What is PVDFest?

PVDFest is Providence’s free outdoor signature arts festival, happening September 8-10, 2023.

What time does everything start on Saturday? When is the best time to arrive?
PVDFest’s general hours of operation for each of the three main festival days are as follows.

Friday, September 8,  5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Saturday, September 9,  12:00 PM – 7:15 PM WaterFire 7:23 – 11:00 PM
Sunday, September 10,  12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

I'm a non-profit in Rhode Island and I'd love to have a booth or table at PVDFest. Is this possible?

PVDFest is a non-profit production that relies on charitable giving, grant support, and earned revenue to bring free art experiences to the public.  PVDFest does not offer space to nonprofits interested in soliciting information or advertising their services.

With over 60 businesses and organizations financially supporting the festival, and a crowded festival footprint, tabling opportunities are limited to our high-level sponsors only. 

What is the schedule of events? Where can I find more information about activities and who’s playing when and where?

The online schedule will be posted during the week of the festival. Artists’ schedules change and production often require shifts, so we want to make sure we give you all the correct info. Please check back on our home page for most recent information.

My friends are coming from out of town. What's the best way for them to reach the festival and where can they stay?

Residents and visitors are encouraged to utilize alternative modes of transportation to arrive at the festival. If you’re a cyclist or plan to take a scooter, you’ll just need to park your bike or scooter on the outskirts of the festival footprint. Riding inside the festival footprint is prohibited. If you prefer to drive in, there are parking garages throughout downtown Providence that are always available.

Travel between Newport and Providence is available through the Seastreak Ferry service, with complimentary shuttle bus service between the Providence train station, convention center, downtown and the Providence to Newport ferry terminal. For visitors using a rideshare service or taxi, the recommended drop off and pick up location is on 1 Kennedy Plaza, Providence RI 02903 and 1 Dorrance Street, Providence RI 02903. For more details on transportatin to and from PVDFest, click here.

We have a number of hotels in Providence who can offer accommodations for the festival. For more details, please visit: Go Providence!

I want a full experience at the festival. What’s the best way for me to do that?

PVDFest 2023 will showcase hundreds of artists on several stages. The festival features a staggering range of eclectic and multidisciplinary arts, culture, and creativity from internationally-acclaimed artists to emerging talent, everything from jazz to salsa, storytelling to modern dance along the Providence River. With all the offerings available it would be hard to see everything! If there are one or two specific performances you really want to see, plan your afternoon and evening around them. Be willing to take a chance on something new and unfamiliar! Often you will find a memorable experience in an unexpected place.

I’m hungry. I’m thirsty. Will there be food at the festival?

You bet; what would a festival be without yummy food!?! Some of the city’s most popular food trucks and restaurants will be on the festival footprint offering the best food and cuisine. We highly recommend you grab a bite to eat throughout the footprint and Downtown area. Alcoholic beverages this year will be located inside the Beer Garden by The Guild, or you can grab a drink at a bar or restaurant in or around Downtown. Please note that open container on the festival footprint is prohibited.

I need to take a bus home. Will RIPTA buses be running throughout PVDFest?

Yes, please check here for information about RIPTA bus services.

Can I buy beer or wine anywhere?

PVDFest is an all-ages event. However, you must be 21+ and have valid photo ID to purchase and drink alcoholic beverages from the Beer Garden by The Guild. Restaurants and bars throughout the city will be open to serve you but open container in the festival footprint is prohibited. Smoking is not permitted on any Providence Parks & Recreation property including, but not limited to, buildings, playgrounds, ice or skating rinks and parking lots.

Where can I park? Will any of the streets be closed off?

Yes, several streets downtown will be closed for programming during festival weekend. Visit our transportation page for information on parking on surrounding streets. Drivers are encouraged to use alternate means of transportation when possible and are reminded to respect road closures.

Street Closure Information:

What should I bring to stay comfortable?

For maximum comfort, PVDFest attendees are welcome to bring a chair or blanket, sunscreen, and a water bottle to enjoy a full day of festivities.

Shaded areas and a misting tent are marked on the PVDFest map.

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