Johnny Cash Heritage Festival

OCTOBER 18-20, 2018

This three-day festival honors Johnny Cash and the New Deal programs that shaped his childhood in Dyess, the nation’s largest agricultural resettlement colony.  The event includes regional music, public presentations, food and craft vendors, demonstrations, and tours, culminating in a world-class music concert in the cotton fields surrounding the Cash home.

50th Anniversary Performance

This year’s closing concert, from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20, features a tribute to the 1968 Johnny Cash Show tours. This banner year for Johnny Cash led the following year to a television show that brought him into millions of households. Hosted by producer/performer John Carter Cash, the performance features award-winning singer/songwriter Jamey Johnson and Grammy record-holder Alison Krauss, along with Ana Cristina Cash, Suzanne Cox, Heather Berry Mabe, Ira Dean, and others.

Tickets Now On Sale

Events Thursday and Friday in the Dyess Colony Circle are free. Tickets for the main concert on Saturday are available at the Central Box Office on the A-State campus (Lower Red Entrance), 870-972-2781 or 800-745-3000. Ticket prices are $100 plus applicable fees for reserved chair seating and $35 plus applicable fees for general admission.

A limited number of parking passes for the field adjacent to the concert are available to $100 ticket purchasers for $50 until spaces run out. They can be purchased by contacting the Central Box Office at the above numbers. (Parking passes cannot be purchased online.) Passes will be mailed out, along with a parking map, directions and instructions .

John Carter Cash


Fifty years ago, my father Johnny Cash was in the midst of an undeniable prime. Yearly, Dad wrote a letter to himself on December 31, a letter of self-appraisal, looking back on the good and bad. In the letter at the end of 1968, he proclaimed it to be one of the most important and defining years of his life.

In January of that year, he recorded the multi-platinum awarded album “Live at Folsom Prison”. At the end of February, he and my mother June Carter Cash won the Grammy for best country duo performance for their recording of “Jackson”. Just a few days later, in a quaint country church, they were wed. It was that year that dad’s longtime guitar player Luther Perkins passed away in a tragic accident. Not long following, dear friend and coworker Carl Perkins joined him on stage for many shows. He traveled around the world that year, visiting the Holy Land, Great Britain, and all over the United States, performing for hundreds of thousands of enthralled fans. With very little left out, there is no year which greater defines my father’s life, love, career and creative spirit than 1968.

Now, fifty years past, I have gone over set lists and song choices of the shows from his performances. Working with award winning artists Alison Krauss and Jamey Johnson, we have crafted a show from these sequenced performances. Jamey will sing my father’s songs, and Alison will musically represent my mother, June Carter Cash. Each person on the shows from 1968 will be represented on stage, including the Tennessee Three, Carl Perkins, Mother Maybelle Carter and the Carter Sisters. Now, the music of Johnny Cash will return to Arkansas, to the roots of Dad’s very creative soul, to his home place, in Dyess.

This is an unprecedented opportunity for any lover of great music to first experience a unique creation, performed by leading artists in a way that has never been done before.

Come join my family and me in North East Arkansas to celebrate on the weekend of October 19 and 20th, 2018. Appearing as part of the show Saturday the 20th are three-time Grammy winning artist Bill Miller, and award-winning songwriter and performer Shawn Camp, Heather Berry Mabe, Suzanne Cox, Ana Cristina Cash, Ira Dean, and others. I look forward to seeing you there.


It’s a very moving experience and a thrill to sing in that field where my father picked that cotton, next to the house he grew up in, and where he drew inspiration for all those Southern ballads he wrote of hard work and family, radio and coal oil lamps. — Rosanne Cash