Roots on the River Festival

Fred Eaglesmith and his band; and Josh Maiocco at the Swap Tent, photos by Mary Lou Massucco; 2012 Festival poster.
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Summary Info Festival Story Not AvailableFestival EventsOther SourcesPractical Info

Country and Region United StatesVermont
Type of Festival Music
Location of Festival Bellows Falls, Vermont, USA
Festival Contact Information

Online email

Festival Description

The annual Roots on the River Music Festival offers a unique experience, some new acts, Grammy Award winning music, and a few perennial favorites. The performers include international acts and a few area favorites. A swap tent of musical instruments and equipment is a popular feature of Saturday, as is the children’s tent of games and activities throughout the afternoon so the young are occupied while the parents enjoy the show. There is a wide variety of food and drink vendors on site, and the grounds are entirely smoke free, family and pet friendly. Please note that glass containers and coolers are not permitted on the grounds, and with limited seating most folk bring their own folding chair.

Festival Dates June 6 - 9, 2013
Festival Links

Festival Events:

  • The festival will feature four days of music, good food, open mics, free shows, and five venues stocked with established regional artists and new artists. The festival started ten years ago with two small concerts at a local watering hole and an artist’s studio, and has blossomed into an event that draws fans from across the United States, Canada, and Europe who attend year after year. Venues include the Bellows Falls Opera House, Bellows Falls Farmers’ Market, “The Big Tent” located at Everyday Inn, and the Meeting House.
Lineup 2013:
  • The Fred Eaglesmith Travelling Steam Show
  • Cold River Ranters
  • Sean Rowe
  • Girls, Guns and Glory
  • Poor Old Shine
  • The Milkhouse Heaters
  • After the Rodeo
  • Skumm & Oats
  • Heather Maloney Band
  • Sam Creigh
  • Grant Peeples
  • Shelly King
  • Dave Alvin and The Guilty Ones
  • The Sea The Sea
  • Dan Weber
  • Roger Marin Band
  • Zoe Muth and the Lost High Rolers
  • David Wax Museum
  • The Steel Wheels
  • Carolyn Mark
Artist feature 2013:
  • Grant Peeples
    • Grant Peeples is a 7th Generation Floridian from Sopchoppy, Florida. He started his music career upon moving back to America after living on a small island off the coast of Nicaragua for eleven years. He is a self-described ‘LeftNeck’ and “liberal with a gun,” whose life’s focus is writing ‘finger-in-your-eye’ songs and then searching for quiet corners in which to play them for people who are still able to pay attention for four minutes or so. His current record, “PawnShop,” which he claims to be an allegory of our Times, spent a little time in the hither regions of the obscure Americana Music Chart.
“Sunshine State,” Grant’s 2007 entry into the Florida State Song Contest…….lost.

  • For more information visit
Swap Tent:
  • The tent has become a popular tradition at the festival, both for those wishing to sell and to buy instruments. With dozens of band members, and hundreds of concert-goers, you never know who might be interested in the offered treasures. With an intriguing assortment of classic and vintage items offered every year. “We are appealing to everyone with an old guitar in the closet, attic, or garage to sell it at the ROTR Festival this year and let the Swap Tent make its magic,” Stephen Chipman, tent organizer, vintage guitar restorer, and owner of Vintage Parlor Guitars, said.
  • For more information please contact the festival at
Partner 2013:
  • This year’s non-profit partner for the Roots on the River Music Festival is the Vermont Foodbank. Southern Vermont’s premiere music festival will be held this year from June 6 – 9, at numerous venues throughout the town and will feature nearly two dozen acts. “The Vermont Foodbank is honored to be this year’s beneficiary of Roots on the River’s generous support,” Peter Stamm, a member of the board of trustees of the Foodbank, said. “One strives to nourish the community’s body, the other, its soul.” Through a network of 270 food shelves, meals sites, senior centers, shelters, after-school programs, the Vermont Foodbank runs programs that help feed as many as 86,000 Vermonters in need of food assistance. The agricultural programs, including a statewide crop gleaning project, help to increase the amount of locally sourced produce.


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Practical Info:

  • Tickets can be purchased online at the festival’s website, or by calling +01 802-463-9595.


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