Dust off your dancin' boots, y’all! FreshGrass | Bentonville is returning to the Momentary May 19–20. Featuring bluegrass and progressive roots music, world premieres, family-friendly activities, great local food and drink options, homegrown retail vendors, and more, this two-day festival is loads of fun for all ages.
Here are five things to look forward to at this year’s festival:
1. The Lineup
First, let's talk about this star-studded lineup! Caamp, Elle King, Mavis Staples, Sierra Ferrell, Del McCoury Band, Molly Tuttle, and many more—y’all know we’re fixin’ to have a real good time here in Bentonville.
This year, we’re especially thrilled to see two recently announced 2023 Americana Honors & Awards Nominees perform. On May 9, Caamp was nominated in the Duo/Group of the Year category, and Sierra Ferrell was nominated for Artist of the Year. The winners will be announced Sept. 20 at the Americana Honors & Awards show, but for now, we’re excited to jam out with these nominees on the Momentary Green.
Plus, Tank and The Bangas is returning to Bentonville—some folks might remember their rockin’ show at Crystal Bridges Summer Fling back in the summer of 2017! Check out their tiny desk concert (which they won the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk Contest for), and get excited about their live show!
Tap here for the full lineup and performance schedule.
2. WYLDE Market and Local Food Vendors
This year’s market is put together by WYLDE Hudson, a wine bar, public café, community space, retail concept, and open-air market located in Hudson, New York, that also has a pop-up retail shop just off the Bentonville Square at 203 NE A St.
Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll be able to find at WYLDE Market:
- Live chain stitching by Ft. Lonesome
- Aura Photography by Happy Aura
- Vintage and second-hand pop-ups by Future Freaks Co., Your Friend’s Apartment, and Sol Sister Secondhand
- Permanent Jewelry by Link x Lou
- HBarC Ranchwear, Copper Coyote Clothing, Yarb Apothecary, Hillfolk, and so much more!
We’re also really looking forward to the local food vendors that will be at the festival this year. If you’ve been to FreshGrass | Bentonville before, you already know that nothing beats enjoying refreshing drinks and delicious food while listening to your favorite bluegrass and progressive roots musicians on the Momentary Green.
3. Festival Programming
One of the things that makes FreshGrass | Bentonville so unique is the community-focused festival programming. In addition to art-making activities, festival-goers are invited to bring their own acoustic, non-amplified instruments for informal picking circles and workshops. Last year, square dancing was introduced to the festival, and by golly did we have a rootin’ tootin’ time!
Other festival programming highlights include FreshScores, a silent film with original live music; FreshGrass commissions and world premieres; and FreshSongs, premiere performances of new music created for the festival at The House of Songs.
4. Art at the Momentary
The Momentary is an extraordinary festival venue because, on top of hosting concerts and performing arts, the space includes an art gallery filled with artworks by both local and national contemporary artists alike.
Currently, there are two solo exhibitions on view: “Yvette Mayorga: What a Time to Be,” which features elaborate collage portraits, sculptures, and a reimagined installation of the artist’s bedroom from the ‘90s, and “Firelei Báez: To breathe full and free…,” a sculptural installation reimagining the archeological ruins of the Sans-Souci Palace in Haiti, as if it were emerging from the Atlantic Ocean through the Momentary’s gallery.
But that’s not all, the Momentary also has several projects on view throughout the campus, including [siccer], a dance performance and video installation by Will Rawls, the Momentary Flag Project with a flag designed by artist Kat Richards, and several other thought-provoking sculptural installations.
5. Exploring Bentonville
If you’re visiting Bentonville for the festival, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to explore the town and find out why it was voted second in USA Today’s Top 10 Best Small Towns in the U.S. for Adventure and third in Time Out Magazine’s 16 Best Cities For A Weekend Getaway!
Bentonville, known as “the Mountain Biking Capital of the World,” is home to the first bike-able building, Ledger Bentonville, and famed biking trails for every level. Hop on the Crystal Bridges Trail at the entrance of Compton Gardens, and bike or walk your way to the Momentary’s sister space, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, to take in the inspiring, world-class art collection.
Then, be sure to explore the vibrant culinary scene, including Yeyo’s, featured in The New York Times’ 2022 Restaurant List; Conifer, which has a farm-fresh, 100% gluten-free menu; Airship at Coler, an open-air cafe in the woods of Coler Mountain Bike Preserve; and many more! Click here to browse all the delicious dining options with our Bentonville Dining Guide.
Ready for a fun-filled weekend? Find places to stay here, and grab your festival passes at TheMomentary.org.
Visit Bentonville is happy to help you with any additional information needed during your stay. Our Visitor’s Center is open 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday, and 9 am to 3 pm on Saturdays. Stop by and see us at 406 SE 5th Street, Suite 6.