June 3–11, 2022Admission June 3–11, 2022Admission

From popular hip hop and ska acts to New Orleans jazz and gypsy punk, the 2019 line-up is diverse

February 20, 2019 – WICHITA, Kan . – Wichita Festivals, Inc., along with its media partners, today announced Riverfest 2019’s concert headliners. Admission to every Riverfest concert is included in the price of an adult or child admission button.

“To get nine days of headliner performances for the price of a Riverfest button is an astounding value, and we can offer that because of the great companies who support Riverfest as one of their community contributions,” said Mary Beth Jarvis, Wichita Festivals’ President and CEO. “Our 48-year community event is much more than a music festival, but the high-profile musical entertainment definitely attracts both neighbors and visitors to join us in our collective backyard of downtown Wichita.”

Starting at noon at WAVE in downtown Wichita, hosts DJ Carbon and Heavy Metal Marta revealed the upcoming concerts and select new events for 2019.

Tradition will rule on opening night, May 31, with the Wichita Symphony Orchestra’s Twilight Pops Concert on Kennedy Plaza. The concert follows the Safelite AutoGlass® Sundown Parade, while Texas band The Toadies rock out on the RedGuard stage. The evening will end with the Textron Aviation Opening-Night Fireworks. The symphony concert and fireworks soundtrack will be broadcast live on FM 103.7 KEYN.

On Saturday, June 1, Los Angeles powerhouse Los Lobos will bring their diverse rock and roll sound to the Kennedy Plaza Stage, flavored with Tex-Mex, country, zydeco, folk, R&B, blues, brown-eyed soul, and traditional music such as cumbia, boleros and norteños. Their remake of La Bamba was a number one single in the U.S. and U.K. in 1987, and they have had 10 songs chart in Billboard’s Top 50. T95, 104.5 The Fox and Radio Lobo will co-host. That evening at the RedGuard Stage, ¡Viva Wichita!, a Latin-flavored dance party hosted by Radio Lobo, will feature La Furia del Bravo with opening acts Lusio Molina y Sus Rivales and AYCCI Nortena.

Sunday, June 2, radio partner KFDI will help host a giant country concert, sponsored in part by Star Lumber, on the Kennedy Plaza Stage. Also that evening, a popular concert event will return to Riverfest. River Blues Renewed will feature a down and dirty line-up curated by the Wichita Blues Society and hosted by BOB-FM.

Gospel legend Yolanda Adams will light up the Kennedy Plaza Stage on Monday, June 3. An American gospel singer, record producer, actress, and former radio host of her own nationally syndicated morning gospel show, she has sold 4.5 million albums in the United States, and nearly eight million worldwide. Gospelfest will also feature local groups and choir members. The event is sponsored by Cox Business, It Takes a Village, Spirit AeroSystems, and Westar Energy with media partner KMUW.

That same night, Heavy Metal Karaoke, with hostess Marta McKim, will have the RedGuard Stage rocking as would-be metal heads show off their death growls.

Get a sampling of Wichita’s talented theater community when “Festival of Broadway” returns to Kennedy Plaza on Tuesday, June 4, featuring Music Theatre Wichita, Roxy’s Downtown, Mosley Street Melodrama and Laughing Feet Performers and hosted by B98-FM. On the RedGuard Stage, the Kansas Army National Guard’s 35th Infantry Division rock band will headline A Salute to Military sponsored by Johnson Controls and Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, with media partner KWLS. 

Brooklyn-based hip hop recording artist, entrepreneur, and social activist Talib Kweli will headline the Wet ‘n’ Wild Dance Party Wednesday, June 5, on the Kennedy Plaza Stage, hosted by Channel 963. With a recording and producing career that has spanned two decades, Kweli has performed solo and in Black Star with Mos Def, and Reflection Eternal with producer Hi-Tek. His company, Javotti Media, produces films, music and books. The Wichita Wagonmasters will dish up free ice cream at the Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Social on Douglas Avenue.

Wednesday’s RedGuard Stage show will have a country flavor, as it follows the beloved CNH Industrial Buckaroo/Buckarette Rodeo in Cox Kids Corner. Radio 102.1 The Bull is media partner for both events.

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue will raise a New Orleans-style ruckus on the Kennedy Plaza Stage on Thursday, June 6, hosted by KEYN. An excellent complement to Goodwill Industries Cajun Food Fest, Shorty (who was born Tony Andrews in NOLA,) first performed with Bo Diddley at the age of four, was a bandleader at six, and plays the trombone, trumpet, drums, organ, and tuba. While best known as a jazz musician, the Grammy nominee has worked with some of the biggest names in rock, pop, jazz, funk, and hip hop.

Known for their theatrical stage shows, rockers Gogol Bordello will bring their high-energy show to the Kennedy Plaza Stage on Friday, June 7. Spiked with accordion and violin, this New York City-based band’s sound is a mixture of dub, punk and traditional gypsy music. San Francisco’s March Fourth Marching Band will open. On the RedGuard Stage, color and electronic dance music will take over as Channel 963 hosts the Chroma Dance Party.

Riverfest 2019 will end on a high note when Spirit AeroSystems Presents Sublime with Rome on the Kennedy Plaza Stage, Saturday, June 8. A musical collaboration between Eric Wilson, formerly of the American ska punk band Sublime, and singer and guitarist Rome Ramirez, the group chiefly performs songs by the original Sublime, which was fronted by Bradley Nowell until his death in 1996. SOJA and Common Kings will be the opening acts for this show.

Fiesta del Rio, featuring La Sonora Tropicana and El Morro Y Su Reunion, will take place on the RedGuard Stage that night and is co-sponsored by Radio Lobo. The Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale will close the festival with a bang following the concerts.

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Riverfest will also feature dozens of local and regional acts, which will be announced on Riverfest social media on March 20. In addition to the Kennedy Plaza and RedGuard stages, Ackerman’s Backyard will play host to a variety of DJs each night, and the Quantum Credit Union Food Court Stage will feature bands every day 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 April 5-May 4 at area Meineke Car Care Centers, located at Central and Washington, K96 and Woodlawn, 21st and Amidon, Webb and Central and Pawnee and Seneca in Wichita; in Derby and in Hutchinson. Full-price buttons will be available at QuikTrip locations beginning May 5.
Media partners for Riverfest 2019 include 104.5 The Fox, 360Wichita, Active Age, Alt 107.3, Ashby Street Outdoor, B98FM, BOB-FM, The Bull, The Buzz, Channel 963, The Community Voice, Cox Communications, DepICT Media, East Wichita News, FOX Kansas, Great Plains TV, Intake Studios, KAKE, KCTU, KEYN, KFDI, KGSO, KMUW, KQAM, KSN, KWCH, KWLS, Radio Lobo, Splurge!, T95, VYPE, West Side Story, Wichita.com and Wichita Eagle/Kansas.com.

Riverfest 2019 Official Sponsors include: Bud Light, Decker Electric, Metro Courier, Parr Sound & Lighting, PrairieLand Partners, RedGuard SiteBox, Spot’s Party Bus, Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits, Van Horn Promotion & Marketing, and official marketing partner, Visit Wichita.

About Wichita Festivals, Inc.: 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 (May 31-June 8, 2019), Bob Struble Memorial Golf Tournament (September 6, 2019) and Autumn & Art at Bradley Fair (September 13-15, 2019). For more information about Wichita Festivals, Inc. or its events, contact Teri Mott at (316) 267-2817 or teri@wichitafestivals.com.


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