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This year, we welcomed the first ever two-day Arizona Roots Festival to the valley. This festival showcased multiple talented Reggae artists, food vendors, and art.
The location of the festival was at the RiverWalk in the Rawhide Western Town Event Center. The intimate RiverWalk, was the perfect venue for everyone to gather to enjoy the live music as one.
Walking into the venue, you could feel the love and happiness that the sound of the Reggae music brought to the crowd. The first stage that we encountered, the “Rawhide Stage,” was decorated with stringed lights and a two-tiered love bus that attendees could dance from to set the mood for the evening. The acoustics at the Rawhide Stage emitted high quality sounds and made it easy for the crowd to sing and dance along to the music.
Moving from one stage to another, we were introduced to live local spray paint artists that were working on stunning pieces throughout the day. You could slowly see the blank canvases turn into masterpieces by the time the night came to an end. Upon arriving at the main stage, also known as the “AZ Roots Stage,” concert goers could relax in the grass or chill at one of the many picnic benches. This area was also surrounded by multiple heaters to help keep attendees warm in the desert cold.
Local food vendors brought a variety of menu items to the table from pizza, kettle corn, and steamed bao buns that pleased all sorts of appetites. Attendee’s devoured the savory foods and were able to wash them down with drinks provided by big name sponsors like Deep Eddy’s Vodka and Sierra Nevada. These sponsors handed out free swag and provided tastings of their classics and introduced new drinks, as well.
Many clothing vendors showcased hemp-based goods that proved to be fashionable and environmentally friendly. Hydration Stations were provided to not only keep attendees hydrated but to also limit the waste that is created by plastic water bottles at festivals. Reverb (a non-profit sponsor), partnered with Relentless Beats to provide a festival themed reusable water bottle at a fair price that could be utilized throughout the weekend.
The launch of Arizona Roots Music and Arts Festival proved successful for its first year and provided a solid base for the festival’s future. The eclectic and highly energetic crowd helped create a new home for the expansion of the California Roots brand.
The spirit of Reggae music was very much alive and appreciated this weekend.