Rockfest Gets Messy

For several years, AEG has held Rockfest at Liberty Memorial Park in Kansas City, Mo., And for several years, the promoter was blessed with clear skies for the concert.

Mother Nature had different plans May 15.

In the leadup to this year’s Rockfest, the sky opened up over KC, pouring more than 3.5 inches on the city. Day of show, it rained again.

Needless to say the grounds, which were soggy to begin with, became a muddy mess when roughly 50,000 concertgoers slogged trhough them during the festival.

For Parks and Recreation commissioner Aggie Stackhaus, a messy year at Rockfest was apparently one messy year too many.
“This is the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Stackhaus told the Kansas City Star. “They have decimated and desecrated.

“If people are going to come and use our park system, they’ve got to act like they have some manners,” she continued. “And if they don’t have manners, then they need to go elsewhere.”

But for AEG Live – Midwest Sr. VP Joe Litvag, Rockfest was a success, albeit a muddy one.

The event went off as expected with no serious injuries, he told Pollstar.

That was in part due to planning. AEG met several times with the associations that oversee the park during the days before the show to strategize how to minimize damage to Liberty Memorial.

The promoter brought in hundreds of hay bales to scatter, tried to limit heavy equipment on the grounds and developed a plan to control parking.

Cleanup began as soon as crowds were cleared out of the park and plans for reseeding, rut filling and sodding were put in place the day after the concert.

Too bad Mother Nature still wasn’t ready to cooperate.

“It’s Wednesday and we’ve had one day of sun,” Litvag said. “Unfortunately the cleanup and any repair efforts are weather contingent.”

He said the Parks Department and Liberty Memorial Association have been generally supportive because the event brings big benefits to the city, and AEG understands that “holding this event on these grounds is a privilege – not a right.”

The promoter will continue cleanup and repair efforts and Litvag even found a silver lining in all the mess.

“It’s just grass, people; it’s gonna grow back,” he said.