AMMPlify Fest roars in with music April 27, goes out softly with art April 28

AMMPlify Fest roars in with music April 27, goes out softly with art April 28

April comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. In the same way, AMMPlify Fest will start with a bang and go out with a splash of color.

The festival returns to Mount Sequoyah April 27-28 and is the biggest event put on by the “mentees” of the 18-month Arts and Music Mentorship Program and Festival.

AMMPlify was founded last year by Roger Barrett and Leigh Wood. Its intention was to create opportunities for local people to develop new skills by producing an arts and music festival on the campus of Mount Sequoyah, in addition to other hands-on projects like organizing art classes, setting up individual concerts and even creating media and branding to promote the events. All of it was to take place at the direction of mentors Julia Paganelli Marin in media, Raif Box in music and Dea Self in visual arts.

Marin explains that “Rite of Spring” alludes both to Stravinsky and the thunderstorms rolling into Fayetteville alongside blooming daffodils and redbud trees during the springtime. It also tells the story of this year’s festival, which will come in heavy and go out light.

Bringing the thunder are local heavy bands Obliviate, Mud Lung, The Salesman, Always Tired, Chronowizard and Pyrocratic, who start playing at 6 p.m. April 27 in the Dining Hall at Mount Sequoyah for the all-ages and completely free show.

Box says that since he’s been a part of the heavier side of the music scene, he’s looking forward to promoting some of the same bands that he’s played alongside in his decades here in Northwest Arkansas. Besides, hardcore shows — especially ones open to all ages — don’t occur often in Northwest Arkansas.

There will also be resources and vendors available during the Saturday evening concert to connect with local creatives.

“I like to call it a live music and community connection event because we’re going to have some awesome sponsors,” says Box.

The evening will be similar to last year’s Anvil Fest hosted by Box as a fundraiser for Holy Anvil Recording Company, which creates free videos for local and regional bands. The three-day festival featured a room full of vendors including local record labels, merch makers and others looking to build connections in the local music community.

Box says that aim has carried over to his work with AMMPlify.

“Hopefully aspiring creatives and musicians will be able to network and make connections with people that can help them grow in their practice. That’s really the main point of AMMPlify.”

He says that there will be some new faces at the information tables including Northwest Arkansas Musicians Connection, which connects musicians with education, employment and emergency medical assistance when needed, and The Sound Collaborative, a local nonprofit that helps musicians of all genres play, record, rehearse and collaborate together.

After the thunderstorm part of the festival come the pretty flowers, when the Dining Hall is transformed into an art sale starting at 11 a.m. the next day.

Art mentor Dea Self explains that the art will be “attainable, accessible artwork” and priced at less than $100. During the art sale from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mount Sequoyah will sell food and beverages while DJ Sam Houser spins some vibes and several local artists will be onsite and selling their work.

“If you find something that you like, you’re able to talk to the artists that made it and kind of connect with it more,” Self adds.

Visitors may also get a sneak peek of the Rite of Spring art show opening May 3 at Mount Sequoyah Hall. Self says that folks who come to the art sale can go by there and check it out before it opens to the public.

Admission to the AMMPlify Fest is free, courtesy of the Bridging and Belonging grant program created by the Walmart Foundation. VIP Tickets for the April 27 shows are available for $25 and include a lounge with complimentary snacks and a private restroom in Sequoyah Hall from 6-10 p.m.


AMMPLify Fest

WHAT — A free, all ages, two-day arts and music festival featuring music from local heavy bands and an art sale with art work made by local artists and priced at less than $100.

WHEN — Music starts at 6 p.m. April 27; art sale 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 28

WHERE — Dining Hall at Mount Sequoyah Center in Fayetteville


NEXT UP — Hophaus Presents DJ Girlfriend, stepmom, ROCKELLE, Modeling and Susie Q at 8:30 p.m. May 24 at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville. Tickets are $15-$20.



Rite of Spring Art Sale

Selling their wares will be Brian and Kim Abel, Shay Holloway, Dandy Lynn, Vaughn Mims, Jessie N. Ward, Bekah Schneider, Jason and Genevieve Rich, Andria Morris, Stevie Petet, Kaden Fitzgerald, Erin Kent, Annie Simon, Shelby Fleming, Serena Caffrey, Aaron Giles, and more may be added. AMMPlify 2024 visual arts mentees included Greta Kresse, Ellie Boyd, Rachel Bernstein, Shelby Fleming and Erin Kent.

Categories: Cover Story