This year’s Rockfest is moving from Liberty Memorial Park to the Kansas Speedway for a couple of reasons, organizers said: time and space.
“We wanted to move it to a weekend when the weather was a little warmer,” said Bob Edwards, program director at KQRC (98.9 FM), sponsors of the all-day rock festival, which previously was scheduled in mid-May. “I’d said to a couple people here, ‘It’s been a while since I’ve been to Rockfest without a hoodie on.’ We wanted to get it back to T-shirt weather, so we’ve moved it to the first weekend of June, but we couldn’t reserve the park at that time.”
The festival is scheduled for June 3 at the Speedway. The lineup includes Godsmack, Sammy Hagar & the Circle, Volbeat, Ratt, Buckcherry, Halestrom and P.O.D. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Having more space will also be nice, Edwards said.
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“It’ll be easier in general for our fans as far as access to parking. And if it rains or gets wet, there are paved sidewalks at the Speedway. At the park, if it rained, the entire place could get muddy.”
That happened in 2014 and 2015, when the event prompted mud pits.
At the Speedway, the festival will set up in front of the main grandstand, not inside the bowl, Edwards said.
“At Liberty Memorial, we had a main stage and a secondary stage,” he said. “At the Speedway we have room for two main stages.”
The Speedway has a larger capacity, but plans are to cap ticket sales at 50,000, as they were at Liberty Memorial.
“It’s not about selling more tickets, it’s about giving people more space and more conveniences,” Edwards said.
Rockfest started in 1993 at Sandstone Amphitheater. It moved to Liberty Memorial Park in 2004. It will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year.
“Who thought it would last this long?” Edwards said. “Our promotional director was looking at the history section of Rockfest on our website and said, ‘There’s not much information from the late ’90s.’ I said, ‘Well, no one thought it would last, so back then we didn’t think about archiving things.”