AMP Fest: An Evening of Music, Beer & Technology Activations


By Kody Ford

The Walton Arts Center works year-round to bring visual and performing arts to the Northwest Arkansas community. But such a tremendous undertaking costs money, and a lot of it.

Three years ago, the organization’s Corporate Leadership Council, an advisory group of local business leaders working to integrate the arts into classrooms regionally, launched AMP Fest, an evening of music, beer and technology activations. This fantastic event returns to Northwest Arkansas on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, from 4 to 9 p.m., at the Walmart AMP.

“[The Corporate Leadership Council] wanted to create an eent that would appeal to a young professional demographic,” says Taylor Speegle, director of corporate relations at the WAC. “After doing some research, we identified that our target audience was very interested in live music, craft beers and technology. So, we created AMP Fest to be a fundraising event that encompassed all of those elements.”

In 2017, AMP Fest raised approximately $83,000 that was used to improve classroom learning through arts integration and inspire more than 40,000 students, teachers and families in the region by connecting them to free or low-cost performing and visual arts programs through the WAC.

people at tent with beer

Funds raised through AMP Fest support arts integration and education programs, including the Arts with Education Institute and SmART Residency program, which educates teachers on how to integrate arts-based teaching into the classroom. These funds have also been used to produce and present the Arkansas History Through the Arts production Digging Up Arkansas to schoolchildren in every county in the state, bring youngsters to free or low-cost performances at the WAC through the Colgate Classroom Series and take those Colgate artists and performers to schools. On average, 27,000 children and teachers attend shows annually.

During this third annual event, look for music by local favorites such as Dazz & Brie, Goose and The Mixtapes. The WAC is also partnering with Bike Rack Records to program the back stage with Jamie Lou & the Hullabaloo, Will Gunselman, Kevin Kiehn and The Silver Linings. Crews from the Fayetteville Roots Festival will be programming the acoustic stage. More than 15 local and regional breweries will be in attendance, including Bike Rack, Bentonville Brewing, Flyway Brewing, Lost Forty Brewing, JJ’s Brewing Co. and Yuengling.

Speegle says he’s excited about the third annual fundraiser and feels the public will be too.

Local favorite Goose is among the lineup of bands to perform at AMP Fest.

“AMP Fest gives live-music fans the opportunity to experience the Walmart AMP in a new way,” he says. “We activate the entire space, including a stage and listening lounge that’s actually on the Walmart AMP stage and another performance stage placed on the backlot of the venue. We have an AMP Fest app that rewards participants as they move through the venue and check in at different spaces, to help make sure patrons don’t miss anything that’s going on. We also have great technology partners that will be activating some really fun and interesting tech elements throughout the venue.”

Some of the AMP Fest tech activations include a virtual reality biking experience and a 360-photo booth from Samsung Gear, a virtual reality sports experience and Razorback game lounge from Cox and PlayStation virtual reality, as well.

Tickets are $45 and include a 5-ounce glass for unlimited beer sampling and access to all on-site activations. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $90 and include an 8-ounce glass for sampling, access to the VIP tent with free appetizers and a sampling of exclusive brews from several breweries from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the Walmart AMP Box Office in Rogers, Walton Arts Center Box Office in Fayetteville, by calling 479.443.5600 or visiting



Tickets Now On Sale for Walton Arts Center’s 2018-19 Season. Click here.

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