Wichita Festivals Inc. is out with the list of musical performers for the annual Riverfest celebration, coming June 2-10 in downtown Wichita.

Readers will be happy to know that Shaggy, who was in the lineup for 2020 when COIVD_19 caused the cancellation of Riverfest, is back this year as the opening-night headliner on Fri., June 2

That night, Shaggy will be the closing act on the Kennedy Plaza Stage at Century II.  Opening acts, set to begin right after the Sundown Parade, will be hip-hop artist Cash Hollista, andl DJ Carbon.

Shaggy is best known for his success with songs like “Boombastic” and “It Wasn’t Me” during the dancehall reggae scene of the 1990s. He has been nominated for seven Grammy Awards, winning twice for Best Reggae Album with Boombastic in 1996 and with 44/876 with Sting in 2019.

Admission to Shaggy, as with all Riverfest performances, will be a River Festival button. Riverfest buttons are on sale now for $10 for adults and $5 for children at all Meineke Car Care centers. On May 6, adult buttons will go to $15 at local QuikTrip stores.

Le’Andria Johnson headlines Gospelfest

On Mon., June 5, Le’Andria Johnson, who won the BET gospel singing competition “Sunday Best” in its third season, will headline the festival’s annual Gospelfest. The gospel group “Blind Boys of Alabama” is also on the Gospelfest lineup.The Five Blind Boys of Alabama will also perform at Gospelfest. 

Thursday  More Soul Than Zydeco

If you’re one who typically passes on Thursday, historically billed as Zydeco Night, you might want to change up your old pattern.  This year the opening act is a Zydeco group out of Kansas City, but the rest of the evening features Rapper XV followed by a ban the Soul Reels.  

XV is a wholesome rapper who has a career spanning nearly 20 years with the credentials to back it. After ascending to critical acclaim and having collaborated with some of the best MCs in history including Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Pusha T, and Big Sean, he’s attracted a devout fan base and follows his internal compass without compromise. FYI, he’s from Wichita.  

The headliner for that night is the Soul Rebels/  They’re from New Orleans, but this eight-man band offers up an interesting twist of soul, light rap and some big horn sounds that I think a mature R&B audience will enjoy.  

Wichita Native D’Aydrian Hardin Featured 

TikTok and Youtube sensation and Wichita native D’Aydrian Hardin will be on stage Sunday. From his first TikTok post in March 2020 showing him rapping on stage at a DaBaby concert, Hardin has gone on to attract 7.6 million followers on Tik tok, with 207 million likes and racked up 107 million views on YouTube.  

Hardin promotes youth sobriety and is on a mission to support his social media following by performing live this year.  Hardin and his filmer released a rap hit titled, “Take Off”, which has over 3.7 million streams.  Certainly he’ll perform his song and some of his comedy routines.  He’s also bringing along with him rapper and singer-songwriter, Brandon Hunter King, known professionally as YNW BSlime.

Also a local fan favorite, saxophonist Kevin Harrison and the Brand will perform on Sunday.

Other main stage performers for this year’s Riverfest  will be:

Saturday, June 3: The Indie folk group Wildeerado and singer/songwriter Reid Haughton will open for the headliner Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors, an Americana band.

Sunday, June 4: Parker Millsap, a singer/songwriter familiar to Wichita audiences, is the headliner. Wichita native D’Aydrian Hardin is an opener as is Kevin Harrison and the Brand. 

Tuesday, June 6: Texas Hill opens for the  Eli Young Band, a country act.

Wednesday, June 7: It’s back to the 90s again with Gin Blossoms, known for  hits like “Hey Jealousy” and “Follow You Down” Singer/songwriter Desure, will open.

Friday, June 9: It’s Friday-night Fiesto del Rio. Edén Muñoz is the headliner. The bill this year also includes Los De La Sierra, Pepe Y Los Diamantes De Ojinaga, Mariachi America, Los Humildes Hermanos Ayala and DJ Tynno Morales.

Saturday, June 10: The festival closes out  with country group Parmalee, known for the hit “Take My Name.” Opening acts include Jenna & Martin and Jared “Pete” Gile, a singer/songwriter from Kansas.