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.”
“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.”