Nobody gets in business to fail or go broke – including now-former Kanrocksas promoter Bill Brandmeyer.
Brandmeyer went down hard last summer after failing ticket sales forced him to cancel what would have been his second huge summer spectacle at the Kansas Speedway. And while he was on the receiving end of some ultra harsh criticism from both music fans and the very industry insiders who encouraged him to absorb yet another multi-million dollar hit, I can tell you in no uncertain terms that Brandmeyer’s heart was in the right place.
Was he naive to think he could come out of nowhere and swack one out of the park?
Most well-intentioned souls who are lured into the concert biz are. It’s a treacherous industry that eats its young and the fact of the matter is that there are always people in the game more than happy to capitalize on somebody new with money who’s eager to break into the biz.
Brandmeyer didn’t get into producing music festivals because he had dollar signs in his eyes. He was drawn to it because of his love for music and he fell in love with the concept of establishing a world class festival here in Kansas City.
Pure and simple.
And yet even after taking a several million dollar hit on the first Kanrocksas in 2011 with Eminem and Muse as headliners, Brandmeyer licked his wounds, answered the bell and came back last year for round two.
Brandmeyer was determined to play his cards closer having lost so much money on the first Kanrocksas, so he went with a more conservative slate of headliners. That said, a look back at some of the bands he had booked illustrates that it would have been a memorable second effort.
Think about it…
Imagine Dragons put on an incredible show for Live Nation at Starlight with Capital Cities after Kanrocksas was cancelled. The band Fun. was on fire last summer. And the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, MGMT, Avett Brothers, Kendrick Lamar and DJ Tiesto were among the dozens of other acts slated to appear.
The funny thing is, the same industry insiders who encouraged Brandmeyer to get into the festival business – insiders who either did or should have known better and never would have dared to risk their own capital – were his harshest critics after he pulled the plug last year.
So William J. Brandmeyer is out of the concert business and has moved on to other things. He’s sadder, wiser and no doubt circumspect where future “investments” are concerned.
Meanwhile local promoters and venues now have more bands to choose from for smaller, more intimate shows that don’t require fans to cough up big bucks to attend. And Kansas City no longer has a signature music fest to boast about.
However it wasn’t because a music-loving dude with a big heart and a pretty big wallet didn’t try.
Look for him in the crowd at the Avett Brothers show at Sandstone.