Riverfest Suspending Annual Event After 40 Years In Little Rock

Jul 18, 2017

Morris Day and the Time perform at the 2017 Riverfest on June 4. This year's event ended up being the last for the long-running festival.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Little Rock's annual music festival, Riverfest, is suspending operations after four decades.

The Riverfest, Inc., board of directors announced Tuesday that 2017 was the last year for the music festival in downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock. The festival's executive director, DeAnna Korte, says rising costs and more competition from other festivals made it difficult for Riverfest to continue.

Korte says hot and rainy weather in May and June also affected Riverfest's ability to be successful.

At its height, the festival attracted more than 250,000 attendees with an annual economic impact of $33 million. Riverfest began in 1978 as The Summer Arts Festival in Murray Park and eventually moved downtown, when it was held on Memorial Day weekend.