2021 Festival FAQ

Where is the festival held?

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

What are the festival COVID-19 policy and guidelines? 

We are requiring proof of full vaccination or negative Covid-19 PCR test result to volunteer for and/or attend the 2021 CU Folk and Roots Festival. Check the COVID-19 Information page for full details. All attendees must show documentation of vaccination or a negative test before being granted admission to festival events. Masks that cover the nose and mouth are required for all indoor events except while eating and drinking. Masks are also recommended for outdoor events.

How much does the festival cost?

A full festival wristband is $40 in advance and $50 at the festival and gets you into all festival venues and activities both days. A one-night wristband is $30 and must be purchased at the festival. This year we are not selling tickets for single performances.

Children 12 and under get in FREE to all events. All workshops, jams, and singalongs are free to everyone. AND EVERYTHING ON THURSDAY and on SATURDAY BEFORE 5:00pm is FREE.

Where can I buy a wristband?

Prior to the festival, full-weekend wristbands can be purchased online for $40. 

During the festival, wristbands for the full festival ($50) and for single evening entry ($30) can be purchased as follows:

Wednesday, October 20 at the Cohen Building, 1:00 – 3:00pm and 5:00 – 7:00pm
Thursday, October 21 at the Cohen Building, 1:00 – 3:00pm
Thursday, October 21 at the Krannert Center, 5:00 – 7:00pm
Friday, October 22 at the Cohen Building, noon – 10:00pm
Saturday, October 23 at the Cohen Building, 9:00am – 11:00pm

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, located in the Cohen Building, 136 W. Main St., beginning at noon on Friday, October 22. The Sponsorship Levels page indicates the number of wristbands you receive based on the amount of your donation.

Is the festival open to all ages?

Most of our venues are all-ages. Festival-goers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult for entry to the Rose Bowl Tavern and NOLA’s Rock Bar. 

Where can we jam?

Check the organized Jams listing or the schedule for the exact time folks will be playing your favorite style. Spectators are welcome at all jams.

Why are there no dances this year?

Sadly, COVID-19 protocols mean that we can’t enjoy this beloved activity. Keeping everyone safe and healthy is our top priority.

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! We’ve reserved a block of rooms at the Hampton Inn on University in Urbana. Act quickly to reserve a room. When you call, be sure to say you are coming to the CU Folk and Roots Festival to get the special rate.


Parking is available in the City of Urbana parking deck on the corner of Main and Broadway, as well as other locations (see Map). Plentiful street parking is available as well, but DO NOT park in the former Landmark Hotel parking lot. Bike racks can be found near the Urbana Free Library, and on the north side of the parking deck.

Lost and found/First aid

Lost and found and a first aid kit will be located at Festival Central in the Cohen Building.

Love this year’s T-shirt and poster?

T-shirts are available at Festival Central (136 W. Main St.) for $15 each. A limited run of 50 block print posters will be available for $30 each, with proceeds going to the artist and the festival. Thanks to Erica Stark for this year’s fabulous design! 

Who puts on this festival?

The CU folk and Roots Festival is an event organized and run by local volunteers and a part-time director, Cody Jensen. Steering and Booking Committees meet throughout the year to plan the festival, with the assistance of many other individuals and organizations. New help is always welcome. The CU Folk and Roots Festival is a Not-for-Profit organization (501C3). All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.