Little Rock’s Annual Riverfest Music Festival Cancelled After 40 Years

Courtesy THV11, Riverfest, Inc.

LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) — The Riverfest, Inc. music festival had its final event last month, after the board of directors announced they will suspend the festival.

The music festival has been held on the banks of the Arkansas River in Little Rock since 1977. The 2017 festival was held June 1-4, and featured several artists including Wiz Khalifia, Cage the Elephant, Justin Moore, Billy Currington, and Grouplove, among many others.

“We can no longer deliver the experience that Riverfest fans have come to expect,” said DeAnna Korte, the festival’s executive director. “Rising costs of performers’ fees, coupled with a greater number of competing festivals around the country are the underlying factors in this decision.”

Over the festival’s 40-year run, the festival attracted up to 250,000 people in attendance and had an annual economic impact of $33 million, reported KTHV.

“For a nonprofit like Riverfest, it’s about income vs. expenses,” Korte said. “We are a very small market, and there are larger music festivals surrounding us. The festival market is very crowded. It’s hard for a nonprofit to compete in a growing market of for-profit festivals, which are driving up prices and making it difficult to secure artists.”