After a one-year hiatus, organizers of the Kanrocksas Music Festival have announced that the festival will return to Kansas Speedway in 2013.
Bill Brandmeyer, who co-founded the festival in 2011, said the second Kanrocksas Festival will be June 28 and 29. An early bird ticket special starts Sept. 21. A two-day pass will be $125, including two days of free camping, with no extra fees. That is a $115 discount off the full price. A three-month installment play will also be available, with fees. Tickets can be bought at kanrocksas.com.
The inaugural Kanrocksas was in August 2011. It drew nearly 50,000 people over two days. Headliners were Eminem and Muse. Other acts included the Flaming Lips, Weezer, Primus, A Perfect Circle, the Black Keys, Girl Talk, Kid Cudi and Flogging Molly.
Organizers suspended the festival this year, primarily because of renovations to the speedway infield but also because they decided to take extra time to reorganize the event, which suffered financially in its first year.
“We did not achieve the ticket sales we hoped for,” Brandmeyer said.
“Our failure to reach the ticket sales we wanted and our decision to overpay Eminem put a heavy burden upon the business. We considered doing it elsewhere, even at Sandstone (now Cricket Wireless Amphitheater), but the risks were high. We were very averse to detracting from the experience we’d provided the first year inside the speedway. We’d built a lot of fan loyalty and brand equity, and we wanted to preserve and nurture that. So we gave ourself a longer runway and decided we’d take 18 months to organize next year’s festival.”
The festival has reorganized its operations, Brandmeyer said. It has parted ways with promoter Chris Fritz. It is now working with Evenergy, a Kansas City company that produces events and develops sponsorships. It will continue to work with Josh Hunt and Mammoth Productions, the music promoter that helped bring much of the lineup to the first Kanrocksas.
The dates were moved from August to late June for a few reasons, he said.
“It’s two weekends after Bonnaroo,” Brandmeyer said of the music festival in rural Tennessee, which announced its 2013 dates on Tuesday. “It’s also the weekend after the Firefly Festival at the Dover (Del.) Speedway and a week before July 4. And hopefully it will be cooler.”
It was over 100 degrees at the inaugural Kanrocksas.
Announcements about the lineup are expected to begin in late winter and early spring.
Brandmeyer said his investors and the speedway are in this for the long haul.
“We’ve set our sights long term and are committed to going after the top-tier talent,” he said. “We’re prepared to maybe lose money next year, break even in year three and have success in year four and five. My investors have agreed to do it because they think this generation of music lovers deserve to have this kind of world-class festival in Kansas City. It makes it more attractive and a better place to live.”