After dropping some serious coin two years back with its inaugural festival at the Kansas Speedway, organizers vowed not to make the same mistakes this time out. Starting with not tying up nearly $3 million on a single act like Eminem.
Eminem was cool, but he obviously wasn’t that big a draw.
This year’s lineup isn’t punctuated by any huge dollar sign magnets, but what it does have is a healthy mix of bankable acts like MGMT, Fun., Yeah Yeah Yeahs, DJ Tiesto and 60 some odd others.
It may look good on paper, but kick ass fests are not about over-the-hill headliners like Paul McCartney…
It’s the festival, stupid.
“I truly believe that music festivals are different than any other part of the music business,” says Kanrocksas main man Bill Brandmeyer. “Because a concert is a hard ticket to see a band on a date at a venue. And you know the band you’re going to see, so it’s almost a greatest hits experience. There’s no magic like there is at a festival. A festival is a journey of discovery. There are four or five bands that you want to see and then another 60 that you discover.”
“The part of the festival that is the journey is walking out your door into a two day experience and listening to a band you’ve never heard before with 25,000 other people,” Brandmeyer says. “It creates a moment of magic where there’s no place else you’d rather be. And when you combine the experience of music and art, the music almost provides the soundtrack to the journey.”
With more than 4,000 advance tickets sold (last time out 70 percent of the sales went down in the final weeks before the fest), Brandmeyer’s optimistic about the prospects for this year’s Kanrocksas and building a foundation for future fests.
“The goal is to do better than breakeven,” Brandmeyer says. “But at any festival, there’s a buildup to success and the business model we’ve created is a 5 or 7 year cycle. And fortunately, we’re in a position to absorb a breakeven or small loss and still live to fight again and bring the festival back for Year Three.
“The bottom line is, I really need Kansas City to embrace this thing. I mean, it makes Kansas City a better place to live. A music festival is something that makes Portland cool. That makes Austin cool. And it can make Kansas City cool and help make this town a place for young people to come and be a part of a vibrant youth scene.”
As for the advance ticket sales, “The trend is good,” Brandmeyer says. “We’re not slowing down, we’re speeding up and it’s exciting because the trend is rising.”
Fence sitters holding out for single day tickets, know this: ain’t gonna happen.
“There will be no single day tickets,” Brandmeyer says. “This is a two day music festival.”
And while ticket prices are assured of going up, Kanrocksas three payment layaway deal continues through the end of April.
Oh and this just in…
Kanrocksas is poised to announce another handful of acts, including critically-acclaimed, electro popsters out of LA, Captial Cities.
You know, stay tuned…