Hearne: Kanrocksas Founder Chris Fritz Frozen Out of Fest He Named

How quickly they forget….

It barely got a mention in mainstream media reports in the Star and Pitch, but the between-the-lines big news about the second coming of Kanrocksas next year is that the fest’s founder, longtime area entertainment icon Chris Fritz, got kicked to the curb.

“Well, I’m okay, I guess,” Fritz says. “They must have had a different mindset and didn’t want me involved. But they have a great event to build on and it’s their decision.”

Fritz has his doubts, but when people get their minds set that they can do it better, who’s to convince them otherwise?

Kanrocksas hastily conceived first fest last year lost in the neighborhood of $5 million, multiple sources say. Which after tax considerations may have been closer to half that number.

Money guy Bill Brandmeyer, who co-founded the fest, conceded to the Star that Kanrocksas was a money loser but added that “We’re prepared to maybe lose money next year, break even in year three and have success in year four and five.”

That said,it’s still very much a shaky proposition at best, some area promoters say.

“I wouldn’t have brought it back,” says one. “They lost $5 million last year and even if they’d had an outstanding year they’d have probably lost $2.5 million. Why would you bring it back? I mean, would you double down on a dog that bad? That’s like expecting the Chiefs to go to the Super Bowl.”

As for Fritz, “It’s their decision,” he says. “So I mean, I didn’t even fight for it because it is what it is. So I gave them everything, including my stock.

“But I think I gave them a pretty good (foundation). I mean, we gave the city the best festival the city will ever see. It’s going to be hard to top what we did last year. I mean, it can be done, but it’ll be hard.”

How about getting it to the break even point?

“I don’t know,” Fritz says. “It depends on what they do. I don’t know what their strategyis, but they’d better book some bands pretty soon.”

While advance tickets go on sale later this week, Brandmeyer told the Star Kanrocksas didn’t expect to make lineup announcements until “late winter and early spring.”

“I do want to say, I really appreciate what the Brandmeyers have done and I don’t have any hard feelings and I hope he doesn’t either,” Fritz adds. “But you know, when you get cut by the team, you’ve gotta find another team to play for.”



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12 Responses to Hearne: Kanrocksas Founder Chris Fritz Frozen Out of Fest He Named

  1. the dude says:

    Methinks he is better off not being involved with this guaranteed money loser.

  2. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    “But I think I gave them a pretty good (foundation). I mean, we gave the city the best festival the city will ever see. It’s going to be hard to top what we did last year. I mean, it can be done, but it’ll be hard.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA! What planet does this delusional moron live on? Rockfest continues to be the best & most successful music festival in the city, whether you like the music or not. Kanrocksas, is a friggin joke.

  3. harley says:

    chris is a great guy…if he doesn’t get involved with this he’s probably better
    the concert biz is filled with ho’s….chris is not one of them…
    and probably can find other projects to get into…
    chris…bring back those summer jams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Craig Glazer says:

    Chris is a very good guy, agreed, the event was a huge bomb…you can’t do a big concert that late in the year, too hot, too played out, and too expensive….has to be early like Rockfest…by July 4th the summer is done…its all make up stuff or festivals after that..not too many big concerts unless its country those still work….or urban but we know how that goes…

  5. Hurricane Jack says:

    Chris Fritz is a classy guy……he should get far more props than he gets. In my mind, he’s a concert legend for the Midwest. How many shows did we all go see in the 70’s and 80’s that never would have stopped in Kansas City hadn’t Chris pushed a KC date on top of a St. Louis stop. My sincere thanks to him and the risks he’s taken over these 30 years or so to present KC with top touring acts.

  6. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    Someone should do an in depth interview with Chris Fritz, and especially get into the Ozark Music Festival over in Sedalia circa 1974. Probably the largest music festival in U.S. history, but one of the least remembered. Even bigger than Woodstock. If my facts are correct, Fritz was on of the promoters.

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      Documentary in the works.


      Several have been started but never finished.

      This one will include what happened to the underage girl who accepted a ride in Lynrd Skynrd’s helicopter to their hotel. Expect lawsuits.

      • paulwilsonkc says:

        Orphan, you know what I find MOST amazing? The fact the Skynard had a helicopter!!!

      • chuck says:

        Orphan, we all rode our Harleys down to that festival.

        Pretty damn hot.


        Good and bad memories.

        • paulwilsonkc says:

          I just want to add, I halped Chris BUILD the Cowtown Palace. Brick by brick. It was a hot summer in 1933 and we worked like animals to get that place up and running to being forth the shows everyone saw there.

          No… wait…. I’m sorry. That wasn’t me.

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