Still MAD: El Dorado MusicFest Bringing Cardi B, Sammy Hagar, Gucci Mane, Toby Keith To Arkansas Oil Boom Town
It’s a seemingly unlikely lineup for a seemingly unlikely location, with the 31st annual MusicFest in El Dorado, Ark. (Population less than 20,000), bringing something for everyone such as “Bodak Yellow” rapper Cardi B, country star Toby Keith and the Red Rocker himself, Sammy Hagar, Oct. 18-20.
This year’s event comes one year after the formation of organizer Murphy Arts District, which has brought artists such as Migos, Train, and Brad Paisley to the former oil-boom town.
MusicFest fest kicks off Oct. 18 with performances from Sheila E, Morris Day & The Time, and George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic at the Murphy Amphitheatre, with Oct. 19 having Lita Ford, Bret Michaels, Sammy Hagar & The Circle at Murray Amphitheatre followed by Cardi B with a late set at the Griffin Music Hall.
Oct. 20 has a country-leaning lineup with Jimmie Allen, Carly Pearce, Justin Moore and Toby Keith at the amphitheatre followed by Gucci Mane with a let set at the Griffin Music Hall.
There will also be free family-friendly activities in downtown El Dorado’s Union Square, one block away, offering zip lines, the Flight Crew Jump Rope, a NASCAR Simulator, and more.
Tickets start at $40 with individual performance packages available. Tickets go on sale July 20.
Murphy Arts District (MAD) is a nonprofit aimed to create and sustain the region as an entertainment destination, two hours south of Little Rock, with increased activity at the new 2,000-seat Griffin Music Hall and 8,000-capacity outdoor Murphy Amphitheater.
MAD touts El Dorado being home to two NYSE-listed companies and says the $100 million efforts to bolster the city’s entertainment has resulted in record breaking relocation inquiries to the small town.
“Even though we’ve only been open for eight months, it is astounding to see the direct and indirect impact MAD has had on this entire region,” said Austin Barrow, president of Murphy Arts District. “We’ve seen new hotels built, new downtown housing underway, and new retail stores open. Audiences are responding incredibly well to our diversity of programming – from country, hip hop, Christian, and rock concerts to Shakespeare festivals, children’s touring shows, and even the Shanghai acrobats.”
While this is the first year with MAD, the long-running MusicFest in El Dorado has in recent years featured artists including as Sugar Ray, 3 Doors Down, Lee Ann Womack and others.