River Festival

‘We are bummed’: Riverfest drops local act hours before show on festival’s final day

Wichita Riverfest is dropping a local band’s set on the last day of the festival because it doesn’t have enough room, according to a statement posted by organizers Saturday.

The Ziggowatts, a funky, hip hop and reggae group from Hutchinson, was scheduled to open a night of shows Saturday at Kennedy Plaza Stage that would end with featured act Sublime with Rome. The band would have taken the stage at 4:30 p.m.

But about five hours before its scheduled appearance, The Ziggowatts announced on Facebook that it had been dropped.

“Due to circumstances beyond our control, Riverfest Wichita has informed us that we will not be playing the Sublime/SOJA/Common Kings show on the Kennedy Plaza Stage. We are bummed about it, but it should still be a killer night of reggae for all to enjoy. Thank you all for your continued support!”

A few minutes later, Riverfest made its own announcement.

“We’re sad to announce that due to overall size and space requirements of the combined touring package for tonight’s show, we don’t have enough room to safely put the gear for Ziggowatts (our first opener) on stage,” the social media post said.

Riverfest organizers said in the post that the festival loves the Ziggowatts and will book them again as soon as possible, along with an apology and a sad-face emoji.

The announcement came on the heels of a controversial move to cut short the Talib Kweli show earlier this week after the rapper played an anti-Trump song that had profanity. Mary Beth Jarvis, president and CEO of Wichita Festivals, said his show was ended early because of the weather.

In a separate post from the announcement, the Riverfest officials said the headliners’ “giant backline and tons of equipment” contributed to the decision.

“This is no conspiracy,” it said.

“We really do feel bad about this, but rest assured Ziggowatts is one of our favorites and welcome at Riverfest. We are super grateful for their understanding and yours,” it continued.

Common Kings have now been moved to the opening spot at 5:45 p.m.

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