This weekend Bend Roots Revival is ON, with eight sound stages set throughout Bend playing host to 100+ performances—80% of which will be available via livestream on YouTube and Facebook to help keep crowds smaller amid the pandemic.
Performers include Rubbah Tree, The Color Study, The Leadbetter Band, Jeshua Marshall, The Mostest, Honey Don't, Dr. Green Dreams and so many more. This is the second year of the festival happening on Halloween weekend, instead of its usual end-of-September schedule.
- Courtesy Dr Green Dreams
- The Dr. Green Dreams crew is stoked for Bend Roots this weekend!
"It's a similar blueprint to last year with it spread out around town but with a few changes," says event organizer Mark Ransom. "There's goals as always with it, and we definitely took a turn to make it more streamlined with COVID concerns. With that, I think we saw how much the community really supported us. For me over the years, especially early on, it was me championing the event with a few other hands. The coolest thing about it for me is it's all these different partners and every year they're ready to do it."
As a way to keep everyone's safety in mind, Bend Roots and participating venues will be monitoring stages for proper social distancing practices for those who are out on the town that night. This means capacity will be limited, and if things get out of hand sound engineers will pull the plug on shows until crowds thin themselves out. Bend Roots kindly asks those to do their part and follow the rules, wear masks when not eating or drinking, stand 6 feet from others and not to crowd the stages.
"We're just using last year's model and what we learned from it as an example. Number one, we spread it out so not everyone will be coming to the same area. Each venue then has more participation in the event. The question of how full is too full is up to the venue and its managers. Our team, as far as sound guys go, our instructions to them is to pull the plug [if crowds grow too large]. That's sort of the emergency thing," says Ransom. "I was really nervous last year, just about the uncertainty of having an event with COVID. I think we've learned more, and the way I think of it is that I value our safety. And I value very highly the arts in our community to be a healing force. So it's this weird paradox."
This year, music happens at Worthy Brewing (two stages), Silver Moon (two stages), AVID Cider, Spoken Moto, Bunk & Brew and at The Brown Owl from Oct. 29-31.
Also new this year are some changes to the Roots support team. While KPOV Community Radio has been involved with Roots since 2006, this year the partnership is revamped with further fundraising and promotion, and as usual they will be broadcasting live at Silver Moon.
Then there's a partnership with freshly founded Fuzz Phonic Records, a nonprofit record label made by Jeshua Marshall and Todd Rosenberg (drummer of the Mad Caddies), who play a big role this year with its own stage at The Brown Owl and other artist promotion. To celebrate these partnerships, Boneyard Beer is introducing the Fuzz Roots Hoppy Pilsner for this year's festival, a brew that Ransom described as unbelievably good and one of the most delicious beers he's ever tasted. And that's after 30 years of drinking in Bend, a town that Ransom knows, knows its beer.
"Bend loves beer, and because the bar was set so high so long ago by dudes with names like Harris, Gossack and Lawrence, there is a rooted culture of beer here," raves Ransom. "Fuzz Roots Pilz will be on tap at Boneyard's pub, at select locations around town, and at the Revival at the Brown Owl, Avid Cider, Spoken Moto and Bunk and Brew."
Everything considered, it sounds like this year's Bend Roots is going to be a damn good time.
Bend Roots Revival
Various Locations, Bend