Of the Keizertimes

A proposed three-day music festival at Keizer Rapids Park may not be taking place next summer after all.

However, it could happen in 2015.

That was the word last week from Jason Alan Cripe with Oregon Summer Concerts, who last month proposed holding Guitars Under the Stars at KRP in the summer of 2014.

The event has been held twice in Scio, but Cripe would like to grow the event.

“It was 1,500 to 2,000 people in Scio,” Cripe said of past attendance. “We were looking at selling 8,000 to 10,000 tickets (in Keizer).”

With free tickets to event sponsors, Cripe said the plan would be to have 15,000 over the three days.

Cripe presented his initial proposal to city leaders prior to the Parks Tour on Sept. 9. He was scheduled to speak at the Keizer Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting last week, but did not submit information or attend the meeting.

Putting on the concerts would entail finding a spot at KRP for the stage, as well as clearing an area to be used for camping. While next August may seem like a long time away, Cripe pointed to the enormity of the task ahead.

“Right now where we’re at is we’re determining the budget and what it will take to get the ground in Keizer up to snuff,” Cripe told the Keizertimes last Friday. “So far it’s not looking too good. We have to work to make the ground ready for camping. We may be looking at 2015, not 2014.

“I don’t want to discount it as a location,” he added. “There is definitely interest from the community and the Parks Board. We need to put something together that makes sense for everyone. We’re still in the process of putting final numbers together. We need to tell the city final numbers and what level of involvement we need from them. But we are a lot closer than we were initially.”

Cripe noted the high costs.

“To put on an event like this is $350,000 to $400,000 in total cost,” he said. “That includes the cost to renovate the fields and get a field for campers (about $20,000 to $30,000). Just one of the headliners alone might be $100,000. That’s one thing people don’t realize: these headliners are very expensive.”

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