Fed Up Fest Left Hungry for an Audience 

October 11, 2015

Beautiful Bodies gives their all to a sparse but appreciative crowd.

Despite beautiful fall weather, a solid line-up of local and national bands, a good venue in the heart of downtown, and a great cause, Fed Up Fest Kansas City’s inaugural event was a disappointment.

Presented by 96.5 The Buzz and Harvesters (along with several other sponsors), the festival was intended to raise money and awareness for Harvesters, the local food bank that distributes food and other household goods to thousands of people in 26 counties around the region. While it is too early to tally the proceeds, I can tell you that the turnout was not good. Based on the size of the crowd at the all day event, I would be surprised if ticket sales covered operating costs.

Some of these costs include money spent on marketing gurus who promised to provide festival-goers with “food trucks, cold beverages, and fresh conversation.” A total of four trucks made it out to serve food, and beer/liquor could be purchased. Unfortunately, you could not take alcohol purchased on the west side of the festival (an area with yard games and the “Homegrown” stage) into Crossroads KC (where the main stage was located). This would have been nice to know, since there was a beverage stand located right outside the Crossroads KC entrance. My friends and I were not happy to have to quickly down our $6 cans of beer so that we could get in to catch an act on the main stage. As for “fresh conversation,” well, I didn’t hear much discussion about helping the hungry. I also admit that I didn’t do any talking.

The festival did offer some very good music, highlighted by Kansas City bands Hembree and Beautiful Bodies (a local band making a name for themselves with national audiences), and Knox Hamilton, an up-and-coming indie act out of Little Rock. Unfortunately the late-ish start time (sadly, 10:45 is fairly late for those of us with baby-sitters), dropping temperature, and dwindling crowd caused my group to throw in the towel before the headliner, Wolf Alice.

My biggest disappointment was the lack of information about making donations to Harvesters. I couldn’t find anything on the Fed Up Fest website, social media or through festival advertising that mentioned bringing non-perishable food items. While there were not many people in attendance, asking for canned goods in addition to the price of admission could have really benefited those in need.

The idea of using music, food and drink to help support and raise awareness for a great organization like Harvesters is very noble. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite come together, and Fed Up Fest was left hungry for a larger audience. I hope organizers – and KC residents – will give it another go next year. With some minor changes, it has the potential to be both a fun and worthwhile event. Until then, you can find information about helping Harvesters year-round at harvesters.org.

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One Response to “Fed Up Fest Left Hungry for an Audience ”

  1. facetfully Says:

    Great ideas…sad story for the event and Harvesters…oh, and those promoters who don’t always come through!


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