Sights and sounds of the 2018 Wichita River Festival
The Wichita Riverfest on Wednesday announced its always-anticipated list of musical acts that will perform when the annual festival returns for its nine day run, from May 31 to June 8.
It 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. The second is south of the Hyatt parking garage at WaterWalk.
Admission to all Riverfest concerts is free with a Riverfest button. Adult buttons are $10, and children’s buttons (available while supplies last for kids ages 6-12) are $5.
Festivalgoers can get an early-bird discount price of $7 for adults and $3 for children at wichitafestivals.ticketspice.com until April 4 and in person from April 5 to May 5 at Meinecke Car Care locations in Wichita, Hutchinson and Derby. Full-price buttons go on sale at QuikTrip stores, the Wichita Festivals office at 444 E. William and at wichitafestivals.ticketspice.com beginning May 6.
Friday, May 31
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.
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.
Saturday, June 1
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.
RedGuard Stage: La Fuiria del Bravo: This group will headline a concert titled “Viva Wichita!”
Sunday, June 2
Kennedy Plaza: The Riverfest will have a country headliner this night, but organizers weren’t ready to say who on Wednesday
RedGuard Stage: River Blues Renewed, a blues concert curated by the Wichita Blues Society
Monday, June 3
Kennedy Plaza: Yolanda Adams — Grammy-winning Gospel singer and R&B singer Adams will headline the Riverfest’s GospelFest.
Red Guard Stage: Heavy Metal Karaoke hosted by Heavy Metal Marta
Tuesday, June 4
RedGuard Stage: A Salute to Military with the Kansas Army National Guard Bands
Wednesday, June 5
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 known for songs like “Move Somethin’,” “Get By” and “Respiration.”
RedGuard Stage — A country act will headline this night, but the festival wasn’t ready to announce who on Wednesday.
Thursday, June 6
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.
Friday, June 7
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.”
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.
Saturday, June 8
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.
RedGuard Stage: El Morro Y Su Reunion will headline the annual closing-night Fiesta Del Rio concert