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Roots, Blues and BBQ Rakes in $4.5 Million For Columbia, MO November 14, 2010

Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.

Columbia, Mo. — Columbia got a $4.5 million boost from its recent Roots ’N Blue BBQ Festival.

A survey conducted by the University of Missouri Department of Hotel and Restaurant Management shows that about 65,000 people attended the festival in early October. The Columbia Daily Tribune reported Saturday that the city council will hear about the survey at its Monday meeting.

Lorah Steiner, executive director of the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau, said organizers had predicted 75,000 people would attend.

According to the survey, 35,000 attendees were local residents and 30,000 were visitors. More than 87 percent said they would return next year.

More than 66 percent of out-of-town visitors said they stayed overnight.

For more on this story

Roots N Blues N BBQ has brought joy and music education to hundreds of children by providing Blues in the Schools programs at Grant Elementary and West Elementary. In class, students learn about blues music history and its origins. They complete the weeklong program by performing live in front of a festival audience.

In 2010, 10 acoustic and electric guitars were given to the Blues in the Schools programs hosted by Grant Elementary and West Boulevard Elementary. This permanent gift of music given to the students was made possible through the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival and its sponsor, Gibson Guitar.

Also this year, the Blues in the Schools program was extended an additional three weeks to allow for the Blues in the Schools program to be featured during assemblies at Paxton Keeley Elementary, Midway Elementary, Rock Bridge Elementary, and Parkade Elementary Schools. To top off 2010, TJ Wheeler accompanied Grant Elementary students to Szkolka’s Recording Studio to record the songs which they had learned and performed on stage at the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival.

Our plan is to add a new school and more music educators and sponsors to the program each year. As blues educator TJ Wheeler says, “Our goal is to have everyone singing the blues to lose the blues”.

Roots N Blues N BBQ will continue to support the Music Maker Relief Foundation whose mission simply states, “The best way to preserve roots and blues music, is to preserve roots and blues musicians”. MMRF is a not-for-profit organization that provides basic sustenance to blues musicians in need. Since 2007, Roots N Blues N BBQ has given this organization more than $50,000 in support. In the words of MMRF Founder, Tim Duffy, “These guys don’t want a hand-out, they want a gig”.

From its beginnings in 2007, Roots N Blues N BBQ has supported and showcased the local music scene. 22 different artists and acts from the Columbia, Missouri area performed at the Roots N Blues N BBQ festivals.

The Missouri High Steppers are booked each year to perform during the opening ceremonies. Thumper will continue this support. In addition, Steve Sweitzer and Richard King, owners of Thumper Entertainment, serve on the Board of Directors for Missouri High Steppers.

Roots N Blues N BBQ supports music statewide with its State Farm King of the Roots competition. It is the first statewide competition of its kind. It was judged by music industry professionals and used International Blues Challenge rules. 40 bands from all over the state competed in four regional semi-finals to find the best roots and blues band in the state of Missouri. All winners received cash prizes, equipment, sponsor swag and a chance to play on a main stage at the festival. The final 2010 showdown crowned, “BJ Allen and Blue Voodoo” from Kirksville, Missouri, as the State Farm King of the Roots winner.

Since 2007, over 250,000 fans have attended the Roots N Blues N BBQ festivals. This year alone, fans came from 21 states in the US, plus Canada.

We’re honored to have such loyal fans. In 2010, we attracted approximately 65,000 fans. We had 30,000 fans in the paid area and sold nearly 25,000 tickets. 796 kids, 12 and under, came out to enjoy the paid area and hundreds more came to enjoy the free area. It is estimated that 35,000 fans enjoyed the free area. We’re grateful for all of the volunteer support we’ve received from over 1,100 volunteers.

Roots N Blues N BBQ has provided a total of 27 internships to local college students. Nearly all of them have gone on to jobs in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other major markets using the real-life experience they have gained working on the festivals. They learn TV, radio and print advertising, graphic design, budget-planning, social media marketing, online advertising, public relations, media relations, event planning, experience marketing, musician and artist management and more.

Since 2007, 221 BBQ teams have competed to win $15,000 in prize money and trophies each year in the KCBS sanctioned event. Teams have come from more than 11 states.

The Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival is an internationally recognized show featuring national sponsors like Gibson Guitar, Ford Motor Company, State Farm, and Frito Lay.

In 2010, State Farm made it possible for fans of the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival to have easier access to information they wanted about their favorite performers, stage schedules, festival maps, and more. The Roots N Blues N BBQ Mobile Application was designed on three different platforms: an iPhone app, an Android app, and a mobile web version for all other smart phones with browser compatibility. This application gave fans the ability to access festival information right from the palm of their hand, anytime they needed it.

New for 2010, the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival partnered with the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau to present the Fletcher Honda CoMo Songwriting Contest. This competition was open to all songwriters and entries were received from 12 states and even 1 from Japan. The winning song was “Big Small Town” by Jordan Thomas. This song will be professionally produced at Mansion Studios in Columbia, Missouri and be utilized by the Convention and Visitors Bureau to help promote Columbia, Missouri in the coming year.

The Roots N Blues N BBQ ½ Marathon debuted in 2009 as a way to offer more activities to fans during the festival. Since its inception, over 2,000 runners have participated in the race. The ½ Marathon race is run by Ultramax Events who runs and manages numerous professional races around the country. Ultramax licensed the festival name for a fee and branded the Roots N Blues N BBQ ½ Marathon. All entry fees go to Ultramax.

Thumper Entertainment works closely with the City of Columbia and its Special Events Committee (SEC) to ensure festival operations meet all city and state requirements and provide the best possible experience for all in attendance. All festival operational plans are reviewed and approved by all constituencies serving on the SEC panel.

Thumper Entertainment ensures the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival is a clean, fun and safe event for adults and children alike. In 2010, Thumper will pay $20,000 to the city of Columbia for police and public safety services provided for the festival. Additionally, Thumper will pay an estimated $13,963.72 to the City for trash and recycling services provided throughout the festival weekend.

Thumper Entertainment also paid a total of $1,105.10 to the City of Columbia for all necessary business licenses, permits and venue usage fees.

For the 2010 Roots N Blues N BBQ KCBS Sanctioned contest, Thumper Entertainment applied for a grant through the Convention and Visitors Bureau to cover the costs of prize money paid out to contest winners. Additionally, Thumper applied for a grant to the CVB to cover prize money paid to the winners of the Roots N Blues N BBQ ½ Marathon Race. Both CVB board members and the City of Columbia City Council members approved these grants. Thumper received a total of $12,500 from the City to be paid directly to the winners of the BBQ competition and the ½ Marathon Race.

Thumper Entertainment produces the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival each year with a staff made up of mostly volunteer positions. With the exception of 2 employees, Thumper runs on the help of highly qualified interns from each of the colleges, and a seasoned Steering Committee made up of volunteers who graciously dedicate hundreds of hours of their spare time to help bring the festival to the city of Columbia.

Thumper Entertainment wants to bring business to The District and the City of Columbia. With the help of Mary Wilkerson from Boone County National Bank, Thumper has developed a marketing program and other ideas that can help businesses draw customers during the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival weekend. The program is presented twice each year by Roots N Blues N BBQ ambassador, Mary Wilkerson, in a live seminar format. The program information is also provided in packets, which are given to each of the downtown business owners. Many of the ideas included on this list are free of cost to the business owners to use and are proven methods to dovetail their marketing efforts with those of the festival.

Each year, the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival provides a page on its web site for all downtown businesses to feature special promotions during the festival.

New for 2010, all downtown businesses are featured on the Roots N Blues N BBQ smart phone applications including iPhone, Android and Mobile Web.

About Columbia, MO
Columbia, Missouri’s bustling and vibrant central city. Nestled between three colleges, The District is a hip, active, and artistic community. Whether it´s coffee in the morning or martinis at midnight, The District’s friendly and energetic vibe is up early and stays out late. The District’s lively mix of historic architecture, sidewalk cafes and retail shops provide the perfect setting for a business meeting, lunch with a friend or a night on the town.

With 110 unique shops, 70 bars and restaurants, 45 live performances a week, and 5900 parking spots, you´ll find plenty of things to do. We´re 43 not-so-square blocks in the center of Columbia that you´ll love to discover.

Visit discoverthedistrict.com.

Come see what makes Columbia, Missouri a unique city to visit!

Visit http://www.visitcolumbiamo.com


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