The Burney Sisters kicks off Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival

Local folk duo,The Burney Sisters, opened on the MO Lottery Stage during the 2018 Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival.

Folk duo, The Burney Sisters,kicked off the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival on Sept. 28 at the MO Lottery Stage after releasing their latest EP, “Where We Stand,” earlier in the day. The youngest performers of the festival exuberated confidence and excitement about performing on one of the main stages.

“Last year we performed outside of the festival for the 10K, so it was so cool that this year we were performing inside of the festival,” Emma Burney, age 10, said. “It was a dream come true to perform in front of so many people on such a huge stage.”

Olivia Burney, age 13, played the ukulele during their set while Emma played the acoustic guitar. In total, The Burney Sisters had a six-person band. But even with the additional people on the stage, no one could take their eyes off the sisters. Audience member Cindy Prince couldn’t help but notice how well the girls commanded the stage.

“If they weren’t singing, they were smiling,” Prince said. “It’s refreshing to see young artists like them so excited to be performing for a crowd like Roots N Blues. I look forward to hopefully seeing them come back to the festival in the future because I know they will go far.”

The crowd was a mix of old and new fans of all ages. You could see toddlers dancing next to college students and college students dancing next to people who were their parents’ or grandparents’ age. Many knew the words to their music, but even those who didn’t couldn’t help but have a good time. Olivia says that’s one of the best parts about performing live.

“Many fans have been with us for a long time and especially since we’re from Columbia, it’s so amazing to see people who know and love us in the crowd,” Olivia said. “But it’s also fun to know that after today, we’ll hopefully have new fans as well.”

The sisters opened up their set with their song “Ocean Eyes,” which is on their new EP. They played a mix of old and new songs, keeping the energy up and throwing shout-outs to the audience in between songs.

“We are so grateful to be performing at Roots N Blues, and we want the audience to know that,” Emma said. “We love them, and we are so so thankful for this whole experience.”

After their set was over, the sisters were ready to watch other groups at the festival perform — especially their music idols, (The Avett Brothers)[]. Since they were the first to perform, it gave them plenty of time to be able to fangirl and enjoy the festival for themselves.

“One of the most exciting things that has happened so far was I got to meet Bob [of the The Avett Brothers],” Olivia said. “I wasn’t expecting it, so I was kind of speechless at the moment, but I can’t wait to meet the rest of the band.”

“Where We Stand” is now available everywhere you can stream music.

Edited by Alexandra Sharp |

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