Arkansas’s FORMAT Festival Lives Up To Its Promise To Blend Music, Art, and Technology

Arkansas’s FORMAT Festival Lives Up To Its Promise To Blend Music, Art, and Technology

Bentonville, Arkansas may not ring a bell for most people, but this weekend the town hosted a major, new music, art and technology festival: FORMAT. It shouldn’t be a surprise. Bentonville is the home of Walmart and, over the past ten years, the Walton family has done their utmost to invest in the rapidly growing region, from paving mountain biking trails to setting up Crystal Bridges, a world-class art museum. Why not bring a music, arts, and tech festival to town?

Crystal Bridges Museum, and a town’s resurgence

Crystal Bridges Museum, and a town’s resurgence

More than six million people have visited the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art since it opened in 2011. Alice Walton’s beautiful oasis has transformed the once-sleepy town of Bentonville, Arkansas, into a thriving artists’ community. Watch her and Crystal Bridges Chairperson Olivia Walton as they share their perspective on art and empowerment in America’s Heartland!

Sections Sign in Subscribe New Northwest Arkansas music festival to host more than 50 artists including Beach House, The Flaming Lips

Sections Sign in Subscribe New Northwest Arkansas music festival to host more than 50 artists including Beach House, The Flaming Lips

A new festival is coming to Northwest Arkansas courtesy of a partnership among OZ Brands, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Momentary.

FORMAT — “For Music + Art + Technology” — is planned to take place Sept. 23-25 on the private Sugar Creek Airstrip, a place with 250 acres of forest-enclosed green land, just six minutes from downtown Bentonville. Tickets will go on sale Friday.

Life imitates art for new Crystal Bridges board chair Olivia Walton

Life imitates art for new Crystal Bridges board chair Olivia Walton

Olivia Walton is also enthusiastic about Northwest Arkansas’ place in the national arts conversation.

“I think we’re on the map; I think Bentonville is up there with Marfa,” she said, referencing the small west Texas town that’s known as an arts hub. “Whenever I’m on the coasts, people know of Crystal Bridges, and they respect what Alice is doing. They admire the collection, and I think we’re on the shortlist for top art destinations in the country.

New Crystal Bridges board chair Olivia Walton is on a mission to expand the definition of art

New Crystal Bridges board chair Olivia Walton is on a mission to expand the definition of art

Olivia Walton, the new board chair for the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, is full of hints of what’s to come. Named in mid-November to the post, she takes over for museum founder Alice Walton in that role. Olivia Walton, a former technology reporter for Bloomberg and NBC, is married to Tom Walton, grandson of Walmart founder Sam Walton. Her background in the arts stems from childhood through college to her adult work.