A new festival that will seek to connect the worlds of music, art and technology is coming to Arkansas in September.
Called FORMAT (an acronym for “For Music + Art + Technology”), the festival will take place September 23-25 on “250 acres of green land surrounded by forests” at Sugar Creek Airstrip in Bentonville, Arkansas.
It bills itself as “a multi-disciplinary experience, combining a stunning musical lineup featuring some of the festival’s biggest performing artists with immersive installations from dynamic visual artists and performers, site-specific commissions and architectural interventions”, according to a press release. .
FORMAT is founded by events company Triadic (Mafalda Millies, Roya Sachs and Elizabeth Edelman) and will be produced in partnership with C3 Presents, which produces Lollapalooza in Chicago and Austin City Limits in Texas, among other live festivals. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and its satellite contemporary art space, the Momentary, have also signed on as official partners, along with local Arkansas company OZ Events.
Musical artists included in this year’s lineup include Beach House, Phoenix, Rüfüs Du Sol, The War on Drugs, The Flaming Lips, Khruangbin, Nile Rodgers & CHIC, Jungle and Herbie Hancock. In addition to the usual main and secondary stages typical of festivals like this, FORMAT will also include “alternative settings where musicians will perform – hidden forest enclaves, an open-air pavilion, a converted disco barn and a multi-room speakeasy “. depending on the version.
For its part, Crystal Bridges and the Momentary have helped secure a roster of high profile artists who will also be presenting work and performances during FORMAT. Artist Nick Cave, who will be the subject of a grand retrospective opening at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago next month, will stage a performance involving his legendary “Soundsuits,” with composer Jlin and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.
Doug Aitken’s Mirrored Hot Air Balloon, new horizonwill travel from the Momentary site to the FORMAT site as part of a launch event at the festival that will feature a performance by The War on Drugs.
New York-based biennial Performa will produce a performance by Jacolby Satterwhite TAP, his musical collaboration with Nick Weiss, which will be accompanied by a multi-channel video installation. (TAP named after Satterwhite’s late mother, Patricia, who left numerous a capella recordings and was a major inspiration in the artist’s practice.)
Other art-related interventions include a “disco madhouse” by artist Maurizio Cattelan and his Toilet paper magazine, a speakeasy by Justin Lowe & Jonah Freeman, a textile sculpture by Pia Camil, a light installation by Marinella Senatore and an IA collaboration between John Gerrard and Richie Hawtin, among other projects. New York gallerist Nicola Vassell will be the inaugural curator of Cube Grant, where she will work with a visual artist to design an exterior canvas.
Presented at Crystal Bridges during FORMAT, her first exhibition dedicated to fashion, titled “Shaping America: From Grit to Glamor”, guest hosted by Michelle Tolini Finamore.
In a statement, Olivia Walton, Chair of the Board of Crystal Bridges and Momentary Board Chair, said, “With FORMAT in OZ, we have tried to capture everything that makes Northwest Arkansas the one of the most dynamic and fastest growing. the nation’s ecosystems – unparalleled access to outdoor recreation, accessible art everywhere you turn, and a culture of innovation as boundless and wild as the Ozark Mountains. We’re thrilled that FORMAT is helping us introduce this corner of the Heartland to art and music lovers around the world.
Tickets for FORMAT will be leaving on sale Friday, April 22. The full schedule follows below.