new foods, shop for handmade gifts, camp with friends and meet the musicians. Dance all day or park in a lawn chair. Camp out or come for the day. Ninigret Park itself is one of the stars of Rhythm & Roots, with its playground and freshwater pond, bike trail, tennis and basketball courts, and miles of hiking trails.
Lots of festivals say they offer something for everyone, but we really mean it!