‘They know what it’s like living check to check.’ Fayetteville Roots gives some artists crowds for the first time since the pandemic


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – The Fayetteville Roots concert series has returned at the Roots HQ off the Fayetteville Square. 

Those I have spoken with say this is a sight they were starting to feel they would never see again. But here we are, another step towards returning to normal and artist being able to make money doing what they love. 

Bryan Hembree is the co-founder of the Fayetteville Roots and tells me due to circumstances, this performance is part of a series spaced out over the next several months.  

“Normally, we have about 4,000 people in town for the Fayetteville Roots Festive, and obviously, that might not be possible this year. Even though we’re coming out of COVID-19 and gently getting back to live music,” said Hembree.

While he’s not comfortable holding the usual festival, he’s happy the Roots could come up with a safe solution in the meantime. 

“It’s thrilling because, for a year and a half, it felt like maybe that was not going to be possible for a long time,” said Hembree. 

But concerts have returned and so have the means of supporting themselves doing what they love the most. 

“They know what it is like living check to check and gig to gig. To see that coming back, I think musicians are ready for it,” said Hembree

At the height of the pandemic, the Fayetteville Roots ran a program to help feed struggling musicians.

The program has ended, but the camaraderie’s something that stuck with them. So, Hembree says a new program to build on that’s coming out soon.

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