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Final Plans Set for 2019 Johnny Cash Heritage Festival


JONESBORO – Fans of legendary singer/songwriter Johnny Cash will begin to migrate to Dyess this week to attend the three-day 2019 Johnny Cash Heritage Festival, Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 17-19. The event, which starts with symposium speakers and concludes with the cotton field concert, is the third festival to be held at the Dyess Colony and the Cash boyhood home.

To accommodate visitors, here is some pertinent information regarding the festival:

Festival tickets may still be purchased at the Arkansas State University Box Office, First National Bank Arena (lower red entrance), 217 Olympic Drive. To purchase online tickets or learn more about the festival, visit the festival website, JohnnyCashHeritageFestival.com. Click on “Main Concert” for tickets for the Saturday cotton field concert. Ticket prices are $35 plus applicable fees for general admission; $100 plus applicable fees for reserved chair seating. They can also be purchased at the concert entrance on Saturday.

Tickets for the Friday afternoon “Titans of Filmmaking” special presentations hosted by Rosanne Cash may be purchased by clicking on “Special Presentations” on the festival website or contact the box office at (870) 972-2781 or (800) 745-3000. Tickets are $15. 

Thursday and Friday morning activities, including public presentations during the day, starting at 9 a.m. each day and KASU Music Nights beginning at 5 p.m. each night, will take place at the Dyess Colony Circle. Admittance to all of these events is free. The symposium involves speakers and presentations addressing the theme, “Our Musical Genealogy: Country Music and the American Experience.” KASU Music Nights features eight local and area bands who will provide music each hour.

Titans of Filmmaking is Friday beginning at 1:30 p.m. in the Dyess Community Center and showcases a trio of presenters, including author/editor/Grammy winner William Ferris, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Thom Zimny and documentary producer Pam Tubridy Baucom.

Additional activities on Thursday and Friday are tours of the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, Dyess Colony Circle exhibits, Dyess Colony Visitors Center gift shop and Memories of a Lifetime Project. The memories project invites former Dyess colonists and others who have memories of the Great Depression and the New Deal to have their stories videotaped, as well as share photos and documents that can be digitized and returned. Materials gained through this project will be incorporated into interpretive formats that will deepen the level of understanding of this historic site and the New Deal era. Dr. Michael Bowman (A-State Media) and Dr. Ed Salo (A-State Heritage Studies) will be available for videotaping this oral history throughout the festival. Contact the Dyess Visitor Center, 870-764-2274, to make an appointment for Thursday or Friday, Oct. 17 and 18. If you are unable to make either of these dates and have information that would be beneficial to the project, contact Aimie Michelle Taylor, curator, at the Dyess Visitor Center.

Saturday afternoon concert event, featuring artists Rosanne Cash, Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, Cory Jackson, Joanne Cash, and Cash family representatives is at the former cotton field adjacent to the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, with gates opening at 11 a.m. Jackson will open the performances at noon, followed by Cash family members. Headline performers Rosanne and Stuart will conclude the concert around 5 p.m.

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. (Parking passes cannot be purchased online.) Passes, along with a parking map, directions and instructions, can be picked up at the Central Box Office.

General parking for Thursday and Friday events at the festival is free.  Parking for the Saturday concert is designated at the Dyess Community Center ($10 fee), located on S.H. 297 (Johnny Cash Highway) between Elm and Fourth streets. Attendees will be shuttled to the concert location. Parking for $100 ticket holders is off S.H. 77 at County Road 924.

ATM Machines: ATM machines will be at the festival site. Food and other purchases are by cash only.

To ensure that all guests have a safe and memorable experience, the following are not allowed inside the field concert area: smoking, alcohol, outside food or beverages (available at concession stands), professional cameras and audio/video recording equipment (without prior approval) and all weapons (unless authorized by law or university policy.)

All guests must follow the A-State clear bag policy. Items that are not permitted cannot be stored by JCHF staff. Prohibited bags and items cannot be placed in a clear bag to gain entry. Clear bags should be no larger than 12” x 6” x 12,” or clear plastic storage bags should be a resealable one-gallon size. Clutch purses no larger than 4.5” x 6.5” are admissible.

The festival is coordinated through Arkansas State University Heritage Sites and licensed through the John R. Cash Revocable Trust.


Johnny Cash