Town of Creston receives pitch to host rock and roll festival

The idea is to have the Red Hot Chili Peppers and AC/DC headline the “Rockin’ the Kootenays” music festival next May

The Town of Creston has received a proposal to host a rock and roll festival in town next May, with the event’s two headliners being the Red Hot Chili Peppers and AC/DC.

The “Rockin’ the Kootenays” event was pitched to the town by Calgary’s Legacy Concert and Events Productions, who are hoping to use Creston’s rec centre as the music festival’s grounds on May 22 and 23.

“We want to bring a big sideshow with us, and we want to turn the arena into a trade show. We want to bring a fair with us,” said Mike Cooper, the director of events at Legacy productions. “We’re going to turn the field into a concert venue, with temporary seating at the top of the hill. We want to put the concert stage and production stuff where the baseball field is.”

Cooper said that the plan is to have eight acts in total, all of whom will be Canadian classic rock bands — outside of the main headliners.

He noted that the Red Hot Chili Peppers are about 50 per cent on board, while AC/DC is around 75 per cent.

“The concert won’t go past 10 p.m. at night. It’ll start at noon and each band will play 45 minutes, and there’s going to be an hour break in between each set just to give them time to turn them over to the next band,” said Cooper.

He added that Creston was chosen as the festival’s site “because it’s in the middle of everything.”

“It’s three hours from pretty much two million people and five hours from three million people,” he said. “Those two bands will bring people from Idaho, Montana, Washington.”

Legacy Productions has an operating budget of $1.5 million, and Cooper projects that the event’s economic impact on the town will be around $6.3 million to $7 million.

Tickets will either go for $200 or $300 for a full pass to the festival, according to Cooper.

“We’re hoping to sell between 6,500 and 8,000 tickets, which is going to double the population of the community for a couple of days,” he said.

Cooper said that all concert acts will sign a force majeure clause — a contract clause that frees both parties from liability when extraordinary circumstances prevent one party from fulfilling their obligations — in case the event is cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Everything is going to have a contingency of course … In this case, we had to go after bands that had booking agents and stage managers we had a relationship with,” he said.

The group is currently awaiting approval from the town before they can go forward with submitting a security plan, securing a liquor license and applying for a special event permit.

“We still have many questions regarding the event that will need some answers before we take the idea to council,” said Ross Beddoes, the director of community services at the Town of Creston.

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