The annual kickoff fundraiser for the RiverRoots Music & Folk festival is Friday at the West Street Gallery, 301 W. Second St., and will include live music and drinks.

Admission is $10, but anyone who signs up for a membership with the Ohio River Valley Folk Society can get in free.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the music begins at 7 p.m. There will be performances by Rusty Bladen, Chris Jesse, Matt Barringer, Stele Unbroken and Shepherd, Smith and Sexton.

"It's kind of a kickoff to ramp up the excitement of what we're doing," said RiverRoots festival organizer Greg Ziesemier.

Food will not be served, but the Red Pepper Deli will be serving beer and wine.

This year's RiverRoots festival is scheduled for May 16-17 and will include 14 musical acts representing the genres of bluegrass, folk and Americana. There will be two stages and also a craft brew tent for five regional or local microbreweries set up at Bicentennial Park.

One of the biggest changes to this year's festival is the timing for performances on the two stages and number of performers - which has increased from 11 last year.

The festival will have 15-minute overlaps and alternating performances on the two stages, with Rusted Root closing out the festival at 9 p.m. Saturday.

Weekend passes are on sale for $20 through April 30. On May 1, the price will increase to $25 and then $30 the day of the festival. There are no one-day passes.