Editorial: Kanrocksas Was a Great Value, Suck it up Internet Whiners

So the inaugural Kanrocksas is over and in the books. Will it return next year? Remains to be seen. Personally I really hope it does as I had a freaking blast. Before I go any further however allow me go ahead and clarify in the interest of full disclosure that I did attend this year’s festival for “free” as a credentialed member of the media doing my writing and editorial duty for the site you’re on now Lost in Reviews. That out of the way, would I have paid to attend Kanrocksas? Yes I would. Would I, assuming it’s return next year even without a lineup? My answer is a resounding yes.

I saw much bitching about the pricing, and also the name which I do have my own quibbles about, throughout the social mediasphere (Twitter, Facebook) leading up to and during the now concluded festival. Thus I thought I would do some really quick and dirty numbers to see if all this whining about it being “over priced” really panned out.

Of course one could argue this is a tough measure to get a true metric on. Everyone places a different value on such a beast as big as Kanrocksas. For some it would be all about the line up and the bands they could see. Others likely could give a rat’s ass about the lineup and just want to go have some fun with friends and possibly be exposed to some new music they’ve never heard. Being the music fan that I am however to me its about how many bands I could possibly cram into one day. Thus I’ve figured my calculation as follows…I’m no math major and sometimes have to use my fingers AND toes to count so bare that in mind while reviewing the following. Also, I am taking this from the perspective of a “local” to the Kansas City metro area meaning I wouldn’t have any real travel cost to attend the fest like I would if I attended something similar say Bonnaroo, Coachella or Lollapalooza.

On Friday at Kanrocksas I counted (per the festival issued schedule and map) a total of 29 potential acts one might be able to catch throughout the day. If you bought a single day pass guess how much you paid to see each of those bands? $3.41 Would I pay that to see ANY band I have a feigned interest in? Um yes, have I paid easily double if not triple that to see a local band? Time and time again.

But John you say, some of those acts were overlapping so I wasn’t able to see Ween and/or Bassnectar which really bummed me out and ruined my night/festival. Okay I subtract a rough average of three bands you’d miss but like to see for whatever various reason you might miss them. Thus a $99 single day pass divided by the 26 bands you were able to see cost you just $3.81 per band.

For Saturday the numbers were adjusted a bit. I only counted 28 bands on Saturday. Using the same calculation from above I get $3.53 going by a pure lineup count, $3.96 going by the “but I wanted to see Girl Talk AND A Perfect Circle, but those darn festival organizers obviously hate me and scheduled them at the same time” factor.

Going even further if you purchased a two day pass which meant you could have seen potentially 57 acts, 52 taking the schedule overlap/taking a break factor and you were still paying $3.53 or $3.96 per artist respectively.

So two days, going strictly off music at a rate of less than $4 dollars a band. This doesn’t count other factors like the free camping, fun atmosphere or a venue actually equipped to handle a sudden mass of people. Thus as I stated earlier, truly a hard metric to pin down but regardless one that the “over priced” tag doesn’t really live up to once one sits down and really thinks things over.

I could be very wrong here and I’d LOVE to hear from others pointing out any inaccuracies or gross oversights I may have left out. The internet allows for a discussion about such things. Let’s get one going. Hell, maybe this will help shape the things of (what I hope) are future Kanrocksas(es) to come.

By John Coovert

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