Format, New Festival With War on Drugs, Beach House, Rufus Du Sol and More, Merges Music, Art and Tech

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Courtesy Format

Format, a new festival merging the worlds of music, art and technology, will hold its premiere event on September 23-25, 2022, on the private Sugar Creek Airstrip in Bentonville, Arkansas.

The three-day event will feature more than 50 music artists, including Rüfüs Du Sol, Phoenix, Khruangbin, Beach House, The War On Drugs, Nile Rodgers & Chic, the Flaming Lips, Jungle, and Herbie Hancock — along with integrated performances, installations, and art experiences from world-renowned artists including Doug Aitken, Nick Cave (NOTE: not the singer Nick Cave), Jacolby Satterwhite, Pia Camil, Marinella Senatore, Maurizio Cattelan’s Toiletpaper Magazine, John Gerrard in collaboration with Richie Hawtin, Justin Lowe & Jonah Freeman, Sissel Tolaas, Charlap Hyman & Herrero, and many more.

Tickets will go on sale Friday, April 22 at www.format-festival.com. Fans who sign up on the Official SMS List now can gain early access to tickets starting at 10am CT.

Format is presented in official partnership with Oz, which combines outdoor adventure and unexpected art encounters; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; and its satellite contemporary art space the Momentary.

Located on 250 acres of forest-enclosed green land, six minutes from downtown Bentonville, Format will be a “multidisciplinary experience, combining a mind-expanding music lineup featuring some of the greatest acts on the festival scene with immersive installations by dynamic visual and performing artists, site-specific commissions, and architectural interventions,” according to the announcement.

The festival will have traditional main and side stages for headline acts, as well as several alternative settings where musicians will perform — hidden forest enclaves, an open-air pavilion, a converted disco barn, and a multi-room speakeasy. It will also have curated food vendors, light shows, therapeutic workshops, and uniquely integrated technology activations.

“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.

“Format represents a new type of festival, placing visual and performing arts on the same plane as live music, creating a fluid and unified experience. Visitors will encounter large-scale installation art and unconventional venues created by a range of internationally recognized artists, alongside an eclectic roster of musical acts,” said Elizabeth Edelman, Mafalda Millies, and Roya Sachs, co-founders of Triadic and creators of Format.

Per the announcement, highlights include:

  • Daily “invasions” featuring artist Nick Cave’s iconic Soundsuits—elaborate costumes-as-works-of-art made of a myriad of discarded materials—including a performance collaboration with composer Jlin and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, co-commissioned by the Momentary.
  • Jacolby Satterwhite presents PAT, a live performance series made in collaboration with music by producer Nightfeelings, alongside a multi-channel video installation. Produced by Performa, the world’s leading performing arts institution.
  • Doug Aitken’s mirrored hot-air balloon, New Horizon.
  • A large-scale light installation by Marinella Senatore.
  • A multi-roomed speak-easy by artists Justin Lowe & Jonah Freeman.
  • A forest enclave of colorful tree houses and wooden structures created by the artist duo assume vivid astro focus.
  • A barn transformed into a disco madhouse by artist Maurizio Cattelan’s TOILETPAPER MAGAZINE.
  • The Cube Grant, an inaugural initiative bringing together a guest curator and visual artist to design the exterior scrim of one of our most prominent venues. The 2022 grant curator is Nicola Vassell.
  • An interactive textile sculpture by Pia Camil.
  • The U.S. premiere of a groundbreaking AI collaboration between John Gerrard and Richie Hawtin: a data- and environmental-responsive digital artwork in tandem with an ever-changing musical composition.
  • A large-scale maze by guerilla collective Luzinterruptus, made of recycled plastic bottles gathered from the local community over the three months prior to the festival.
  • A sensory installation by the world’s leading smell artist and researcher Sissel Tolaas.
  • The Bizarre Bazaar, an oasis of retail, food, and beverage experiences designed by celebrated architects Charlap Hyman Herrero.
  • The Gate Grant, a competition to design the festival’s entrance gate, dedicated to regional artists.

Format is produced by C3 Presents and Triadic. Additional official partners include the international art organizations Performa and CACHE (the Creative Arkansas Community Hub & Exchange, which works with creatives, communities, and organizations throughout Northwest Arkansas).

The 2022 edition of Format is sponsored by Solana and Rambler Sparkling Water.

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Courtesy Format