Hearne: Kanrocksas Ready to Trip Light Fandango, Announce More Acts

IMG_2152There’s more to Kanrocksas than meets the skeptical eye…

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.

Lesson learned.

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.”

tumblr_mj4vd1VsDA1s38g4bo1_500Bands that Brandmeyer is particularly excited to “discover” at Kanrocksas include Imagine Dragons, Grouplove and Twenty One Pilots.

“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…


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9 Responses to Hearne: Kanrocksas Ready to Trip Light Fandango, Announce More Acts

  1. brian says:


    • the dude says:

      Well Bill Bunglemeyer, be prepared to lose money again if single day tix don’t happen. The list sounds pretty unspectacular and requiring people to pony up fo 2 days when they don’t want it will mean a lot of people are gonna pass. I will.

  2. smartman says:

    This thing is gonna stiff like Glazer on a Viagra+Cialis Power Pak!

    Too bad Bill can’t buy knowledge, experience and common sense with the family fortune.

    • admin says:

      Actually, he has bought a lot of knowledge, experience and common sense with some pretty high price, experienced advisers this time out.

      So we’ll see.

      A number of concert insiders are skeptical but they always are. Probably because so many people fail who try to crash the concert promoting party.

      They all thought I was toast when I started out (albeit on a far smaller scale) and I made it thru the initiation phase where everybody who could took full advantage of me and lasted for seven strong years before dropping out during the Pitch to Star fiasco/transition.

      Hey, anything’s possible

  3. smartman says:

    Word on the vine is that he has hired people who tell him what he wants to hear and not what he needs to know. They may be seasoned veterans in event planning and production but that’s the easy part.

    Kanrocksas has no organic “vibe” or “buzz” like Coachella, Bonnaroo or even Wakarusa.

    You can’t buy that it’s gotta happen on its’ own. Part of making that happen comes from street cred and not being the guy at the party with the biggest trust fund.

    This event DOES NOT make KC a better place to live. KC DOES NOT need to embrace this thing, as if we don’t we’re going to slide down some imaginary hipness scale. KC ain’t never gonna be Portland cool or Austin hip, because of you or anybody else. We have a unique identity that is cool in its’ own way. Swirl that around in your cum filled latte.

    All I’m seeing is quantity of acts and not much quality or REAL diversity.

    The name sucks. The location sucks even more. Epic failure #2 coming up.

    Enjoy your “journey” Bill. Why don’t you just buy the cover of Rolling Stone, call yourself cool for a week and then go away.


    • SmarterMan says:

      How can it have an ‘organic’ buzz… it’s the second year… Respect your city SmartAss

  4. Spent a little time on the mountain says:

    Essentially your wager with Kanrocksas is whether a 2 day pass is worth seeing Tiesto who will probably be at the midland as he was the last few years for around ~75. A great festival can be awesome though.

    A well executed festival is a fun, fun thing but I don’t see the same kind of fun that you can have at Ozark Mountain fest or Bonaroo or Wakarusa. The venue is key for these large festivals and the Kansas Speedway brings more Altamont and less Woodstock.

    I feel like if that other festival hadn’t had that issue with the DHS at Clinton State Park they could have had it there and it would have been a much better place.

    All in all the kids in KC only have so many options and if you can’t pony up the scratch to go to Bonaroo or Wakarusa this is the next best thing. Phish is only as close as Chicago this summer, and the government seized Zoe– which was really only a matter of time..

    //Kansas Speedway will probably bring the heat, in more ways than one.//

  5. Danke Schern says:

    Please help me understand why they shifted from Rock/Indie to electronic/rap? It’s called KanROCKsas for C sake! They’re trying to be the electronic event of KC… there’s Dancefestopia with $99 two-day tix in downtown KC!

  6. Betsy says:

    wow you lot are so whiny! If you think the fest is so awful, you should probably just pay the $300 + travelling costs to go to whatever imaginary festival is actually perfect for you.
    as for me, this festival has at least six bands that I’ve loved for years, and many more I’d like to see. and it’s bringing my all time favorite music group to Kansas for the first time.

    i have actually no idea why you seem to think there are more rap/electronic groups playing than Rock/Indie but uh okay you can keep pretending you’re right.

    golly, just be grateful or stop commenting on stuff like this. no one needs your negative, and no one gives a shit about your opinions.

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