Axios Northwest Arkansas

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We made it to Friday.

  • πŸ‘ Clap, clap β€” the weekend is upon us!

β˜€οΈ Sunny today with highs around 70.

πŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to our Axios NW Arkansas member Amanda Earhart!

Today's newsletter is 896 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: NWA musicians start venue, festival

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

If you show up to NWA's newest music festival and don't know anyone, you will by the time you leave. At least, that's what organizers want.

State of play: Fayetteville musicians and husband-wife Dana Louise Idlet and Noah Richmond are ready to debut Old Friend Farms and the Old Friends Music Festival.

The intrigue: The Old Friends lineup features artists of various genres from NWA and around the country. The goal is to keep it intimate β€” only about 300 tickets will be sold β€” and for artists to meet each other and connect.

  • The idea is to "blur lines between performer and festivalgoer," Richmond told Axios. "We want everyone to feel like both a little bit."
  • The three-day event May 24-26 includes two nights of camping. It's an unplugged, cash-only, kid-friendly festival with workshops and other activities.

How it happened: Idlet and Richmond bought 120 acres just south of Prairie Grove and spent four years developing it, even living in a van on the land for a while. The festival, however, came together pretty quickly.

  • "Anyone we started talking to about it wanted to be involved somehow, and it's just been impossible to say no to all the goodness coming our direction," Idlet said.

Zoom out: Beyond the festival dates, Old Friend Farms will regularly host concerts, trail-building days, nature walks and weddings.

  • Similar to the vibe of the festival, concerts at Old Friend Farms will be curated "listening experiences" without so much separation between musicians onstage and an audience, Idlet said.

If you go: Get festival tickets and check out non-festival events.

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2. Arkansas' abortion law puts congressional candidate's life at risk

Congressional candidate Caitlin Draper holds an image of her fertilized egg shortly after learning she was pregnant. Photo: Courtesy of Caitlin Draper

Caitlin Draper's pregnancy is not viable and potentially endangers her life.

  • The Fayetteville Democratic nominee for the state's 3rd Congressional District said it's not clear if she can abort the pregnancy under Arkansas law.
  • "The doctor's response was, 'You should be OK [to have the procedure],'" Draper said β€” a gray area in which she's not comfortable resting her life.

Why it matters: Draper's situation highlights concerns that lack of explicit definitions and legal precedent, combined with a patchwork of state laws, could result in inadequate care that leaves women unable to have another pregnancy, or even death.

State of play: Arkansas law currently bans abortion in all cases except to save the life of the mother in a medical emergency.

  • There are no exceptions for rape or incest.
  • Yes, but: The law carves out acts to save the life or preserve the health of an unborn child, removal of a dead unborn child and removal of an ectopic pregnancy by not defining them as an abortion.

Doctors performing an abortion could be fined up to $100,000, face 10 years in prison or both.

Context: Draper and her husband started in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments about three years ago, she told Axios.

What she's saying: Draper decided to speak publicly about her personal situation to draw attention to women's health care issues and how state law impacts those who want children.

  • "I'm resourced; I'm married; I have insurance," Draper said Tuesday to a group in Eureka Springs.
  • "I can travel to another state, but there are women that can't. So it feels horrible to live in a state where your life is at risk all the time. And I'm just desperately trying to have a baby."

What's next: If she doesn't miscarry by today, she'll return to her doctor and they'll make a plan, Draper said.

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3. Kitchen Sink: News facets

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

πŸ—οΈ Administrators at the University of Arkansas' main campus in Fayetteville are set to reveal plans for new dormitories, which would add 1,200-1,400 beds, during the May meeting of the UA board of trustees. (Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette)

🚿 A water conservation alert for Bentonville is lifted after repairs were made to the 48-inch main water line that broke April 2. (KNWA-TV)

🏠 Fayetteville residents who want to serve on the city's housing crisis task force are invited to submit a letter of interest by April 30. (City of Fayetteville)

πŸ” On the first day of the fiscal session, Arkansas lawmakers filed several bills aimed at making regulations for excessive noise and electricity usage by crypto mining businesses. (Arkansas Democrat Gazette)

4. Quote du jour: Coach Cal

John Calipari (right) and athletic director Hunter Yurachek pose as the former Kentucky coach is introduced as the new Razorbacks head coach during a public news conference Wednesday. Photo: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

"Chancellor Robinson, I think we made the right choice."

β€” Hunter Yurachek, athletic director for the University of Arkansas, as he introduced John Calipari as the new basketball head coach before a hyped crowd at Bud Walton Arena

5. Your weekend plans

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

πŸ› Shop vintage β€”Β You can shop art, clothing and jewelry at the three-day Vintage Market Days at the Benton County Fairgrounds. Hours are 10am-5pm today, 9:30am-5pm Saturday and 10am-4pm Sunday.

πŸ— HogTown Pregame Street Festival β€” Razorback athletics will host a free community festival Saturday morning ahead of the football team's Red-White spring scrimmage.

  • The event includes live music, food vendors, a petting zoo, pony rides, a pep rally and a yoga session. Hours are 9am-noon at Lot 44 on the north side of the Frank Broyles Athletic Center.

🌽 Bentonville Farmers Market β€”Β It's opening day of the season Saturday morning at the downtown square. Shop offerings from more than 100 local farmers.

Thanks to Fadel Allassan for editing and James Gilzow for copy editing this newsletter.

🎟 Alex managed to get Glass Animals tickets for the Walmart AMP.

🎧 Worth is listening to Glass Animals for the first time.