See more than 40 years of Riverfest moments
Fans of live music are about to have a very busy nine days.
The Wichita Riverfest, which start on Friday, doubles as a giant outdoor music festival with local, regional and national bands drawing crowds to two big stages.
Best of all: Admission to all the shows is a $10 button. (And those who don’t want to jam with the masses can spring for an extra ticket ranging from $30 to $45 to get VIP seating and private bar and restroom access at several of the biggest shows.)
This year’s lineup includes several well-known groups from the past, and a few that are popular today, with a variety that will appeal to fans of rock, hip hop, gospel, country and punk.
The big concerts take place on two different stages. The main one is set up in front of Century II on Kennedy Plaza near Douglas and Main. The second, dubbed the RedGuard stage, is south of the Hyatt parking garage near Main and Waterman at WaterWalk.
Local bands also will frequently perform at a stage near the Century II Food Court. Find a lineup of who will be playing on the Wichita Riverfest website.
Here’s the day-by-day lineup:
Kennedy Plaza Stage: Twilight Pops Concert featuring the Wichita Symphony Orchestra — This mainstay concert will happen directly following Sundown Parade. Immediately following will be the opening night fireworks. It starts at 8 p.m.
RedGuard Stage: Toadies —This Texas-formed rock band, best known for its hit “Possum Kingdom,” will perform on Riverfest’s opening night on the RedGuard Stage. This will be the group’s second visit to Wichita in less than a year. It performed at a concert in August that officially opened the new Wave venue at Second and St. Francis. Music starts at 6:15 p.m., and Toadies go on at 8:45 p.m.
Kennedy Plaza: Los Lobos — This band is best known for its 1987 cover of the Ritchie Valens song “La Bamba,” and the lineup of the Los Angeles-based group is mostly unchanged since that song earned group its first big radio hit. Music starts at 6:30 p.m., and Los Lobos goes on at 9:30 p.m.
RedGuard Stage: La Fuiria del Bravo: This group will headline a concert titled “Viva Wichita!” Music starts at 6 p.m., and the headliners go on at 8:45 p.m.
Kennedy Plaza: Granger Smith — This young country star’s most recognizable hits include “Backroad Song” and “If The Boot Fits.” Music starts at 4 p.m., and Smith goes on at 9 p.m.
RedGuard Stage: River Blues Renewed, a blues concert curated by the Wichita Blues Society, will feature The Macy Brothers at 6:30 p.m. followed by Marquise Knox at 8 p.m.
Kennedy Plaza: Yolanda Adams — Grammy-winning Gospel singer and R&B singer Adams will headline the Riverfest’s GospelFest. Music starts at 5:30 p.m., and Adams goes on at 8:45 p.m.
Red Guard Stage: Heavy Metal Karaoke hosted by Heavy Metal Marta starts at 8 p.m. An opening band will perform at 6:30 p.m.
RedGuard Stage: A Salute to Military with the Kansas Army National Guard Bands starts at 6 p.m., and the Kansas Army National Guard Rock Band Hard to Handle goes on at 9 p.m.
Kennedy Plaza Stage: Talib Kweli — Hip hop artist Kweli is known for his collaborations with stars like Mos Def, Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar. He’s also known for songs like “Move Somethin’,” “Get By” and “Respiration.” Music starts at 5:15 p.m., and Kweli goes on at 9 p.m.
RedGuard Stage — Jerrod Niemann — This country singer has been a regular in Wichita venues for several years. His hits include “Lover Lover,” “What Do You Want” and “Drink To That All Night.” Music starts at 6 p.m., and Niemann goes on at 9 p.m.
Kennedy Plaza Stage: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue — Trombone Shorty, whose real name is Troy Andrews, is a New Orleans-based trombone and trumpet player who tours with his band, Orleans Avenue. The group opened for Red Hot Chili Peppers when they performed at Intrust Bank Arena in 2017. Music starts at 5:30 p.m., and Trombone Shorty goes on at 9 p.m.
RedGuard: Kill Vargas & Friends: This young Wichita rock band, made up of alumni of Bishiop Carroll and Maize High School, will headline a night of music starting at 8 p.m.
Kennedy Plaza Stage: Gogol Bordello with opening act MarchFourth Marching Band — Gogol Bordello is a “gypsy punk” band from New York that has developed a cult following. Its lead singer, Eugene Hutz, costarred with Elijah Wood in 2005 movie “Everything Is Illuminated.” Music starts at 5 p.m., and Gogol Bordello goes on at 9:30 p.m.
RedGuard Stage: Chroma Dance Party — This event is becoming a tradition at the festival and features people dancing to a DJ while being doused with brightly-colored paint. It starts at 6:30 p.m.
Kennedy Plaza: Sublime with Rome with opening act SOJA — Ska punk band Sublime was known for its hit “What I Got,” but its lead singer Bradley Nowell died in 1996. Now, original member Eric Wilson performs with guitarist and front-man Rome Ramirez. Opening act SOJA as a Grammy-nominated reggae band from Virginia. Music starts at 4:30 p.m., and Sublime goes on at 9 p.m.
RedGuard Stage: The closing night Fiesta Del Rio concert will feature El Morro Y Su Reunion at 7:30 p.m., followed by La Sonora Tropicana at 9:15 p.m.