Expect the unexpected in music, art and more at the first FORMAT festival

Colorful treehouses, a mirrored hot air balloon, a disco madhouse and daily invasions of Soundsuits are just some of the many things you can see and experience at FORMAT — “For Music + Art + Technology” — Festival du Friday to Monday the private airstrip of Sugar Creek.

The 250 acres of green space surrounded by forests, just a six-minute drive from downtown Bentonville, will be the site of this brand new festival in northwest Arkansas, created by a partnership between OZ Brands, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Momentary.

Over 50 artists will perform, including Australian band Rüfüs Du Sol, Phoenix, Beach House, The Flaming Lips, British electronic music project Jungle and The War on Drugs, Fatboy Slim, Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Nile Rodgers and Chic and many others. For the full lineup and more, visit format-festival.com. Tickets for the event went on sale in late April.

While the festival will have traditional main and secondary stages for performances, the music will also take place in a number of alternative settings, such as a converted disco barn, a multi-room speakeasy, hidden forest enclaves and a stone pavilion. outdoors, according to a press release.

The premiere of an artificial intelligence collaboration between John Gerrard and Richie Hawtin will take place during the festival, revealing data-aware and environmentally aware digital artworks. A “constantly evolving” musical composition will be played alongside him.

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram will perform at FORMAT Festival in Bentonville on September 24th. Buddy Guy called the 23-year-old bluesman “the next blues explosion”. Rolling Stone declared him to be “one of the most exciting young guitarists in years, with a sound that encompasses BB King, Jimi Hendrix and Prince”. NPR Music described his music as “the blues at its raw and powerful best”. (Courtesy Photo/Laura Carbone)

The visual arts will play an important role in FORMAT with installations, integrated performances and artistic experiments by several renowned artists, including Jacolby Satterwhite, Pia Camil and Marinella Senatore.

Nick Cave’s iconic Soundsuits will make daily “invasions” at the festival. Cave’s elaborate costumes made of discarded materials are works of art. One of Cave’s sculptural sound suits – a large construction of twigs, synthetic berries and metal on a mannequin – was on display earlier this year as part of ‘The Dirty South’ exhibition at Crystal Bridges.

A mirrored hot air balloon, called Doug Aitken’s New Horizon, will make an appearance, and the artist duo “take on the vivid astro focus” will place colorful treehouses and other wooden structures in the forest.

The barn will be transformed into a “disco madhouse” by artist Maurizio Cattelan’s magazine Toiletpaper, and a full-scale maze made of recycled plastic bottles, created by guerrilla collective Luzinterruptus, will be unveiled.

Guests can also expect large-scale light installations, an interactive textile sculpture and a new design for one of the main sites involved in the festival.


  • What: A weekend of curated curiosity – forest enclaves, disco barns and speak-easys, organized food vendors and impromptu dance processions, experimental soundscapes and light shows, plus therapeutic workshops and uniquely integrated technology activations.
  • Where: Sugar Creek Airstrip, 3100 Price Coffee Road, Bentonville
  • When: friday-monday
  • Admission: From $75 to $2,500. Shop online at format-festival.com/tickets.
  • Information: format-festival.com