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Riverfest 2016 One Of Most Successful In Recent Years, Organizer Says

Sean Sandefur
KMUW/File photo

Wichita Festivals, Inc. is reporting an increase in overall attendance, button sales, and food and beverage sales during Riverfest 2016. Combined with a strong safety record, increased community support and a leap in volunteer numbers, the organization has ranked Riverfest 2016 as one of the most successful in recent years.

Crowds totaling 455,000 attended the 45thRiverfest, up from 410,000 in 2015. More than 101,000 admission buttons were sold, up from 97,000 for last year’s festival. Food and beverage sales were also up, with an increase of 17 percent over 2015.

As reported by the Wichita Police Department in June, there were only five arrests on or near the festival grounds, a new record for the festival and what organizers describe as a result of securely gating the event.

“Thousands of dedicated volunteers and hundreds of sponsors and partners roll out the red carpet, and diverse attendees came out, were on their best behavior, and enjoyed the concerts, river activities and other events together with their friends, neighbors and families," Mary Beth Jarvis, CEO and president of Wichita Festivals, Inc., said in a news release. “With everyone’s help, in just nine days each summer, we energize downtown, bring people together, and help add $25 to $30 million to our local economy.”

Headliner concerts continued to be a major draw at the festival, with 25,000 fans gathering for Elle King’s performance; 20,000 in attendance at the Violent Femmes concert; and 19,000 at the Coleman Country Concert with co-headliners Brothers Osborne and A Thousand Horses. 17,000, respectively.

The largest concert crowd of the festival – 35,000 fans – gathered on closing night for the Spirit AeroSystems Rockin’ on the River with The Roots, and 60,000 showed up for the Capitol Federal Fireworks Finale.

Riverfest 2017 is scheduled for June 2-10.


Follow Abigail Wilson on Twitter @AbigailKMUW.

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