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Arts

Music, Camping Festival To Be Held In Wichita

A new kind of party will be held in Wichita this summer: The first-ever Wichita Vortex Music Festival will take place Aug. 4-5. 

The Keeper of the Plains statue will serve as the backdrop for the two-day party, which organizers say will combine live music and Wichita pride.

“Events and festivals, particularly those that gather us together in the heart of Wichita, are part of our identity as a community and can help us continue to grow as a dynamic, welcoming city,” Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc., said in a statement. “So, we’re very excited to announce our newest offering, a unique experience that will entertain locals, draw regional visitors and add to our area’s quality of life.”

At a press conference announcing the new festival Wednesday, Jarvis said the event will also provide the rare chance to camp in the heart of the city at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas rivers. Due to the success and widespread response to Riverfest and the Autumn and Art Fair, Jarvis said the time felt right for a new event.

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Credit Jordan Kirtley / KMUW
Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc., announces the Wichita Vortex Music Festival on Wednesday.

"This idea of a music festival with an urban camping experience is one that has gotten popular around the country, and I think the market is ready," she said.

Country music singer and songwriter Dwight Yoakam has been booked to headline the festival. Locally made craft beer and music will also be a big part of the event with performances by Carrie Nation & the Speakeasy and the Cherokee Maidens. The festival’s main stage will be located in the gated area between the Mid-America All-Indian Center and the Keeper of the Plains. Jarvis said she is also planning a food truck rally. 

Tickets went on sale at noon today at WichitaVortexFest.com. Five hundred Vortex Early Bird Passes will be available at the discounted rate of $45. Once Vortex Early Bird Passes are gone, Standard Issue Festival Passes will be available for $65, until July 27 or until sold out.

Starting July 28, any remaining regular festival tickets will be sold as the $85 Procrastinators Pass. For those who want premium seating and bar access, up to 400 Vortex VIP Passes will be sold for $100.

Those who wish to camp can purchase a $50 Happy Camper Overnight pass, which includes a campsite for up to four people and tickets to the Pancake Pack-Up Party. The 'campground' will be north of the pedestrian bridge at the Keeper. 

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Follow Abigail Beckman on Twitter @AbigailKMUW.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.