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Inaugural Grandoozy festival attracts 55,000

The late-season event, headlined by Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamar and Florence + The Machine, "exceeded [the] expectations" of organisers

By Molly Long on 20 Sep 2018

Florence + The Machine performed the Saturday of Grandoozy

Florence + The Machine performed the Saturday of Grandoozy


image © JJ Withers

The inaugural edition of Colarado’s Grandoozy Festival “exceeded expectations” according to organisers Superfly, with the new late season event attracting 55,000 across the weekend to Overland Park in Denver.

Headlined by Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamar and Florence + the Machine, the 14-16 September event marked the first festival to take place in the city since the permanent hiatus of Mile High Music Festival in 2011. Alongside the line up, organisers say they celebrated the city itself, with local bands, food and drink all featuring prominently.

“It was a fantastic weekend, our ops, creative, production and booking teams all nailed it,” says Grandoozy’s executive producer David Ehrlich. He continues: “I was Rick Farman’s [Superfly co-founder] chauffeur for a few years. I got to know him really well and we looked at a ton of sites together [for the festival].”

“It was a fantastic weekend, our ops, creative, production and booking teams all nailed it”

According to Ehrlich, planning for the festival started four years ago, with local authorities initially opposed. “We were very reluctant at first,” explains Fred Weiss, director of finance for Denver’s Parks and Recreation department. In a bid to change minds, Weiss and a colleague were invited to Superfly’s Outside Lands in San Francisco. “Going to Outside Lands was incredibly useful,” Weiss adds. “We were able to relay our experience in seeing how professional Superfly are and how well they work with the city.”

Whilst the event largely received praise all-round, Superfly co-founder Jonathan Mayer was quick to admit some lessons would be learnt from the first edition. In particular, many festivalgoers found fault with the event’s transportation plans, with one local news outlet calling the unorganised ride sharing system implemented on Friday “a major buzz-killer”. Mayer reflects, “That’s the reality of our business – you do a lot of planning, you do a lot of coordination with different officials, and then you do [the event] and everyone learns how to do things better.”

 


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