The inaugural edition of the FORMAT festival will bring a world-class mix of art, music and technology to the heart of the Ozarks in September. The event (whose name is a portmanteau for Music + Art + Technology) will take place from Sept. 23-25 on the private Sugar Creek Airstrip in Bentonville, Arkansas and feature performances from more than 50 acts including Rüfüs Du Sol, Phoenix, Khruangbin, Beach House, The War On Drugs, Nile Rodgers & CHIC, The Flaming Lips, Jungle, and Herbie Hancock.
A release also promises “uniquely integrated performances, installations, and art experiences” from such renowned visual artists as Doug Aitken, sculptor Nick Cave, Jacolby Satterwhite, Pia Camil, Marinella Senatore, assume vivid astro focus, Maurizio Cattelan’s Toiletpaper Magazine, John Gerrard in collaboration with Richie Hawtin, Justin Lowe & Jonah Freeman, Sissel Tolaas, Charlap Hyman & Herrero, and many more.
“We had a vision for what this festival could be and made careful booking decisions in order for this to be a really special experience,” said C3 Presents partner and festival co-founder Charles Attal in a statement to Billboard. “As an art fan and music lover, I am personally excited about this show and look forward to seeing how it evolves year over year.”
The event is a production of C3 Presents and TRIADIC and it will take place on 250 acres of forested land just minutes from downtown Bentonville. It will feature site-specific commissions and architectural installations along with the musical headliners performing on a pair of traditional stages, as well as custom-built alternative settings, including “hidden forest enclaves, an open-air pavilion, a converted disco barn, and a multi-room speakeasy,” according to the announcement.
Other acts slated to perform include: Herbie Hancock, the Marias, Richie Hawtin, Tundercat, Fatboy Slim, Moses Sumney, Elle King, Robert Glasper, Jamila Woods, Third World, Leftover Salmon and many more.
“With FORMAT in OZ, we’ve tried to capture all the things that make Northwest Arkansas one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic ecosystems in the country — unparalleled access to outdoor recreation, accessible art everywhere you turn, and a culture of innovation as boundless and wild as the Ozark mountains,” said Olivia Walton, Crystal Bridges and Momentary Board Chair in a statement. “We’re excited that FORMAT will help us introduce this corner of the Heartland to art and music fans from around the world.”
Throughout the weekend, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Momentary will host performances, programming and events for festival attendees.
Among the art events slated to take place over the weekend are “daily invasions” featuring sculptor Cave’s iconic “Soundsuits,” a live performance series, PAT, from Satterwhite and producer Nightfeelings alongside a multi-channel video installation Aitken’s mirrored hot-air balloon, New Horizon, a large-scale light installation by Senatore, a large-scale maze made of recycled plastic bottles gathered from the local community by guerilla collective Luzinterruptus, a multi-roomed speak-easy by artists Justin Lowe & Jonah Freeman and an interactive textile sculpture by Camil, among others.