The FORMAT Festival in northwest Arkansas won’t return in 2024 for what would’ve been its third year, organizers announced.
The music, art and technology festival, founded by Walmart heirs Steuart and Tom Walton, and Tom’s wife, Olivia, was started as an annual event but will “take a pause” this year, according to the event’s Facebook page. Organizers plan to spend 2024 “reimagining elements of the festival to ensure we continue to deliver exciting and new experiences for our dedicated fans.”
The inaugural festival was held in September 2022 on a 300-acre property owned by the Waltons in Bentonville. Organized by C3 Presents, the event company behind Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits, it drew national attention from news outlets including The Wall Street Journal and Axios. The lineup of performers included French rockers Phoenix, psychedelic mainstays The Flaming Lips, instrumentalist trio Khruangbin and funk/disco legends Nile Rodgers & Chic.
The Woodstock-like festival also featured artists including Nick Cave, whose work has been displayed at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.
Attendance was capped at 17,000 with tickets starting at $300.
The festival downsized in 2023, moving to The Momentary, a satellite of Crystal Bridges. Organizers cited “production challenges” at the original location and said the new venue would allow the festival to “expand and enhance the arts experience, while bringing the festival closer to the heart of Bentonville.”
Stormy weather was an issue during the three-day festival. The lineup of performers included Alanis Morissette, Modest Mouse and Leon Bridges, with artwork including illuminated, larger-than-life bubbles by Atelier Sisu.