Today: Trash Talking Local Writer Takes the Measure of Kanrocksas

As concert reviews go, writer Hampton Stevens coverage of Kanrocksas in The Atlantic was something of an anomaly…

"A Rock Festival, as Seen for its Trash," reads the headline.

"On a sweltering night five days ago, the thick, newly-trampled grass of the Kansas Speedway was glazed by multicolored confetti, fallen steamers, shards of popped balloons, and luminous, half-spent glow-sticks," Stevens begins. "The white stage lights were glinting off the hundreds of aluminum cans and plastic bottles that once held water, soda, sports drinks, liquor and beer.

"This was the waste of the inaugural Kanrocksas Music Festival, which boasted an impressive lineup that included Eminem, Muse, Flogging Molly, Primus, Kid Cudi, A Perfect Circle, D12, Okay Go, Cage the Elephant, and Ween."

Stevens even bestowed a Kanrocksas "prettiest trash" distinction on The Flaming Lips – a "high honor…made even more impressive by the presence on the bill of Bassnectar and Girl Talk, whose audiences also know a thing or two about popped balloons and glow sticks," Hampton quipped. "The Lips’ trash was so pretty, in fact, it was almost a shame to see the janitorial teams from City Wide Maintenance come to clean it up. But come they did, just as their crews in red tunics did after every one of the almost three-dozen performances at the two-day event."

The flip side of all that, uh, "pretty" trash: The porta potty action.

"The human waste removal process was even more elegant, especially by music festival standards," Stevens writes. "Kanrocksas fans were blessed with 441 state-of-the-art ‘Johnny On The Spot’ portable toilets, or JOTS, delivered and serviced by a 10-worker team from Deffenbaugh Industries."

Hampton’s human waste research provides a window into Kanrocksas dissapointing attendance.

Seems the number of portable toilets needed was pre-determined by calculating the festival’s expected attendance. Along with things like weather, dude to chick ratio, concession sales, etc.

However, Kanrocksas guessed high and "the underwhelming attendance—which peaked at around 35,000 fans for Slim Shady’s set—meant that anyone who did go to the festival experienced luxurious bathroom conditions," Hampton writes. "The entire weekend, in fact, the crowd produced a mere 40,000 gallons of human waste, using only 2,900 rolls of toilet paper (along with, reassuringly, 420 bags of hand-sanitizer)."

Got that?

So first rate were the johns at Kanrocksas that Hampton was able to collect testamonials from concertgoers about actually sitting down (as opposed to straddling) and being able to "actually breathe" while inside.


Other highlights of Hampton’s waste case include anecdotes about a dude talking to and hugging a toilet and a KCK cop’s unsupported urban legend about a concertgoer ditching a large plastic bag filled with pot, coke, mushrooms, Oxycontin and heroin in one of the portas.

Like I said, you don’t read concert reviews like this every day….
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14 Responses to Today: Trash Talking Local Writer Takes the Measure of Kanrocksas

  1. harley says:

    who ditched the drugs?
    i wish i knew that guy. could have saved him some time…
    what a waste!
    And hearne…is this the best youcan do? come on…step it up….we’re all hoping
    you step this site up.. Now with anthony having problems you can be the
    next “crazy guy” in the kansas city web scene!

  2. smartman says:

    Hey Vinny! The Pooh!
    Wow! What a special day. Caitlin writes about crap and then you write about crap, literally. Kelly Urich is always crap. Tracy Thomas is crap but now she’s waging her own jihad against you. I guess she sent out a crappy press release. The Chiefs are crap. The Royals are crap. Plaza weekend business was crap. Tony Botello is knee deep in the crap.

    Will Craig save the day with a post? Even when he hits the nail on the head he still takes a lot of shit.

    Sometimes life imitates art sometimes art imitates life.

  3. Mark X says:

    … all the crap that’s fit to print …
    …obviously Kansas City is just a crappy town on all counts …

  4. Turtle Brain says:

    That was my Sprite bottle!
    I threw it down from the VIP section.

  5. Markus Aurelius says:

    seriously Hearne – you about including a link to the story..
    I found it but including a hyperlink in the opening sentence mentioning the story is pretty much SOP for most online articles/blogs.

    Here’s the link –

  6. Cliffy says:


  7. d says:

    Can you use a tiny url next time, please!

  8. chuck says:

    my computer is broke
    My phone sucks.

    One more fuckin word about that fuckin concert…

    Fuck that stupid fuckin movie

    I can’t type on this phone.

    Banning comments???


    I’ll be back…

  9. Hearne Christopher says:

    I’m a little too careful to accede to that lofty-but-precipitous throne, H Man.

    But thanks!

  10. Hearne Christopher says:

    Sorry to hear about your condition.

    Email me at and we can talk.

  11. Hearne Christopher says:

    What? And send you away from the site?

  12. Hearne Christopher says:

    You’re right. But if I put one in – and I probably should have – I would have laid it down at the end, so readers could catch my spin before bailing.

    Crazy story angle though, huh?

    Didn”t see anybody else here catch it. Know who my source was?

    Jolting Joe Miller. Niow a southern gentleman and college prof!

  13. Craig Glazer says:

    Glazer Fat? You Mean Great Right?
    Saying Glazer is fat, would be like saying “Magen Fox is ugly” right….or Glazer is Phat, ok….yeah all the reviews said exactly what I did from day one, all of them. So don’t write things that show all of us you are a moron.

    Chuck love you buddy, come home…we miss you….

  14. chuck says:


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