Rock Jam to segue into new festival

Rock ‘n roll may never die, but it seems the long-running Rock Jam music festival has met that decidedly certain fate.

Local fans of the festival took to social media to weigh in on the news Tuesday, after an email was sent to ticket-holders of the 2014 event about the cancellation.

In the email, the new organizers of the former Rock Jam said the classic hard rock festival that takes place late each summer in Mack has been canceled for 2014 and would not return.

Dozens of people left comments on the former festival’s Facebook page, many lamenting the cancellation and others projecting optimism that the new organizers could attract bigger names and improve the audio technology at the festival site.

Dhruv Prasad, executive vice president of live events for the company that purchased rights last year to put on Country Jam and Rock Jam, Townsquare Media Group, told The Daily Sentinel those ticket-holders who had VIP or camp site reservations in the past will have first dibs on those items in summer 2015, when Rock Jam will be replaced with a new festival. Prasad said the new offering, Loudwire Music Festival, will blend hard and classic rock elements of Rock Jam with alternative and indie rock music.

Prasad said Townsquare has been working since last summer to set up Rock Jam 2014 but decided within the last few weeks to retire the Rock Jam concept.

“We gave it a good shot and tried very hard to make the festival come together but a variety of factors were not in our favor this year,” Prasad said. “We did a lot of consumer surveying and it became clear to us the brand needed new life.”

The new festival will take place sometime next summer in Mack. Prasad said numerous dates are being discussed. Which dates will be picked depend on band availability, he said. Loudwire will likely last three days instead of Rock Jam’s two days and blend a variety of acts from across the rock spectrum.

“We’re trying to do something that’s a little bit universal,” Prasad said. “We’re shooting to bring in a level of talent that is an upgrade over what Rock Jam has seen in its recent history.”

No tickets were sold or acts booked for Rock Jam before it was canceled.

Prasad said the company plans to continue Country Jam in its current form.

As with all of the summer festivals, there is sure to be some economic impact associated with the loss of Rock Jam for 2014. Nearby Fruita sees a jump in hotel bookings and other businesses when the Rock Jam crowd rolls into town, said Fruita City Manager Clint Kinney.

“We like to see events (that bring business to the area). We’re sorry it’s not coming back this year,” Kinney said.


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