One Tank Travels: MusicFest El Dorado Celebrates 25 Years


We invite you to have “More Fun Per Gallon” in Arkansas this year. Each day we will be blogging on different Arkansas destinations which can be reached on one tank of gas or less. This is basically every corner of The Natural State. We hope these suggestions help you in planning a trip to remember.

Today’s Trip: MusicFest El Dorado 

This year marks a special milestone for  MusicFest El Dorado: it is their  25th anniversary celebration.  Along with this,  for the third time in four years the festival has been recognized as the Festival of the Year in Arkansas, becoming the first festival to achieve a three-peat in that category of the ALFiE (Arkansans Love Festivals and Events) Awards.

MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice and Jake Owen are among the headliners for this year’s festival, which is set for Oct 5-6 in downtown El Dorado.   The festival takes place next month, but I wanted to give you enough heads up about it to make travel plans. Also discount weekend passes for the event go on sale starting tomorrow ( Sept. 4).

The event is South Arkansas’ largest outdoor music event. The festival was created to bring people downtown and to showcase all of the businesses. It started with five hundred or so people and twenty five years later it has grown to include over 30 acts over two days.

Country music superstar Jake Owen (who toured this summer with Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw on the Brothers of the Sun tour) is the festival  headliner and hip hop pioneer MC Hammer and rap artist Vanilla Ice are also set to perform.

On Saturday, there is Southern rock from Parmalee. Hard rocking blues guitarist Wes Jeans is also set to play.  Hailing from a small East Texas town, Jeans  counts Jimi Hendrix and ZZ Top among his musical influences  and has shared the stage with musical greats such as B.B. King and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Other musicians on Saturday’s lineup include Kayla Reeves, who is coming off a tour with Wes Jeans,  country musician Frank Foster, and Arizona infused  Red Dirt Country from Moonshine Mafia.

The Friday night line-up features old school rap from both Hammer and Ice, who are set to share a stage. Hammer, aka Stanley Kirk Burrell, is a well known musician from the 80s-90s, for such hit songs like “U Can’t Touch This.” Remember Hammer pants? Hammer is considered a pioneer of pop rap and is the first hip hop artist to achieve diamond status for an album. He also had a reality show called Hammertime on the A&E Network in 2009.

Joining MC Hammer on stage will be Vanilla Ice , aka Robert Matthew Van Winkle.  Also a star from the 90s, his single Ice Ice Baby was the first hip hop single to top the Billboard charts. These days, folks can catch Van Winkle on his show The Vanilla Ice Project on the  DIY Network/HGTV Network.

As for tickets, here is the rundown:

Friday, October 5th General Admission Wristband: $20
Friday, October 5th General Admission Wristband with Pit Pass: $30

Saturday, October 6th General Admission Wristband: $20
Saturday, October 6th General Admission Wristband with Pit Pass: $30

Discount Weekend Pass: $30 (Includes General Admission Wristbands for both October 5 and 6)

Discount Weekend Pass $50 (Includes General Admission Wristbands and Pit Passes for both October 5 and  6)

Friday, October 5: Pit Pass $10
Saturday, October 6: Pit Pass $10

Of note, Pit Passes must be accompanied by a General Admission Wristband. The pass and wristband provide access to a barricaded, standing room only area directly in front of the stage.

Over the weekend, there will be events going on around the music including a BMX stunt show and a Kid’s World area. For more details on the festival and a complete schedule line-up, check out