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Elsewhere Fest: A Worldly Experience in our Backyard

Coming to downtown Wichita this weekend, Elsewhere Fest is taking over several blocks from Second Street to William Avenue and between Emporia Avenue and the railroad tracks. With headliners like Killer Mike, Steve Aoki, Lane 8 and Vince Staples this two-day event is drawing regional and national attention. But there’s so much more to this festival than you may see at first glance.

Jessie Hartke, co-owner of WAVE, one of the creative minds behind Midtopia and now bringing national attention to Wichita via Elsewhere Fest, answers some of our questions about the scope, impact and experience that is this worldly event.

Why did you want to create this event in Wichita?

An event like this is something that has been lacking from the Wichita event landscape. So many people and organizations have worked tirelessly for years to create a thriving music and arts scene in the city; we wanted to work together to allow as many of those individuals to have moments to shine and provide this gift for our community.

Who all is involved in creating this event and what have they brought to the process?

We've been lucky enough to connect with other folks who saw this same need and we've combined efforts with several amazing local, national and international partners to make this happen. We're working with local music venues like Wave, Barleycorn's and Norton's Brewing Company. Harvester Arts has activated countless visual artists such as Lisa Rundstrum, Aaron Asis, MFDynamics, Mulberry Gallery, GLeo, Smack Dab Dance labs and so many others to bring that element to life.

In terms of the conference, Greater Wichita Partnership is partnering with us to allow space for one-on-one meetings with industry workers so local artists and workers can learn more about their craft. Norton's Brewing is the home of the conference element of this event, where we will have speakers. 1 Million Strong is hosting a sober safe space tent where ticket holders can lounge about and enjoy some craft mocktails. The Phoenix is hosting a block party. And this is just scratching the surface! So many folks have contributed time and ideas and hard work to make this festival something truly amazing and unprecedented in Wichita.

Below is an example of local artwork being incorporated into one of the event's outdoor spaces.

What is the reason behind not only just a concert but a hosting a conference element as well?

The music industry has historically seen large amounts of gatekeeping so knowledge for personal and career growth could be hard to come by–especially in a smaller market like Wichita. We're working to change that. This conference is geared toward breaking down barriers allowing artists and music workers to become a few steps closer to achieving their full potential.

How has creating a global artistic network based out of Wichita come into play for such an experience?

It was an easy lift; Wichita is already a city with strong international bonds. It was another exciting element of planning this festival–working with people from across the globe who are already excited about Wichita and increasing their bonds to our city!

What made you want to incorporate both audible and visual artists?

Our Wichita community is rife with creativity in both the musical and visual art arenas. I can't imagine creating an event like this without highlighting both!

Who do you hope attends this event and why?

We have planned this event to pique the interest of folks from all walks of life. We have musical acts from a variety of genres to appeal to a wide range of listeners. Exciting visual art elements are scattered throughout the footprint. There's an amazing variety of food vendors ready to feed the masses. And for those who want to participate but might not want to spend $59 on a pass, the Naftzger Park stage is free to the public!

What does it mean to have such big and upcoming names within the industry sharing their insights and knowledge IN Wichita?

This is an incredibly exciting moment. We've worked for years to put Wichita on the map in terms of bringing relevant and upcoming artists and we're finally there! I'm incredibly grateful that our community has the opportunity to break down the barriers that have historically stood in their way of gaining knowledge to elevate their crafts while enjoying stellar music and visual arts!

At the end of the day, what is the feeling or thought you want attendees to walk away with?

I hope this is a transformational experience for all those who participate in the festival. This is a chance for Wichita to have experiences that change how they view the world around them, through music, visual arts and community.

- Jessie Hartke

Compared to Coachella, Lollapalooza, or even a single concert ticket to watch chart-topping artists, this event packs a punch for the cost of admission. Day passes start at $59 or take your experience to the next level with a VIP Two-Day Pass for $199.

Explore the event and get your tickets today at

Vince Staples

Killer Mike

Steve Aoki

Lane 8


Le Youth

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