Corn dogs. Funnel cakes. Nacho cheese from a nacho cheese machine.
All of those are staples when it comes to festival food, some of them are delicious (that nacho cheese from a machine is grody) and chances are you’ll find none of the above at the Fayetteville Roots Festival.
Oh, there will be plenty of food. In fact, the second-year event plans to increase the focus on the food element this year, and raise the bar on what folks expect to eat at a music festival.
“I think people will come for the music, and then be blown away by the food,” said organizer Bryan Hembree. “Going forward, it’s going to be about both elements.”
Instead of processed, deep fried items, roots festival organizers are planning to serve up only fresh and locally-sourced food from local farms.
Three restaurants—Greenhouse Grille, Ella’s Restaurant, and Brick House Kafé—will prepare foods made almost exclusively from nine area farms during the festival.
“Obviously, sourcing the food locally whenever possible is very important to us,” said event organizer Jerrmy Gawthrop, whose restaurant, Greenhouse Grille, also serves mostly local food. “We really wanted to make the local farmers a part of the festival. They should feel like rockstars, too.”
In addition to vending during the Saturday shows at the Walton Arts Center, chefs David Lewis (Brick House Kafé), William Lyle (Ella’s), and Gawthrop are also collaborating on a special meal for the “friends of the festival” backstage preview set for Friday night at the Garner farm.
“It’s kind of our chance to ‘jam’ in the same sense that the musicians will,” Gawthrop said. “There’s definitely going to be an improvisational, collaborative element to the meal we’re working on together.”
Farmers participating in the Fayetteville Roots Festival
Little Portions Hermitage, Berryville, AR – Free Range Chicken and Pork
Walnut Grove Farm, Siloam Springs, AR – Grass Fed All Natural Beef
Sweden Creek Farm, Kingston, AR – Organic Shiitake Mushrooms
Round Mountain Farm, Fayetteville, AR – All Natural Lamb
Dripping Springs, Huntsville, AR – Organic Produce and Flowers
A & A Orchards, Berryville, AR – Peaches & Apples
Dr. Feelgood Sprouts, Talihina, OK – Organic Sprouts
Ozark Natural Breads, Durham, AR – Organic Breads
War Eagle Mill, War Eagle, AR