Fourteen music performers make up the full line-up for the virtual Johnny Cash Heritage Festival, according to officials of the Historic Dyess Colony: Johnny Cash Boyhood Home. The festival is scheduled to stream Oct. 15-16, and then be available on-demand for ticket holders for a week.
The event will feature an international slate of presenters and performers, including exclusive musical performances by some of the industry’s leading names.
The feature performance of the festival is the first-ever concert from inside the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home by Cash’s daughter, Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Rosanne Cash. In addition to her own performance, Cash has curated a series of exclusive performances by 14 other artists. The artists that are slated to perform will do so virtually and will not be at the Cash boyhood home, but his daughter will perform from the house. A VIP reception and watch party organized by KASU will be held that will feature local bands, according to information released by the ASU Heritage Sites.
“I am thrilled and delighted to return to Dyess to perform the first concert from the living room of my father’s boyhood home,” said Cash. “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 where he was raised. I am pleased to announce the other artists who will be joining the festival with exclusive performances of some of my father’s best-known songs.”
The artists joining Cash are Cedric Burnside, Jessica Coombs, Sheryl Crow, Rodney Crowell, Dailey & Vincent, Erin Enderlin, Vince Gill, Sarah Jarosz, Jamey Johnson, Keb’ Mo’, The Milk Carton Kids, Margo Price, Darius Rucker, and Chris Stapleton. The artists, representing a variety of strands of American music, are some of the most popular performers in the country.
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. This year’s festival will be the first to be held virtually.
“We couldn’t be more excited by this year’s line-up,” said festival director Dr. Adam Long. “We were disappointed to have to cancel last year’s festival, and we are thrilled to be able to revive the festival in this new format that creates a unique opportunity to involve a worldwide audience and an international slate of symposium speakers.”
The theme for this year’s academic symposium is “Social Justice in the Life and Music of Johnny Cash.” Sessions will highlight Johnny Cash’s work with prison reform and his advocacy of Native American rights in his album “Bitter Tears.” Another highlight will be a behind-the-scenes look at the installation of statues of Johnny Cash and civil rights leader Daisy Gatson Bates in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol.