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Format Music and Art Festival to Debut in NWA


A new music festival is coming to Northwest Arkansas this fall. A big one.

The new music, art, and technology event is called Format, and will debut Sept. 23-25 on 250 acres of private land surrounding the Sugar Creek Airstrip in Bentonville.

The lineup includes around 70 musical artists including Rüfüs Du Sol, Phoenix, Khruangbin, Beach House, The War On Drugs, Nile Rodgers & CHIC, The Flaming Lips, Jungle, and Herbie Hancock. A handful of installation and experience artists are also on the schedule, including Doug Aitken, Nick Cave, Jacolby Satterwhite and Pia Camil.

From the event:

FORMAT represents a new type of festival, placing visual and performing arts on the same plane as live music, creating a fluid and unified experience. Visitors will encounter large-scale installation art and unconventional venues created by a range of internationally recognized artists, alongside an eclectic roster of musical acts. We hope to foster curiosity and discovery, and produce a memorable event on this beautiful, hidden stretch of land in Bentonville

The festival is being organized by Austin-based C3 Presents (Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival), and TRIADIC, an agency with offices in New York City, London and Vienna. Regional organizations OZ Brands, The Momentary, and Crystal Bridges are also involved.

The setup for the festival looks immense, with plans to erect on-site installations that will also be part of the venue. The website lists venues such as “The Cube,” an open-air, cube-shaped, multi-storied structure with experimental sounds; “Nova Heat,” a multi-roomed, immersive installation and structure by artists Jonah Freeman & Justin Lowe; “Smokey’s,” an interactive forest playground with wooden structures and hidden enclaves designed by Brazilian artist duo assume vivid astro focus; and more.

The event will kick off with a performance by The War on Drugs at The Momentary on Sept. 22, along with the launch of artist Doug Aitken’s mirrored hot-air balloon, which will travel from downtown Bentonville to the festival site. Tickets to the kick-off show are now on sale to Momentary members and will be available to the public at 10 a.m. Friday, April 22.

Crystal Bridges and The Momentary will also host performances and other programming throughout the festival.

Tickets to the full Format event, including 3-day passes, VIP entry, and other options, will also go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, April 22 at format-festival.com.

Format Festival Lineup

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Dustin Bartholomew is the co-founder of Fayetteville Flyer, an online publication covering all things news, art and life in Fayetteville, Arkansas since 2007. A graduate of the Department of English at the University of Arkansas and a lifelong resident of the area, he still lives in east Fayetteville with his son Hudson, daughter Evelyn, his wife Brandy, and his two dogs Lily and Steve. On occasion, he tickles the ivories in a local band called The Good Fear.

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