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Music Reigns in El Dorado during MusicFest XXI

September 19, 2008

Zoie Clift, travel writer
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

South Arkansas’s largest outdoor music event will take place Oct. 3-4 at MusicFest El Dorado. Five stages will host over 30 acts during the festival. Everything from hip-hop, blues, rock, and country will be featured over the weekend.

“We are celebrating MusicFest XXI this year,“ said Mark Givens, Executive Director of Main Street El Dorado. “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 years later, it has grown to attract 15-20,000 people per year.”

This year’s lineup is set to be the largest yet.

“Aside from Kenny Wayne Shepherd, John Anderson and Shooter Jennings, I would tell you to be sure to catch Malina Moye’s act,” Givens said. “She charted at #11 on the Billboard R&B Charts in 2004 and she is incredible. I’m looking forward to seeing my old friend Adam Hood’s show as well as Mando Saenz. Mando’s latest record spent a few weeks at #8 on the Americana Chart. We have something for everyone including 607, one of the South’s hottest young rap acts. Reckless Kelly is one my personal favorite bands and I’m glad we finally got them on the schedule.”

Givens had some advice to share for first timers to the event.

“Scout out a place close to the Main Stage to ensure getting up close and personal with the headliners, “ he said. “The huge push of people comes around 6:30-7:00 so you need to arrive early and enjoy everything.”

For the first time this year the festival, which was recently named Festival of the Year by the Arkansas Festival & Events Association, will have video screens in place to help showcase the musicians. “The crowds have increased to where we need to offer everyone in attendance a good view,” said Givens. “I can’t wait to see Shooter Jennings on the big screens in downtown El Dorado.”

Over the weekend, there will be events going on around the music including a BMX stunt show, a 5K run, and magic shows. Tickets are $15/day for adults, and $5 for ages 6-12. Weekend passes are also available (until Oct. 2) for $20. For more information on the event and musicians call Main Street El Dorado at 870-862-4747 or go to


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