Festival FAQ 2016

How much does the Festival cost?

A full festival wristband is $40 and will get you into all festival venues and activities both days. A wristband 4-pack is $140 and saves $5.00 on each wristband. Individual evening wristbands are $20. Please note that there are no single-performance or single-venue ticket sales, with the following exceptions:

  • Dances are $10/each on both Friday and Saturday nights. For example, if all you attend is the contra dance, you’ll just pay $10.00. You can pay for dances at the door.
  • The Aaron A+ Wilson Soul and Gospel Friday Fun Day show on Friday at 5:30pm at the Iron Post is $5. Bring canned goods for donation to Salt and Light Ministries!
  • All jams are free, and spectators are welcome.

At at Festival Central we can take credit or debit cards; at other venues please pay with cash or check.

Many events are FREE! Children 12 and under get in FREE to all events (excluding the Rose Bowl, which is an over-21 only venue). All evening workshops, jams, singalongs AND EVERYTHING ON SATURDAY BEFORE 5pm is FREE to all ages. No registration is necessary.

Where can I buy a wristband?

Prior to the festival, full-weekend and 4-pack wristbands can be purchased online. To receive them by mail in time for the festival, online purchases must be made by October 30, 2016.

Wristbands for the full festival and for single evening entry can be purchased starting Friday, November 4, at 5:00pm at Festival Central (in the stairwell area of the Community Center for the Arts at 103 N. Race St.) and during the festival at most venues (see our map!). We will also be selling wristbands Thursday night, November 3, at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts event. Please note that there are no single-performance or single-venue ticket sales.

I made a donation – where do I pick up my complimentary wristband(s)?

You’ll find your wristband(s) waiting for you at Festival Central, in the stairwell area of the Community Center for the Arts at 103 N. Race St., starting at 5:00pm on Friday, November 4. The Sponsorship Levels page indicates the number of wristbands you receive based on the amount of your donation. 

Where is the festival held?

The festival takes place in various places within a several block radius in downtown Urbana. Our schedulevenue, and map pages indicate exact locations. Please note that some locations, like the Iron Post, fill up quickly. Arrive early if you want to be sure to get in!

Is the festival open to all ages?

Most of our venues are all-ages with the exception of the Rose Bowl and the late night shows at the Iron Post. The Rose Bowl is an over-21 only venue at all times.

Where can we jam?

Check the Jams page on the website for information about the festival’s organized jams and the printed schedule for the exact time folks will be playing your favorite style. Spectators (and dancers!) are welcome at all jams. Did we mention that jams are FREE?

What about food and drink and places to stay?

We encourage festival goers to patronize the many fine food and drink establishments in and around downtown Urbana. Many are just a few steps away! Please note that this is a U of I Football game and special event weekend and hotels may be close to capacity. We have arranged special rates ($159/night) for festival attendees at the Baymont Inn and Suites, but PLEASE CALL (217-356-8900) as soon as possible as availability is limited. Tell them you are coming for the C-U Folk and Roots Festival. Check the Urbana Business Association website for information about other local hotels. [Please note that as of October 17th, the Baymont is full. We understand that rooms are still available and reasonably priced within a 20-minute drive of Champaign-Urbana.]


Parking is available in the City of Urbana parking deck on the corner of Main and Broadway, as well as other locations (see our map). Plentiful street parking is available as well in and around downtown. Bike racks can be found near the Urbana Free Library, and on the north side of the parking deck.

Where/when do performers and volunteers check in?

All performers, workshop leaders, and volunteers should check in at the “Green Room” at the Community Center for the Arts at 103 N. Race St. at least one hour before their scheduled event to receive their information packet and check on any last minute changes. From the entry on Race St., turn to your LEFT.

Festival and artist merchandise

Festival “swag” and participating artist merchandise (CDs, etc.) will be available at the merchandise table next to Festival Central all weekend.

How many hours do I need to volunteer to receive a festival t-shirt and wristband?

We ask that volunteers be willing to work a 4-hour shift when possible. Shorter shifts make logistics pretty crazy. Sign up on our Festival SignUp site!

Lost and found/First aid 

Lost and found and a first aid kit will be located at Festival Central.

Who designed this year’s T-shirt?

Thanks to Dennis Roberts of DR Graphic Design for this year’s fabulous design!

Who puts this festival on?

The C-U Folk and Roots Festival is an event organized and run entirely by local volunteers. A volunteer steering committee meets bi-weekly throughout the year to plan the festival, with the assistance of many other individuals and organizations. The CU Folk and Roots Festival is a Not-for-Profit organization (501C3). All donations are tax-deductible.