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Festival Beat

Published: 2006/07/26
by Mike Greenhaus

5 Questions: Bleeding Kansas Music Festival

Just a few months after Wakarusa, Lawrence, KS will host yet another hip multi-band music gathering. Scheduled to take place in Burcham Park on August 5, the first annual Bleeding Kansas Music Festival will feature performances from Death Cab for Cutie, the Secret Machines Keane, Broken Social Scene, Mates of State, Murder By Death, Boy Kill Boy, Lake Trout and Aberdeen City, among many others. In addition, the multi-stage Bleeding Kansas Festival plans to host over forty visual artists and craftsmen from throughout the Lawrence, KS region. Below, festival promoter Jacki Becker lets us know what to expect.

Do you have a favorite memory seeing any of this year’s performers at past festivals?

I have worked with most of these bands many, many times, but have not seen most of them in a festival setting. Although Broken Social Scene was quite enjoyable at the Intonation Festival in Chicago last year and Murder by Death has always blown me away when they play outdoors.

Who is the first act Bleeding Kansas booked for this year’s festivities?

That would be been Death Cab for Cutie.

What performance are you personally most excited to see?

Well, I am excited for all the bands, however Broken Social Scene performed in Lawrence, KS last Halloween and I am hoping they can top that performance, even if there won’t be any costumes. In addition, I am ready to do a little shoe gazing with the Black Angels and get my dance on with a Little Chromeo.

Do you have any tips for fans?

Well, expect a full day at Burcham Park along the banks of the Kansas River, inspired by the city’s history, art and music. The festivities will continue throughout downtown Lawrence at venues following the festival. However, on a more practical note, it tends to be a bit warm in Kansas in the summer, although there are lots of trees shading the park, so do drink a lot of water and bring some sun screen.

What does the name Bleeding Kansas mean?

Bleeding Kansas is a historical reference to Kansas being a free state prior to the Civil War. After the signing of the Kansas Nebraska act in 1854, states had to determine if they were going to be a free or a slave state. Kansas chose to be a free state. Three months after Kansas was submitted into the union as a free state the civil war began.

In recent years, Kansas has shown itself to be a very conservative state. Yet Lawrence, which in its beginning was a stop on the underground railroad to and is now perhaps the most liberal city in Kansas, has always been different. We see Bleeding Kansas as a way for us to show that Lawrence is a little oasis in the Midwest.

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