The third annual Beatles at the Ridge music festival will take place Friday and Saturday, September 20 and 21, in downtown Walnut Ridge. The Beatles tribute band BritBeat and an expanded talent show are on tap this year, as well as the addition of a Friday night lineup. The festival is free to attend.

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Beatles at the Ridge has quickly become one of the fastest growing festivals in the southern United States, with a crowd estimated at over 10,000 attending last year. This year’s schedule includes an expanded variety of music, according to organizers.


The festival kicks off Sept. 20 with a performance by up and coming country music performer Lauren Richmond and her band Calamity at 6:00 p.m., followed by Arkansas-based rock band Fallen Within at 7:15 p.m. and with their unique blend of 60s Era British Rock music, Government Radio Factory will take the stage around 8:30. These groups will perform on the First National Bank Beatles Park Stage, on Abbey Road.


Also Friday night will be a presentation by world renowned author Jude Southerland Kessler. Her unique presentation “Lennon’s Liverpool” has never before shown in the southern United States and will be open to the public beginning at 7:30 in The Venue on Main Street, a block from the music stage. Her presentation will include rare photos of the Beatles and their early days.


The Nuttin’ But Talent show on Saturday will take place on the main stage this year; starting at 2 p.m. Entries will be judged in either a music or dance category. Cash prizes will be awarded in both categories and the winner of the musical talent division will have a chance to open for BritBeat, on Cavenaugh Chevrolet’s Rock n’ Roll Highway Stage.


The music lineup for Saturday afternoon has been expanded this year to include a legendary performance by Bucksnort Hill, followed by the Tennessee based band 2 Mule Plow, headlining the First National Bank Beatles Park Stage. Among 2 Mule Plow’s repertoire are Beatles tunes and early Rock n’ Roll set to bluegrass.


Cavenaugh Chevrolet’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Highway Stage lineup starts with JR Rogers and the All Stars at 4 p.m. Stan Perkins returns to the festival after a rousing performance last year. The son of rockabilly legend Carl Perkins takes the stage at 5 p.m. Sun Studios artist Sonny Burgess and the Legendary Pacers perform at 6 p.m., followed by Memphis rockabilly artists Stunning Cunning Band at 7:15.


Beatles tribute band, BritBeat takes the stage at 8:45 p.m. With mop tops, retro costumes, vintage instruments and harmonizing vocals, BritBeat will perform rocking Beatles’ hits from a variety of their albums.


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