Boonestock draws few fans

Saturday, August 30, 2008 | 10:11 p.m. CDT

Boone County Fairgrounds closely resembled a ghost town this weekend, as Boonestock, a charitable rock festival, did not lure the expected crowd.

As Failside took the stage around 5 p.m. Saturday, Mike Kelly abandoned his vending booth to join the audience.

"I'm going down there to rock out by myself," Kelly said.

The crowd assembled was a total of seven people by the end of Failside's set.

Beginning Friday afternoon, the two-day festival was set to feature 19 mid-Missouri bands. Nathan McLeod, better known as KBBM/100.1 FM "The Buzz" radio personality "Shags," lined up the talent. But by Saturday afternoon, two bands had canceled.

"Last night's sound and light was awesome," McLeod said of Friday's part of the festival. "They were good. Giggle good. Like you giggle to yourself because they are that good."

McLeod was disappointed in the attendance overall.

"It's unfortunate it was just entourage and band girlfriends," he said.

Despite the low attendance, some bands still took the stage.

"I intend on playing the best show I've ever played," Big Medicine guitarist Keith Fletcher said. "The folks here deserve it."

Not only did certain bands cancel, but many vendors had also left by Saturday afternoon. Some did decide to stick around, though.

"If I weren't here barbecuing, I'd be in my backyard," Ken Gregory, of Mexico, Mo., said. "I get to listen to free music here."

Gregory is a caterer but decided to give festival vending a shot at Boonestock. He planned on staying for the duration of the festival.

"People need to eat sometime," he said. "We've got the food."

Tickets to the show cost $20. The money was to benefit the American Cancer Society, Boys and Girls Club of the Columbia Area and the Amateur Athletic Union basketball program.

"It's an awesome concept," volunteer Karen Curtis said. "I just don't know why no one came."

Curtis said the highly anticipated Missouri football season opener or the holiday weekend could have been a factor.


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Jarrod Turner August 31, 2008 | 3:08 a.m.

Its a great concept but the cover charge is a bit pricey. I would recommend being someone who plays local music here a lot to try to find a way to organize a similar event and keep the cost to attend at about 60-70% of what it was for Boonestock

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