Big Names to Perform in Small Town: 'We Are in The Middle of Nowhere'

El Dorado Concert Lineup Attracts Attention

EL DORADO, Ark. - A weekend, multi-concert event featuring big names in El Dorado has the town of 18,000 buzzing.

Signs and flyers pepper the city revealing concert performers such as ZZ Top, Train, Brad Paisley and Smokey Robinson all playing a part in the grand opening of the Murphy's Art District.

"We knew we had to come out swinging," Austin Barrow says. Barrow serves as the President and COO of the new art district.

"Not only do the artists not know us, but the people don't know us as well."

In fact, the names are so big and the town is so small, the Los Angeles Times turned the story into a headline.

"If you're trying to make a name for yourself, I think we've done a pretty good job," Barrow says.

A sign next to the main stage in the art district reads: No one used to know where Woodstock was either. One big question getting asked around town is: how do you get acts of that magnitude to come to town like El Dorado?

"Lots of money. Lots of phone calls. Lots of negotiation," Barrow says.

Barrow says he used to frequent Riverfest in Little Rock, which is no defunct. Many compare the capital city event to what El Dorado is trying to pull off this weekend. The south Arkansas town was once only known for oil.

"It is a place that still holds that history and we certainly reflect that history in the district that we've built," Barrow says. 

"But, it's time for our next act. It's time for our next feature."

It's a makeover in the making for a town that wants visitors to come see what the buzz is all about.

Concerts begin Thursday night and continue through Sunday across two different stages.


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