RiverFest isn’t coming back in 2019.
The festival organizers announced today that that the event will not be held this year. It was slated to be held at Julius Breckling Riverfront Park on the Arkansas River. However, the organizers plan to “restructure, reorganize and reinvent” RiverFest, according to a RiverFest Inc. press release.
Tentatively, RiverFest is expected to return in May 2020.
As previously reported in Arkansas Money & Politics, RiverFest was canceled in 2017. The festival was brought back in 2018 through a partnership between RiverFest Inc. and Universal Fairs of Memphis.
“What we envision as a celebration of Arkansas’ art, music and talent is what we want to share with the community each year. We are so grateful for all the fans who attended in 2018, and we look
forward to making 2020 an even better experience,” according to the release.
RiverFest’s cancellation comes on the heels of numerous issues in the past several years.
In recent years, the fest has seen declining numbers. In a May 2018 interview with Arkansas Online, RiverFest Event Director said that the 2018 festival did not hit its goal of 10,000 attendees.
The number of recognizable artists has also decreased, compared to earlier festivals. The 2017 RiverFest cancellation was attributed to the lack of artists. The 2017 statement listed artist fees and competition with other music festivals as reasons why the Little Rock festival would be cancelled.