Bentonville planners OK updates for music, arts and technology event

BENTONVILLE -- The city Planning Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved amended conditional uses for a music, art and technology event in September.

FORMAT will be held Sept. 23-25, according to a news release about the event. FORMAT stands for For Music + Art + Technology.

The event property, 3100 Price Coffee Road, is made up of two parcels that span 170 acres, according to planning documents.

A conditional use permit is required by code for outdoor music venues, long-term temporary structures and temporary parking lots or construction staging yards, according to planning documents.

The Planning Commission unanimously approved conditional uses for the event in May. The conditional uses were for an outdoor music venue, for temporary use of buildings and for temporary parking and access areas for applicants Price Coffee LLC and Runway Group LLC.

Amendments include the removal of one vehicular bridge to the east of the lay-down area, additional areas for onsite lodging options, internal site exhibit areas being further defined, and the lay-down yard area and the shuttle access area changing in relation to the overall site layout. The parcel owned by Price Coffee LLC is not in the city limits. The event team requested that area be used for overnight lodging parking only, to facilitate easier access to people who are staying onsite, according to planning documents.

The current layout reflects a maximum 508 parking stalls. No site improvements are planned for the area, and parking will be done in a field in its current state. Event staff will oversee traffic movements and stall layout and will verify only people using lodging are able to park in the area, according to planning documents.

FORMAT will feature music performances by more than 50 artists, including Rufus Rüfüs Du Sol, Phoenix, Khruangbin, Beach House, The War On Drugs, Nile Rodgers & CHIC, The Flaming Lips, Jungle and Herbie Hancock, along with uniquely integrated performances, installations and art experiences from world-renowned artists including Doug Aitken, Nick Cave, Jacolby Satterwhite, Pia Camil, Marinella Senatore, assume vivid astro focus, Maurizio Cattelan's Toiletpaper Magazine, John Gerrard in collaboration with Richie Hawtin, Justin Lowe and Jonah Freeman, Sissel Tolaas, Charlap Hyman & Herrero and more, according to the release.

The festival will have traditional main and side stages for headlining acts, as well as several alternative settings where musicians will perform -- hidden forest enclaves, an open-air pavilion, a converted disco barn and a multiroom speakeasy, according to the release.

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