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Riverfest returns for a 41st year in Little Rock, featuring Highly Suspect, Margo Price, Young Thug and more

Last year, everyone was under the impression that RiverFest was going to be a thing of the past. Luckily, a new team saw the potential to turn it around and bring it back better than ever! The 41st annual RiverFest in Little Rock, Arkansas marked its return with a diverse lineup. Highly Suspect, The Lacs, and Young Thug were amongst the performers of the weekend.

The best part of music festivals is getting to learn about new artists that you wouldn’t otherwise know about. Some fantastic discoveries from this weekend were Rad Horror, Knox Hamilton, and Mainland. Personally, the highlight of my weekend experience was Highly Suspect. From “Vanity” to “Serotonia,” the band had a 90 minute set full of hits and drew a huge crowd!

Headliners at this year’s Riverfest were Peter Frampton, Young The Giant, Young Thug, and Kip Moore. Margo Price also performed, and while she was billed slightly lower down in the lineup, she could have easily been a festival headliner. The obvious question this lineup asks though is who the festival is truly for and how the varied bill may have contributed to lower ticket sales than desired. Young Thug certainly draws a different crowd than Young The Giant, and Peter Frampton brings in an audience all his own.

The Band Camino

Perhaps Riverfest could take a note from Treasure Island Music Festival and book a day dedicated to one genre and a second day dedicated to another, or it could shorten the line-up slightly and put more budget into headliners and second-tier headliners. There are obviously reasons to have a diverse line-up musically and reaching a wider swath of fans is desirable, but it only makes sense when the artists coming are strong enough to pull big crowds on their own.

Riverfest came to fruition this year in just a handful of months, and it is admirable that a full, fairly issue-free festival came to be in such a short time. Big, three-day festivals often take over a year to pull together and even though Riverfest is smaller in size, three months to book, promote and execute is hardly enough.

In an interview with THV11, Riverfest Event Director Jack Daniels spoke about his impressions of the festival’s 40th year. “We had to really study how we could make it work. In doing so, we found some things we thought worked really well this year. And some things we need to improve on,” he said. There were certainly growing pains, but his comments suggest the festival is coming back for another year, hopefully bigger and better than ever.

The Lacs

The Brummies

Steel Union

Rad Horror

Rad Horror

Riverfest fans

Mainland

Mainland

Knox Hamilton

Knox Hamilton

KelsOh

Amasa Hines

Highly Suspect

Highly Suspect

Highly Suspect

Highly Suspect

Dominique Benedict
Dominique Benedict is a photographer based out of Arkansas. You can see more of her work on Instagram at @dominiquesphoto.

Riverfest returns for a 41st year in Little Rock, featuring Highly Suspect, Margo Price, Young Thug and more

Last year, everyone was under the impression that RiverFest was going to be a thing of the past. Luckily, a new team saw the potential to turn it around and bring it back better than ever! The 41st annual RiverFest in Little Rock, Arkansas marked its return with a diverse lineup. Highly Suspect, The Lacs, and Young Thug were amongst the performers of the weekend.

The best part of music festivals is getting to learn about new artists that you wouldn’t otherwise know about. Some fantastic discoveries from this weekend were Rad Horror, Knox Hamilton, and Mainland. Personally, the highlight of my weekend experience was Highly Suspect. From “Vanity” to “Serotonia,” the band had a 90 minute set full of hits and drew a huge crowd!

Headliners at this year’s Riverfest were Peter Frampton, Young The Giant, Young Thug, and Kip Moore. Margo Price also performed, and while she was billed slightly lower down in the lineup, she could have easily been a festival headliner. The obvious question this lineup asks though is who the festival is truly for and how the varied bill may have contributed to lower ticket sales than desired. Young Thug certainly draws a different crowd than Young The Giant, and Peter Frampton brings in an audience all his own.

The Band Camino

Perhaps Riverfest could take a note from Treasure Island Music Festival and book a day dedicated to one genre and a second day dedicated to another, or it could shorten the line-up slightly and put more budget into headliners and second-tier headliners. There are obviously reasons to have a diverse line-up musically and reaching a wider swath of fans is desirable, but it only makes sense when the artists coming are strong enough to pull big crowds on their own.

Riverfest came to fruition this year in just a handful of months, and it is admirable that a full, fairly issue-free festival came to be in such a short time. Big, three-day festivals often take over a year to pull together and even though Riverfest is smaller in size, three months to book, promote and execute is hardly enough.

In an interview with THV11, Riverfest Event Director Jack Daniels spoke about his impressions of the festival’s 40th year. “We had to really study how we could make it work. In doing so, we found some things we thought worked really well this year. And some things we need to improve on,” he said. There were certainly growing pains, but his comments suggest the festival is coming back for another year, hopefully bigger and better than ever.

The Lacs

The Brummies

Steel Union

Rad Horror

Rad Horror

Riverfest fans

Mainland

Mainland

Knox Hamilton

Knox Hamilton

KelsOh

Amasa Hines

Highly Suspect

Highly Suspect

Highly Suspect

Highly Suspect

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