RiverFest Event Director Jack Daniels did not yet have a tally of the reinvented Memorial Day weekend festival’s attendance or profit, but did say, “Bottom line: We were looking for more people. We didn’t have as much support as we thought we would get from folks coming out, and we have some good ideas why, but there are some other things I think we need to study. And we’re event folks — we study this stuff.”
Putting together the festival on a compressed timeline and returning it to its Memorial Day weekend spot, he said, was “a challenging proposition.” Daniels, part of the Universal Fairs entertainment group that revived RiverFest for a 41st year after it was announced that the 40th year would be its last, added: “Overall, we were very humbled by the support of our sponsors,” noting the presence and enthusiasm on the part of representatives from Oaklawn Racing & Gaming, the Arkansas Federal Credit Union and AMP Energy. “That kind of activation from sponsors in general is really rare. They worked it as partners.”
When asked about a 2019 RiverFest, Daniels said the company is “actively planning.”
Here’s a slideshow from our photographer Brian Chilson, who was on the ground for much of the weekend’s festivities.