Since 2006, The River City Roots Fest has been one of the biggest events in Missoula, a huge welcome celebration of incoming UM students that draws in live music from across the country and features activities like an art show, a fun run, and more. This year would have been the 15th annual River City Roots Fest, and it would have taken place on August 28th and 29th.

I'm writing in the past tense there because, as you may have guessed, the Roots Fest can't happen this year thanks to COVID-19. The press release, which went out this week, doesn't exactly say that the festival is cancelled, but instead says that they're creatively re-imagining a version of it that's "more localized, smaller in size, and more meaningful in this current state of affairs."

So it sounds like something will be happening in place of the Roots Fest, it's just a little unclear what that something will be. Whether that's a virtual festival, or even a volunteer or outreach project like restoring the river, remains to be seen.

It's definitely a bummer to see another huge event that brings the community together taken away like this, but hopefully it can rebound and come back even stronger in 2021. In the meantime, what would you want to see the Roots Fest do in place of the actual festival?