Format music festival won’t return in 2024

Photo: Charles Reagan

A music festival that debuted a few years ago in Bentonville won’t return this year.

Format Festival organizers last week announced on social media that the event will take a hiatus in 2024, but the plan is to return sometime in the future.

From the announcement:

It has always been our intention to hold Format annually, however, we have made the decision to take a pause in 2024.

As music, art and technology continue to grow and progress forward, so shall Format, and we will spend this next year reimagining elements of the festival to ensure we continue to deliver exciting and new experiences for our dedicated fans.

Format Festival debuted in the fall of 2022, with more than 70 artists on the lineup at the event held on 250 acres of private land surrounding the Sugar Creek Airstrip in Bentonville. The first-year lineup included The War On Drugs, Beach House, Rüfüs Du Sol, Phoenix, Khruangbin, Flaming Lips, Herbie Hancock, and others.

The event returned for a second year in 2023, but organizers announced a venue change a few months before the festival was set to take place. Instead of holding the festival at the original location near the airstrip, the concerts were moved to the Momentary in downtown Bentonville. The second-year lineup included LCD Soundsystem, Alanis Morissette, Leon Bridges, Modest Mouse, Jamie XX, Tash Sultana, Big Wild, Little Simz, and Bob Moses.

The venue change was met with a less-than-enthusiastic response from many. That same sentiment is echoed in the comments of the social media posts announcing this year’s hiatus.

The festival had been organized by Austin-based C3 Presents (Austin City Limits, Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival), and TRIADIC, an agency with offices in New York City, London and Vienna. Regional organizations OZ Brands, The Momentary, and Crystal Bridges were also involved in organizing the event.

No reason was given for the hiatus, and no specific timeline for the festival’s return was included in the announcement, though it is implied that the festival could return as soon as 2025.