PortFest 2017 to Rock Downtown Newport

The new and exciting PortFest 2017 will be rocking a new and exciting location this year. For 2017, PortFest will be bring all of the fun and excitement of the festival to the streets of downtown Newport. “The PortFest planning committee recognized that flooding along the White River always has the potential to affect PortFest,” says Julie Allen, Executive Director of the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce. “Last year the group spent some time working on options to allow the festival to go on even when the river refuses to cooperate.” Downtown merchants are pitching in by adjusting business hours on June 9 and 10 so that the downtown area can be fenced off and PortFest can bring the activities and excitement into town.

PortFest will feature 14 tribute concerts that will last an hour and a half each. Also, six additional bands will play 20 minute sets during the Bandimonium, a battle of the bands, competing for cash prizes. Festival patrons will enjoy 20 bands and over 23 hours of music options during the two-day event.

The festival will feature the George’s of Newport/O’Connor Distributing Stage which will host tribute concerts to Taylor Swift, P!nk and Katy Perry on June 9 and tributes to Jimi Hendrix, Prince and Earth, Wind and Fire on June 10.

The M&P Bank/ASU-Newport Stage will feature tribute concerts to Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean on June 9 and tributes to Classic Rock of the 70’s and 80’s, One Hit Wonders of the 70’s, The Who, Elton John and KISS on June 10. The Bud Light US Air Guitar National Championships Qualifier will also be held on the M&P Bank/ASU-Newport Stage.

PortFest will feature a wind range of vendors located in different villages. Greenway Equipment is sponsoring the Agriculture Village and the Hunting and Fishing Village. Ritter Communications is sponsoring the Craft Village and All That I Am Books is sponsoring the Art Village. PortFest will continue to feature commercial vendors and great festival food venders in the Aramark Food Courts.

Saturday events include the Jackson’s Funeral Home Jerry Hulett Memorial Car, Truck and Bike Show, the Arkansas Steel Associates Children’s Village and the Newport Economic Development Commission HoopFest 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament. PortFest will conclude with the traditional Fireworks Extravaganza sponsored by Farmer’s Electric Cooperative and the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. Mize Heating and Air is sponsoring a pre-PortFest Golf Tournament on May 26th at the Newport Country Club.

Tickets to PortFest 2017 will be $20 per day or weekend passes can be purchased in advance for $30 for both days. Children 12 and under will be admitted free (one child with one paid adult). A limited number of VIP tickets will be available for $100 for the weekend. VIP tickets will include a VIP-only area, food, beverages and VIP only portapotties. To purchase tickets, contact the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce at 870-523-3618 or visit one of the ticket outlets including: All Star Music in Batesville, Jonesboro; All Star Sporting Goods in Paragould; Attention Medical Supply in Heber Springs; Backstreet Flowers and Gifts in Wynne and Harrisburg; Beautiful Noise Music in Searcy; Carter’s Corner in Jonesboro; IberiaBank in Newport; George’s Liquor Store in Newport; Merchants and Planters Bank in Newport, Batesville, McCrory, Newark, Southside, Tuckerman and Swifton; the Old River Package Store in Elgin; Regions Bank in Newport; and the Newport Area Chamber of Commerce.