Nine days of concerts and more than one hundred events are all free with a Riverfest button March 1, 2017 – WICHITA, Kan . – Riverfest 2017’s concert headliners include four Grammy Award winners, an Academy Award recipient, a Golden Globe winner and a Kennedy Center Honoree. These entertainers have a combined 500 million-plus YouTube views, 250 years of performance experience and more than 60 appearances in film and television, ranging from major motion pictures to Sesame Street.
Wichita Festivals, Inc., along with partner radio stations, announced the headliners today, emphasizing that all Riverfest concerts are included in the price of a festival admission button.
“Huge entertainment value. Great community event,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, Wichita Festivals’ President and CEO. “That’s what you get, thanks to our many Riverfest sponsors and partners. Nowhere else can you attend nine days of high-caliber, diverse performances for such an accessible price.”
Riverfest’s entertainment kicks off Friday, June 2 with Riverfest Corporate Hosts presenting the traditional Twilight Pops Concert featuring the Wichita Symphony Orchestra. That Kennedy Plaza concert follows the Safelite® AutoGlass Sundown Parade, while the Chroma Paint Party – a colorful combo of paint cannons, a light show and EDM provided by a team of DJs – will take place in the RedGuard Stage area. The evening will end with the Textron Aviation Opening Night Fireworks.
On Saturday, June 3, California indie rock nine-piece band Foxygen, will open for cult favorites Flaming Lips on the Kennedy Plaza Stage. Prolific alternative music legends, the Lips have released fourteen studio albums, one soundtrack, fifteen singles, and fifteen EPs. The Oklahoma City-based rockers – hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as a “must-see concert” – have won three Grammy Awards since releasing their first album in 1983. La Raza Fest will bring a Latin-flavored dance party to the RedGuard Stage area that night.
Sunday, June 4 LoCash will perform on the Kennedy Plaza Stage. Known as LoCash Cowboys when they released the feel-good song, “Here Comes Summer,” the duo reached number two on the Billboard Country Charts with hit single, “I Love This Life,” and are enjoying continued success with their current release, “I Know Somebody.” Also that evening, the RedGuard Stage will play host to Magic Giant from Los Angeles, and regional favorites, Carrie Nation & the Speakeasy.
Gospelfest welcomes Stellar Award winner and Dove Award nominee Jonathan Nelson to the Kennedy Plaza Stage on Monday, June 5 and will include performances by local groups and choir members. The event is sponsored by Cox Business, Spirit AeroSystems and Westar Energy. Wichita’s talented theater community will strut their stuff when “Festival of Broadway” returns to Kennedy Plaza on
Tuesday, June 6, featuring performances by Music Theatre Wichita, Roxy’s Downtown, Mosley Street Melodrama and Laughing Feet Performers. On the RedGuard Stage, popular local singer-songwriter-musician Jenny Wood will host the “Don’t Let Them Get in Your Head” Concert, a special performance inspired by her anti-bullying anthem which has become a rally cry in area schools to stand up and speak out. Students will join Wood onstage for this unique evening that will feature music, art, courage and encouragement.
The driving pop punk of Less Than Jake will keep everyone moving at the Wet & Wild Dance Party Wednesday, June 7 on the Kennedy Plaza Stage. Opening act The Toasters will bring old-school, NYC ska to the party. Meanwhile, the Wichita Wagonmasters will dish up free ice cream at the Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Social. Brett Young, known for his West-Coast-meets-Southern “Caliville” country style, will play the RedGuard Stage that night, co-sponsored by Coleman Company and Aero Plains Brewery. Mountain Deer Revival will open. CNH Industrial Buckaroo/Buckarette Rodeo will take place in Cox Kids Corner.
Soul, R&B and Gospel superstar Mavis Staples, a two-time Grammy winner who was recognized for lifetime achievement at the Kennedy Center Honors in December 2016 and will be inducted this spring into the Blues Hall of Fame, will perform on the Kennedy Plaza Stage on Thursday, June 8. The Goodwill Industries Cajun Food Fest will be offering a taste of New Orleans, and roots rocker J.D. McPherson will be the opening act.
June 9, Koch Industries presents Common, on Kennedy Plaza. Rapper, actor and writer, Common has received awards for excellence in all facets of his career, including an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, an NAACP Image Award, a Critics Choice Award and a number of BET awards. He has been nominated for 19 Grammy Awards and won three. Denver hip-hop artists Flobots, will open. The RedGuard Stage will play host to Lousiana-raised blues pianist and singer, Marcia Ball.
The closing celebration of Riverfest 2017 kicks off at Kennedy Plaza on Saturday, June 10 with Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River starring OK Go. Famous for their creative music videos, these Grammy winners are perhaps best known for “Here It Goes Again,” a video that has received more than 50 million views on YouTube. Experimental pop duo Lewis Del Mar will also perform. Fiesta del Rio, featuring a variety of Hispanic bands, will take place on the RedGuard Stage that night and is sponsored by Radio Lobo and Rusty Eck Ford. The Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale will close the festival with a bang following the concerts.
A number of local and regional acts also will perform at Riverfest 2017, including DJ Carbon, Sunshine Trucking, The Travel Guide, Mountain Deer Revival, Herd of the Huntress, Sloan Moon, Keen Kutter, Marrque Nunley and many others. In addition to the Kennedy Plaza and RedGuard stages, Ackerman’s Backyard will play host to a variety of DJs – and sounds – each night of the festival.
Admission to all Riverfest concerts is free with a Riverfest button. Adult buttons are $10, and children’s buttons (available while supplies last for kids ages 6-12) are $5. Buttons are available at an early bird discount price of $7 for adults and $3 for children via preorder at SelectASeat.com, and in person April 10-May 4 at Cox Solutions stores: 2240 N. Rock Road, 446 S. Ridge Road and 2556 N. Maize at New Market Square in Wichita; and 1636 N. Rock Road in Derby. Full-price buttons will be available at major button retailors (Dillons and QuikTrip) beginning May 5.
Wichita Festivals, Inc. is a non-profit corporation with the purpose of creating diverse community celebrations within the Wichita community. The primary events produced by Wichita Festivals, Inc. are Riverfest (June 2-10, 2017), Wichita Vortex Music Festival (August 4-5, 2017), Bob Struble Memorial Golf Tournament (September 8, 2017) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 15-1