Riverfest Concerts: How We Book Who We Book

At 11 a.m., Thursday, March 5 we will be announcing the Riverfest 2015 Concert Headliners and Supporting Acts. Join us on Grandmaster Flash_Aubrey Burgessour Wichita Riverfest Facebook page or on Twitter to see who’ll be playing this year’s festival.

Who books the bands?
Our Events department with Adam Hartke taking the lead in researching and negotiating the booking of the shows.
We asked Adam to tell you how he does it.

Take it away, Adam!

The touring acts for Riverfest are boiled down by an amalgamation of factors outlined below. We also book numerous local acts that are selected through our submission process.

  1. Availability: Contact is made with over a thousand music reps that represent nearly every touring artist to see who is available during our time frame.
  1. Artist Price: Given our low button price, we have a very concise budget we must stick to. While we’d love to see Taylor “Shake It Off” on the main stage of Riverfest, we must be realistic in in our budgeting process.
  1. Routing: Since our dates are set in stone and have no flexibility, many of our artists are flown in. When you’re as selective as we are about our musical lineup, it is sometimes hard to find artists that have tours that are routed directly through Wichita.
  1. Desire To Play Our Festival: I <3 ICT. But that’s not always the case for someone whose only knowledge of Kansas is what they learned from Dorothy. In my experience, it has literally taken years before an artist agrees to play our market. This is changing, fortunately. With great work and dedication by many local promoters and venue operators Wichita is starting to be a place artists want to play. And with strong support from music fans, this will only build. Our city is great, and 99.99% of the time artists who come here love it and want to come back.
  1. Programming Feasibility: We work to select acts that will represent different segments of our community and give programming options that will not only stand alone, but also fit together in a larger package making the festival desirable to a wider audience through multiple nights. We also strive to bring in fresh talent that hasn’t played the market, or that hasn’t recently played our market.
  1. Market Appeal/Draw: We feel it is of great benefit to our community to diversify entertainment options. There are acts across many genres that will appeal to our very diverse community. Therefore, when I examine market appeal, I examine the market as a whole. I also examine other markets similar to our own to discern what works well in said markets.

All this said, we continue to strive to present the best entertainment possible while offering a very diverse and engaging entertainment lineup. We hope to fulfill many niches and in doing so, satisfy a large portion of our communities entertainment appetite. We look at it as a virtual buffet of awesome musical talent presented daily on our four stages. So come have a drink and indulge in something you’ve never experienced before, and “just be there.” And as always, we are open to suggestions, so don’t hesitate to tell us to “play some Skynyrd ” or whatever your version of Skynyrd may be. Our ears and minds are always open for good ideas.

Best to you,
Adam Hartke
Director of Events

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  1. Pingback: Wichita River Festival announces several headliners | KSN-TV

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