FRIDAY 9/22-SUNDAY 9/24. The Momentary, Bentonville. 3-day passes starting at $204, or $105 per day.
Last year’s inaugural Walton-backed FORMAT Festival took place at the 250-acre Sugar Creek Airstrip. This year, it’s moving to the much smaller Momentary grounds in downtown Bentonville. (The only explanation given was “production challenges,” and our attempt to get more context went unanswered.) The news was delivered in June, a full three months after the bulk of the performers were announced, seriously pissing off people who’d already purchased their tickets — especially considering no refunds were offered to those whose idea of the festival experience hinged upon the sprawling, open-air locale where it was supposed to be held.
Controversy aside, the lineup is still impressive, with appearances from major names like LCD Soundsystem, Alanis Morissette, Leon Bridges, Modest Mouse, Jamie XX, Tash Sultana, Little Simz and Little Rock’s own Kari Faux. And a slew of lesser-known Arkansas talent including Modeling, The Misdemeanors, Pura Coco and Yuni Wa are scattered across the festival’s three days as well. In other words, if you can get over the logistics, it’s probably worth it to absorb this many great sets at once without having to leave the state.