(DT Photo/Corey Clairday)
John Carter Cash was on hand at Arkansas State University last week along with ASU officials to announce the lineup for this year's festival. Tickets went on sale last Friday.
"We have a smaller group of talent this year. It will be a different kind of show," he said.
The talent lineup will include: Johnny's daughter Rosanne Cash; living legend Willie Nelson, a longtime friend of Johnny Cash and his family; country music star Dierks Bentley, and Grammy Award-winning duo The Civil Wars.
Cash said the performers all care about his father, the late Johnny Cash, and about seeing the restoration of his family home at Dyess. All proceeds from the concert will go to fund the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home Project.
"We hope to continue this for years and years to come," Cash said. "It's a blessing to see how far this project has come. I'm going to Dyess to see the house this afternoon. Since I came here three years ago, I've kept coming back, and it's the people that are the reason."
Ron Rhodes, Chairman of the ASU Board of Trustees, said last year's concert was one of the best he has attended.
"We (the board members) went to Dyess and saw firsthand the effect this project has had," Rhodes said. "That showed us the impact this project and ASU's interest in the project has had on that community."
A total of $1.4 million has already been raised for the project, which includes $1 million in grants from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council, $300,000 in proceeds from the first Johnny Cash Music Festival, $50,000 in state funds, and $50,000 in private funds.
Restoration of the Cash Home is underway, the exterior of the Administration Building for Dyess Colony has been restored, and work is proceeding on the interior, which will house museum exhibits related to the history of Dyess, the Cash family as representative colonists and the impact of Dyess on Johnny Cash and his music.
The facade of the historic theater has been stabilized, and the building will eventually become a visitors center.
The first phase of the project, which includes opening the Cash Home and the Colony Center Administration Building to visitors, is expected to be completed by June 2013. Once it is completed, the project is expected to create 110 new jobs, infuse $9.8 million annually into the community, and bring in over 40,000 visitors a year.
Director of ASU Heritage Sites Dr. Ruth Hawkins said officials have been working together with people in Memphis who run such tourist spots as Sun Studios, Graceland and others to include the Cash Home on tours.
Dyess mayor Larry Sims said people from all over the world show up in Dyess all the time to see the Cash Home.
"It's just unbelievable the amount of people showing up by the day," Sims said. "It takes everyone to make this happen. I think we're on the right track."
Tickets for this year's music fest, scheduled for 7:30 p.m Friday, Oct. 5, at the ASU Convocation Center, are $150 for VIP tickets which include a preshow meet and greet, $75 for premium seats and $37.50 for the rest of the house.