RibFest ending after 20 years

Jan. 10, 2018

SMG Sioux Falls, managers of the Denny Sanford Premier Center, Orpheum Theater Center and Sioux Falls Stadium, will no longer produce the annual RibFest event.

“RibFest enjoyed many successes over the past 20 years thanks to the thousands of patrons who attended, the incredible rib vendors from across the country, strong sponsor support and the tireless effort of our staff. While it was a difficult decision to make, we are pleased that the event provided many great memories over the past two decades for the region,” said Terry Torkildson, general manager of SMG Sioux Falls.

SMG details decision to cut RibFest: ‘It’s not something we took lightly.’

RibFest began in the “backyard” of the Sioux Falls Arena in 1998. It featured a small number of rib vendors and local and regional musicians. Gradually, the event grew as national bands were booked for concerts and national rib vendors competed for the coveted People’s Choice award.

Local favorite Kory and the Fireflies was an early staple on the concert lineup. Over the years, many national acts took part in the annual “kickoff to summer,” including .38 Special, Loverboy, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Joan Jett, Kansas, Survivor, Soul Asylum, Night Ranger and in recent years Rick Springfield, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bush and Cheap Trick.

In 2014, RibFest moved to the W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds. That year saw RibFest’s largest attendance with 47,000 people. Starting in 2015, RibFest was produced in partnership with Pepper Entertainment.

“The entertainment landscape has continued to expand over recent years with the opening of Denny Sanford Premier Center, The District and soon-to-be Levitt Shell,” Torkildson explained. “SMG is refocusing its resources and efforts to managing and producing events in the venues it manages in Sioux Falls.”


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RibFest ending after 20 years

SMG Sioux Falls will no longer produce the annual RibFest event in Sioux Falls.

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