Roland Realty

We are thrilled to welcome Roland Realty to our roster of local business sponsors!

Roland Realty was founded in 1922 when Vern Roland built 909 S. First. His father, Anton, had worked in the housing development industry prior to this construction. During the 1800’s and early 1900’s Anton built nearly 300 homes in the Champaign-Urbana area. Anton also owned and worked the farm land that was later sold to the University of Illinois. This farm land was used to construct the State Farm Arena (Assembly Hall) and Memorial Stadium. Five generations later, Roland Realty is still a family owned and operated business.

Prairie Sky Music Festival

Prairie Sky Music FestivalJoin us for a weekend of fun, food, and tons of great Americana music in the Allerton Meadow! Come out Friday, August 18 for Chatham County Line, the Hot Iron String Band, and stargazing with the CU Astronomical Society. Saturday’s festivities kick-off at 1pm – enjoy four bands throughout the day (including CUFRF alumni Dennis Stroughmatt et l’Esprit Creole and Hobnob Stringband) as you try out C4A‘s Instrument Petting Zoo, browse the vendors, and grab a drink before headliners The Jerry Douglas Band and Sam Bush take the stage. Tickets are $40 in advance ($50 at the gate); Kids 12 & under are free. Get your tickets here!

August 18, 6-9pm | August 19, 1-9:30pm


Michael Meadows Farewell Show

We are sad to report that popular local singer-songwriter and formal festival performer, Michael Meadows, is leaving the area. BUT, before he leaves, he is putting on a farewell show and donating all proceeds to the festival! Please join us for this event – Michael promises a free CD to the first 217 people!

Philosophical fish, confused cows and lovesick cicadas are some of the creatures that populate Michael Meadows’s hysterical, disturbing, and often thought-provoking songs. He offers skewed satirical commentary on evolution, income inequality, climate change and other plagues of civilization. “What’s That Knocking?” – a track from his CD, “The First Four Billion Years Are the Hardest,” – was featured on NPR’s “Car Talk”.

Thursday, August 3, 2017, 7:00pm
Iron Post, 120 S. Race St., Urbana
$5.00 cover charge

2017 Sweetcorn Festival

Sweet Corn Festival 2017This year’s Urbana Sweetcorn Festival is placing a priority on local, local, LOCAL – something the C-U Folk and Roots Festival knows all about. Our Folk and Roots Stage is moving to Broadway, on the block between Elm and Main Streets. You can’t miss us!

Friday, August 25, 2017 

6:00 – 6:45 – Dancin’ in the Streets! — contra dance with The Young & The Fretless, superb calling by Martha Tyner.

7:00 – 7:45 – Jensen Brothers (Acoustic duo Cody & Rob – banjos, guitars, & vocals)

8:15 – 9:15 – Michael Anderson Jazz Quartet Plays Ben Webster (jazz musicians from C-U along with University of Illinois students and recent grads)

9:45 – 11:00 – Rhumba Bums (Rev. Robert, JB Faires, Jay Ferguson – blues, swinging traditional jazz, reggae & more!) 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

6:00 – 6:45 – Billy Galt & Jeff Kerr  (acoustic blues duo)

7:00 – 7:45 – Blues Deacons (electric blues trio) 

8:15 – 9:15 – Dewclaw (piano/vocal duo with spirited vocals by the Liz Faermark – jazz, improv, blues, & more)

9:45 – 11:00 – Caleb Cook Band (traditional country)

Music of the Summer of Love!

1967 Summer of LoveThe C-U Folk and Roots Festival presents “The Summer of Love and Folk Music,” a musical celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Summer of Love. This night of coolness features the music of Bob Dylan and other folk legends of the 1960s and will be performed by a groovy assortment of local musicians from Champaign-Urbana and surrounding communities, including John Coppess, Nick Ailes, Chachi El Bandido, John McMahon, Anne E. Clements, and many others. 

Best of all, this celebration is a fundraising event for the 9th Annual C-U Folk & Roots Festival, coming to Urbana on November 2-4, 2017.

Lineup in order of performance beginning at 8:30pm:
1. Jess and James (Jessie Schlipf and Jim Dobbs)
2. Daniel Jansen
3. Nick and Nicole (Nick and Erin Anderson)
4. Jay Rosenstein
5. Jack Brighton
6. John McMahon
7. Nick Ailes
8. Bob Schifo
9. Marten Stromberg
10. John Coppess

Be there or be square!

Saturday, July 29th
Iron Post, 120 S. Race Street, Urbana, Illinois
8:30pm to 11:30pm
$10 at the door

Folk and Roots Fridays

Folk and Roots FridaysJoin the Urbana Park District and the C-U Folk and Roots Festival during the noon hour on the first and third Fridays of each month this summer for some great FREE live music. Buy or bring your lunch and enjoy an afternoon lunch break on the lake. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be held inside the air conditioned room at the Lake House.


June 2 – The Young and the Fretless
June 16 – Billy Galt
July 7 – Backyard BBQ Band
July 21 – Dewclaw
August 4 – The Leftovers
August 18 – The Coneflowers

Hank Williams blastoff!

Hank Williams crowd shotWhat an amazing turnout for our tribute to Hank Williams and other honky tonk heroes! We were seriously gobsmacked as people started arriving at 6:00 and didn’t stop coming until the historic Rose Bowl Tavern was standing room only well before the fundraiser started.

Many thanks are in order. First, we appreciate the hard work of the all-star house band  Dyke Corson, Dennis Stroughtmatt, Larry Lister, and Josh Houchin  and the terrific line-up of singers Marvin Lee, Kathy Harden, Dennis Stroughtmatt, Nancy Livingston, Cole Rabenort, Logan Kirby, John Coppess, Suzanne Warner, Ed Clem, Marten “Chachi” Stromberg, and Gina Cassidy. Thanks also go out to sound man Dustin Norder, our festival volunteer crew, and to Rose Bowl owners Steve and Diane Campbell, who have opened their hearts as well as their tavern to the festival.

Most of all, thanks to YOU, the generous crowd of festival supporters and fans of traditional country music, for helping us raise right around $3,000 for the festival. Your support helps keep the cost of the festival affordable and allows us to offer many free events. We’re well on our way in planning for the ninth (ninth!) annual festival. Help us reach our goal of raising $25,000 for the TENTH annual festival by visiting our sponsorship page

4th Annual Roots Walk

Listen to live blues, roots, folk, and Americana music while strolling past the mature trees of Urbana’s oldest park on Friday, May 19th, 6:00pm-8:00pm. This sunset event, brought to you by the Urbana Park District, the C-U Folk and Roots Festival, the Urbana Parks Foundation, and WEFT will have a selection of soloists and small combos scattered along the walks of Crystal Lake Park Family Aquatic Center; the musicians will be along the park road, close to the North Woods Pavilion.

This year’s lineup:
Grass Roots Revival- Traditional Bluegrass, Old-Time
Rainbow Flag- Folk/Soul
John Coppess- Country/Folk/Cowboy
Sam Payne & Cody Jensen- Roots/Americana
John McMahon & Alyssa Gambill- Traditional Americana
Strings Attached- Bluegrass/Traditional Gospel
Reverend Robert- Blues

Musicians will move to the Anita Purves Nature Center at 1505 N. Broadway in case of severe weather. Check the UPD Facebook page or call the Park District Sports & Event Hotline for postponement information: 217-367-9575.

Tribute to Hank Williams and other honky tonk heroes

Hank Williams Join us for a tribute to Hank Williams and other honky tonk heroes – Ray Price, Patsy Cline, Webb Pierce, Bob Wills and more. You won’t want to miss this evening of traditional country music, honky-tonk, and western swing!

An all-star house band (Dyke Corson, Dennis Stroughtmatt, Larry Lister, Josh Houchin) will back a terrific line-up of singers including Kathy Harden, Marten “Chachi” Stromberg, Dennis Stroughmatt, Nancy Livingston, Cole Rabenort, Logan Kirby, and John Coppess — just wow!

Friday, May 12, 2017, 8:00pm-11:00pm
Rose Bowl Tavern, 106 N. Race St., Urbana, IL, 217-367-7031
Must be 21 to enter

$10 at the door
A fundraising event for the C-U Folk and Roots Festival

Del Rey

The C-U Folk and Roots Festival is pleased to be bringing Seattle-based blues musician and former popular festival performer, Del Rey, to town for a concert and two workshops. The concert is at the Iron Post on Saturday, May 6th, 6:30-9:30pm, $15 in advance (ticket fees apply), $20 at the door. Guitarists, don’t miss her “Off The Record: Figuring Out Memphis Minnie in G” workshop at Techline on Sunday, May 7th, 1:00-2:15pm, $30 workshop only, $40 concert and workshop. And stick around for the ukulele workshop, also at Techline, 2:15-4:00pm, $30 workshop only, $40 concert and workshop. For all events, purchase your advance tickets here.

Del Rey is a complex, pianistic guitarist, described as “a combination of Bo Carter and the Andrews Sisters” (Observant Fan). Her guitar playing is influenced by country blues, stride piano, classic jazz and hillbilly boogie-all filtered through the sensibility of an autodidact trailer-park aesthete.

Del is fascinated with the ukulele and plays the same kind of complicated rhythmic blues and ragtime on four strings as she does on six. She expects a lot out of the little instrument, and usually gets it. “The ukulele taken to a new level of musicianship”. (John Book)

Her live show is full of complex grooves and sly humor. “Virtuosic in just the right way, which is to say, in order to realize a musical idea. A very nice unlikely blend of things, accessible, slightly nostalgic, but fresh and thoughtful. ” (CD Baby review, “At The Ukeshack #1)

“Del Rey, who plays a syncopated style of guitar based on prewar blues and barrelhouse piano traditions, is one of the best fingerpickers of this or any generation. “ Ian Zack, Acoustic Guitar.