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While not exactly an original name (or limited to this part of the county) the idea of a "Rockfest" event likely conjures up images of mosh pits, loud music and overpriced beer. And yeah, that just about sums it up but it's the details between there that makes it memorable.

In Kansas City the undisputed champion of rock music is KQRC-FM 98.9 "The Rock". They have a fun line up of radio personalities with the most notable undeniably being Johnny Dare. For as long as I can remember he has been waking folks up with your typical crazy DJ shenanigan's, wild and crazy games, oddball news and celebrity interviews.

98.9 has held a variety of crazy events over the year I've participated in like Freaker's Ball (a Halloween costume party/concert) and the Easter Keg Hunt (a city wide hunt for a keg painted like an Easter Egg). None can hold a candle to Rockfest with it's 50,000+ attendees and an all-star showcase of artists ranging from local battle of the band winners to big name headliners. I've had the good fortune to see names like Drowning Pool, Korn, Buckcherry, Godsmack, Papa Roach, Disturbed, Alice in Chains, Five Finger Death Punch, Rob Zombie, Volbeat, Anthrax, Seether, Stone Temple Pilots, Halestorm and Ghost to name a few.

My concert going buddy for a majority of these has been my close friend Matt. Although the Matt I knew in High School didn't seem to be a rock fan, adult Matt absolutely is and keep up with the best of them. The events were rain or shine and looking back at them the best times we had were often in bad weather as it really separated the true fans from the posers. Not to mention the fun that comes from thrashing in the mud with 50k other crazy people is memorable to say the least.

What always amazed me the most was the cross-section of society you'd see there. It would be easy to assume it was just young(ish) people with an affinity for loud music (and yes we were there too) in fact you'd see folks from all walks of life. I saw plenty of people in wheelchairs, folks on oxygen tanks, senior citizens, members of the clergy, local personalities and even kids (not that I ever took mine).

In 2018 it was announced that Rockfest would be delayed till 2019 but that got extended due to the rising cost of getting big names and then Covid hit and made concerts a thing of the past. It has since been announced that the epic event that had become North America's largest one-day music festival was no more. I am sad to see it go but will forever have wonderful memories with my buddy, my city and some bada$$ music.


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