River Festival Entertainment Announced

Salina Arts & Humanities have released details of some of the entertainment for the 2023 Smoky Hill River Festival. 

According to the organization,   Salina’s epic arts party will feature a variety of fresh and exciting musical entertainment throughout Oakdale Park for the 47th annual Smoky Hill River Festival.

“Entertainment will feature an eclectic group of performers this year. Festival goers will hear a variety of genres including country, rock, soul, indie, and innovative fusion groups,” says Festival entertainment coordinator Sarah Keck. “We will see the return of some family-favorites and experience the largest number of new main stage performers to the Festival in recent years. Attendees will get to enjoy both familiar and new sounds across the park,” she said.

Main stage acts announced for the 2023 Smoky Hill River Festival include:


Paramount Friday Headliner

Traveling with amazing sound and light production, Paramount delivers a live experience of the decade called… “The Big 80s!”


Welshly ArmsSaturday Headliner

After dropping their anthemic single Legendary in 2017, the indie rock world was quickly introduced to Welshly Arms’ penchant for unleashing larger-than-life alt-rock bangers and spine-tingling live performances.


Howard Mahan & FriendsSunday Headliner

    • Fresh off the release of their second record, Marigold, Howard Mahan & Friends blends a variety of styles from roots blues to psychedelic rock. 





Other acts include:

  • Barnaby Bright
    • Becky and Nathan Bliss make up the critically-acclaimed group Barnaby Bright and have accumulated a dedicated following that feeds on their ability to spin storytelling into sonic treasures.
  • Gabe Lee
    • Equal parts classic songwriter and modern-day storyteller, Gabe Lee has built his own bridge between country, folk, and rock over the course of three acclaimed albums.
  • King Margo
    • Two lifelong musicians who met in Nashville, TN when they were hired for the same touring band. They are known for their blend of high-energy musicianship, thoughtful lyrics, and soaring harmonies.
  • Splatt
    • Kansas City’s newest brass innovation. A collaborative pairing of vocalist/trombonists Kadesh Flow and Trevor Turla, Splatt blends soul, hip hop, jazz, and funk together to generate a powerful, trombone-fronted musical experience. 
  • The Freedom Affair
    • The Freedom Affair is a 9-piece soul juggernaut. The band formed in 2017 with a vision to write original soul music inspired by the traditions of the genre’s past with a universal message looking toward the future.
  • Caitlin Krisko & The Broadcast
    • Known for her soaring vocal performances, this group is a powerhouse soul rock band hailing from Asheville, North Carolina. 
  • Making Movies
    • A band that makes American music with an asterisk: because Making Movies’ sound encompasses the entirety of the Americas. It’s through this broader perspective that Making Movies crunches classic rock into Latin American rhythms — African-derived percussion and styles like rumba, merengue, mambo, and cumbia — in a way that feels oddly familiar, yet delivers the invigorating chills of hearing something singularly special.  
  • Candice Hill Band
    • An eclectic group highlighting the unique sounds of steelpan (also known as steel drum), mixed with guitars, vocals, bass, and percussion. The band entertains listeners with styles from calypso music, latin jazz, soca, pop, reggae and more.
  • Rudy Love Jr. & The Encore
    • A singer/songwriter/keyboardist with deep musical DNA, Rudy Love Jr. has developed a distinctive voice, giving his all with every performance. Rudy Love Jr. & The Encore provide a seamless blend of R&B, soul, funk, pop, and rock to the Festival mainstages.



In addition, Arty’s Stage and roving entertainers have been announced on social media and on riverfestival.com.

Included on the roster is Latin Grammy-winning music duo 123 Andrés. Their catchy songs and lively performances get the whole family dancing, singing, and learning! These high-energy, joyful shows celebrate the Latinx experience and incorporate Spanish, English, and ASL languages. The entire entertainment roster will be available later this spring. 

Scheduled for Thursday to Sunday, June 8-11 in Oakdale Park, River Festival 2023 will celebrate this unique and beloved arts festival. Advance-price admission wristbands cost $15 for four days, available for purchase Monday, May 1 through Tuesday, June 6. After June 6, 4-day wristbands will be available at the gate for $20 as well as $10 daily wristbands, sold only at the gate. Children 11 and under get in free. 

Visit riverfestival.com or Facebook.com/SHRiverFestival for details. For information on how to sponsor or volunteer at the Festival, call 785-309-5770 or contact [email protected].