Cash, Stuart to headline the 2019 Johnny Cash Heritage Festival

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Two Grammy Award winners will headline the benefit concert at the 2019 Johnny Cash Heritage Festival in the cotton field adjacent to the Cash Boyhood Home in Dyess. The festival is Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 17-19.

Acclaimed musicians Marty Stuart and Rosanne Cash will perform at the concert that will take place Saturday afternoon, Oct. 19, as the highlight of the three-day festival, themed “Legacy, Love and Music.”

“I am thrilled and delighted that for the third year in a row, the Johnny Cash Heritage Festival will be held on the grounds of the Boyhood Home in Dyess,” said Cash’s daughter Rosanne, who is hosting the event. “This exciting benefit event raises funds to continue our mission of bringing attention to the rich history of my father in the Arkansas Delta and the New Deal-era colony in which he was raised. This year I am honored to announce that legendary musician Marty Stuart will be joining me in headlining the culminating Saturday concert.”

Tickets for the concert will go on sale Monday, March 11, through the festival website, JohnnyCashHeritageFestival.com, or by contacting the Central Box Office in the Arkansas State University First National Bank Arena at the lower red entrance, 870-972-2781 or 800-745-3000.  

Ticket prices are $35 plus applicable fees for general admission; $100 plus applicable fees for reserved chair seating; and $200 plus applicable fees for a Full Circle Package (limited number available).  The Full Circle Package includes seating in a special reserved section for the concert, field parking adjacent to the concert, admission to ticketed Friday afternoon special presentations, and an invitation to a private Friday evening “suppertime stations” event with the Cash family.

A limited number of parking passes for the field adjacent to the concert are available to $100 ticket purchasers for $50 until spaces run out. They can be purchased by contacting the Central Box Office at the above numbers. (Parking passes cannot be purchased online.) Passes will be mailed out, along with a parking map, directions and instructions.

"People from all over the world make a pilgrimage to Dyess, Arkansas, to touch the earth, breathe the air and reach for the spirit of Johnny Cash,” noted Stuart. “Strangely enough, I've never been to Dyess. Therefore, I am honored to finally get to go to a place that means so much to me, stand alongside Rosanne, sing songs and tell stories that I have no doubt will be a part of me for the rest of my life."

After successful music events in Arkansas State University’s First National Bank Arena beginning in 2011, the benefit event was expanded to a three-day heritage festival in 2017 and moved to Dyess.  

 “We hope everyone will join us for the entire three days of this festival, which will include an academic symposium, regional evening music, special panels and speakers on Friday afternoon, and an outstanding Saturday afternoon of music and memories,” Rosanne said.  “I will be traveling to Dyess soon to make another major announcement about the additional renowned presenters and other performers who will be joining us on Friday and Saturday.”

The evening music on Thursday and Friday nights in the Dyess Circle, along with the presentations Thursday morning through noon Friday, will be free and open to the general public. Theme for this year’s academic symposium is “Our Musical Genealogy: Country Music and the American Experience.” The ticketed special presentations on Friday afternoon, moderated by Rosanne Cash, provide a new twist in the 2019 festival schedule. Speakers and ticket information for this event will be announced in April, along with the additional performers who will be joining Cash and Stuart on Saturday afternoon.

“Nearly a decade of hard restoration work by Arkansas State University, funded through previous concert proceeds, has paid off with the home’s elevation to the National Register of Historic Places in 2018,” Rosanne said. “I look forward to once again welcoming visitors from all across the world to the little patch of ‘gumbo soil’ in Dyess, Arkansas, to celebrate ‘Legacy, Love and Music.’” 

For tickets, to submit symposium proposals, or for additional festival information as it becomes available, go to JohnnyCashHeritageFestival.com. The festival is coordinated through Arkansas State University Heritage Sites and licensed through the John R. Cash Revocable Trust. 

Reed Watson