Hearne: Kanrocksas Squeezes Out a Yawner

biographyAnybody a little underwhelmed?

A year ago on January 9th Coachella unleashed its lineup for last summer. It’s entire lineup.

Included were The Black Keys, Radiohead, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog. Along with four or seven dozen other acts ranging from the Arctic Monkeys, Shins and Bon Iver to Girl Talk, Santigold and Grace Potter.

Way way down at the bottom of Coachell’s lengthy first day artist list – in print so fine it was barely discernible – was the name Kendrick Lamar.

Lamar was the first act trumpeted today by Kanrocksas for the music and camping fest’s second coming in June at the Kansas Speedway.

A year has passed, Lamar put out a highly-acclaimed album on Dr. Dre’s Aftermath label and is being pegged by some as next in line to wear “hip-hop’s crown.”


It’s January 18th and the only acts Kanrocksas announced today besides Lamar are the Avett Brothers – a Crossroads fave that maybe would have played Sandstone this summer – and Tiesto, a 43 year-old Dutch DJ who produces electronic dance music.

450px-DJ_Tiesto2005Music to camp to?

Kanrocksas says it’s going to have a more balanced fest this time out – no million buck acts like Eminem (or $2 million acts like the Rolling Stones) – but it’s clear the fest has a long way to go.

Especially given that unlike the first Kanrocksas two years ago, other area promoters say they’ve yet to stumble onto acts Kanrocksas has either booked or is making offers on.

Not a good sign.

And the hour is getting late.


This entry was posted in Hearne_Christopher. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to Hearne: Kanrocksas Squeezes Out a Yawner

  1. StillAtMyMoms says:

    I can now see the reasoning on why they didn’t have the festival last year. Sounds like they are still trying to book headline acts, but too cheap to bring in the big names. What did we expect? We’re in Kansas, after all; not neccessarily the mecca of cool. Personally I’m one of the few twentysomethings that doesn’t care for modern music. I wish someone would create a festival showcasing a spectrum a popular bands from various decades; like Lollapalooza or Bonnaroo without the scene vibe.

  2. zip says:

    Hearne, no BS, I was a UT prof for 12 years until recently, and my hobby was to listen to live Austin music. There are many great bands there who would play here in a festival-type setting.

    We could arrange a show simaliar to San Francisco’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass ( the name means much more than bluegrass), only for one day instead of three, and people would love the music. Knuckleheads and the Bottleneck (the Uptown too?) are really the only current venues to hear these great bands, but the bands only show up once or twice a year if at all in KC. Audiences would certainly react favorably.

    Just a very few of these bands include the GREAT Bob Schneider, the Gourds, Ian Mcclaughlin (spelling ?) who was a longtime member of Faces and a member of the Stones for several years, Lucinda Williams, Ruthie Foster, Robert Earl Keene, James McMurtry, Guy Clark, and Slaid Cleaves to name a very few.

    These bands would generally fall under the “Americana” umbrella, and all of them are awesomely entertaining…. Believe it or not, they need more shows to play, and consider Kansas City attractive and would love to build their followings here.


    Also, is the missing Glazer thing a promotion? Say what you will about his abhorrent life, he’s interesting in a car-wreck sort of way. Give us a break and let us in…..

    • admin says:

      I don’t think we’ve seen or heard the last of him

      • zip says:

        Hearne, Any comments on my Americana idea?

        • admin says:

          This might be a little above my current pay grade, but here’s a thought. Wakarusa promoter Brett Mosiman does many of these acts and could maybe pair some of them up at the Crossroads.

          He’s not booking any local or area fests right now, but would have to be convinced – not that this isn’t just a cool idea – but that it was a profitable one.

          Not so sure it would be, frankly

  3. Markus Aurelius says:

    This sucks – we missed Avett Brothers at Crossroads and would have definitely gone to see them this summer at another venue. However, we’re sure as hell not buying tickets to KanSucksAss just to see them given that we have no interest in the other acts. Seriously, how many fans of Avett Brothers also want to see Tiesto and Kendrick Lamar? Not many. Major fail.

    • admin says:

      My sources say if the Avetts hadn’t done Kanrocksas they’d have played Sandstone.

      Hey, who knows what could happen between now and June 28th?

  4. Craig Glaysure says:

    Girl Talk? Did someone say GIRL TALK?
    If girls are there, COUNT ME IN! Im headed to wax the Lotis now!
    Where’s my sleeveless shirt?

    • Chico's Bail Bonds says:

      Hey sugarbritches, I have your sleeveless shirt but it will cost you a trip to the ice cream parlor.

      • Craig Glaysure says:

        Oh, Chico, that made me so hot! I love ice cream too! Tell me where you’d like to meet. Do you have homework tonight or could we stay out really late? And if you’re buying this as a gift, I wear a medium, it makes my pecs look bigger! You’re going to love me, I know I do!

  5. The Kendrick Lamar might be a bigger deal than you think, but yeah, this looks like a pretty big mess overall. Not a ton of crossover fans between the acts.

    • admin says:

      There’s no doubt Kendrick Lamar is hot right now.

      He’s the musical guest on Saturday Night Live next week and Matt Donnelly tells me his album was on “everybody’s” top five list for last year and No. 1 on many of them.

      His Midland show in December was just “ok” though, Matt says.

      And promoters tell me hip-hop doesn’t draw that well concert-wise.

      So we’ll see.

      Here’s how Kanrocksas game is slated to go down.

      Four (maybe five) stages, each one more-or-less themed musically. And each stage will have a headliner each day, with one overall daily festival headliner.

      So maybe Lamar headlines the hip-hop stage one day.

  6. smartman says:

    Chris Fritz may not have any cattle but he still has some hay. Bill Trust Fund Baby Brandmeyer is gonna get his balls run through the sausage grinder. Chris may be a professor emeritus from the good old boy school of promoters but the industry doesn’t welcome money bags like Brandmeyer. See US Festival, Bill Graham and Steve Wozniak. Money can buy lots of things but class and “cool” ain’t on the list.

  7. balbonis moleskine says:

    Tiesto is the biggest DJ in the world right now. Plays every corner of the world, and his shows are seriously intense. It looks like they are going for electric daisy carnival style vibe. Which means they will have an amazing weekend but 1 to 2 fresh corpses from od or e dehydration at the speedway in july.

    If I was at Ra or something in Vegas it would cost 150 too see Tiesto so perhaps I might have to bust out the vics vapor stick and reach for the lazers a bit.

    • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

      Shocking. The abortion called KansRocksas continues to be a suckfest.

    • admin says:

      You’re right. He is huge.

      You know, for a DJ.

      How that jibes overall for an outdoor CAMPING – mostly alt rock festival though remains to be seen.

  8. admin says:

    Was talking to a couple of promoters Friday – one of whom had done Tiesto (indoors) – and here’s what I got independently from both.

    DJ shows were not meant to be done in the great outdoors. Let alone in a festival setting on a big stage and people watching from afar.

    It just doesn’t come off they say. Not the right setting.

  9. admin says:

    People buy tickets for lots of things that they may or may not fully appreciate once they get there. Depending on the size and location of the venue.

    Hanging at a massive outdoor camping festival in the Midwestern summer heat and watching a microscopic DJ at a mixing board on giant video screen may be a grand slam homerun for some, but according to promoters I talked to leaves something to be desired.

    Different story for the more intimate confines of the Power & Light District. Tiesto performed indoors at the Staples Center in your linked story.

    Guess we’ll see.

Comments are closed.