Gene Simmons of KISS will try to succeed where so many others have failed: Staging a music festival in Canada. UPDATE: First acts announced.

Staging a music festival in Canada is a hideously difficult thing. So many have tried and so many have failed. Roxodus. Virgin Music Festival. Edgefest. Riot Fest. Pemberton. The list goes on.

However, Gene Simmons of KISS things he has the secret sauce.

Simmons has teamed up with Chuck Varabioff, a Canadian promoter, to create Titans of Rock, which is envisioned as a classic rock series. The first event is set for Grand Forks, British Columbia, August 6-8, 2020.

Where? It’s right along the border with Washington State, about 500 km east of Vancouver and 200 km south of Kelowna. Population: 4,000. Gene will personally host the whole thing.

UPDATE: The first tranche of performers has been announced:

  • 5440
  • Our Lady Peace
  • Starship
  • Three Dog Night
  • Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings

More to come, apparently. Watch this space.

Gene says in the press release “I have been working on the Titans of Rock festival concept for many years,” said Simmons. “Our goal is to provide classic rock fans with a one-of- a-kind, immersive, three-day experience featuring legendary names in a venue where they can celebrate their love of rock with other fans.”

Some of the proceeds will benefit local charities and Habitat for Humanity. And there will be a collectible car auction to boot.

Tickets will be $150 per day or $300 for the weekend. And those are Canadian dollars, by the way.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

7 thoughts on “Gene Simmons of KISS will try to succeed where so many others have failed: Staging a music festival in Canada. UPDATE: First acts announced.

  • January 16, 2020 at 11:30 am
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    Interesting addition and rebranding of Chuck’s Cannafest. I went in 2017 and it was remarkably well organized (other than the camping/RV area) for a festival with a small staff. The only issue is that it’s hot AF in Grand Forks (37C the Wednesday evening when we arrived).

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  • January 16, 2020 at 8:23 pm
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    The key to success is holding it 500km away from a major city? Good luck!

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  • January 16, 2020 at 9:09 pm
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    So they’re betting people will travel all that distance to see Ratt, Whitesnake, Kansas and Saga?

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  • January 17, 2020 at 10:54 pm
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    Rebranding an existing festival in not Gene Simmons creating something new!!!

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  • January 18, 2020 at 9:39 am
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    Hey Alan, why did 102.1 The Edge stop doing Edgefest?

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    • January 18, 2020 at 1:59 pm
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      No suitable venue, weak Canadian dollar, and too much competition from other festivals drove up band prices.

      Reply
  • January 26, 2020 at 11:00 am
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    What about the Rock the Lake festival in Kelowna. That seems to be a pretty good festival in Canada? When you say “Staging a music festival in Canada is a hideously difficult thing. So many have tried and so many have failed.” This one from Simmons may succeed as it is very similar to Rock the Lake. That too is a Classic Rock festival and does extremely well. Festivals with todays music, or music from the last 20 years, have failed because the music sucks. People in Western Canada, with the exception of the Lower Mainland, will travel to see or do something that they love. People come from all over, travel hundreds of km’s just to go to the Roots and Blues Festival in Salmon Arm. People used to travel to Merritt for the Merritt Mountain Music Festival and it was country music. So, this one, could work. It is just the people of the Lower Mainland that know nothing about outside the Lower Mainland and do not want to travel into the unknown area called the Interior of BC. They just want to stay close to Vancouver. Near Grand Forks is Calgary, Kelowna, Spokane, and Des Moines that the festival can draw from. Did ya mention that? It could work. Maybe. Depends on how much micromanaging Gene does.

    Reply

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