Fans Eager To See Titans Of Rock Festival Line-up


Classic rock fans in B.C. are growing restless as they wait for any news about Titans of Rock, a music festival scheduled for Aug. 6 to 8 in Grand Forks.

After failing to deliver on several promises of a line-up announcement going back to last November, some fans fear Titans of Rock will end up being another Roxodus, the Ontario music festival that was abruptly cancelled last summer.

Titans of Rock is a rebranding of Varabioff’s annual CannaFest, which last year featured acts like Cheap Trick, Brett Michaels and Vince Neil. Its founder Chuck Varabioff, a cannabis retailer, partnered with KISS icon Gene Simmons on Titans of Rock.

Varabioff said in a Jan. 19 Facebook post: “I know you’re waiting for our final lineup announcement. I can promise you that [we’re] ALMOST THERE.” He added that fans will be “wowed with what we have put together.”

In a Jan. 15 post, Varabioff promised "any doubters still out there can rest assured that the incredible lineup is almost complete." (His brother Dave wrote on Facebook this month that fans who already purchased passes will get a refund if they are not happy with the line-up.)

In a Facebook post at the end of December, Varabioff teased that Our Lady Peace, 54/40, Starship, Three Dog Night and Burton Cummings were booked. Currently, only Our Lady Peace and Three Dog Night have Titans of Rock dates listed on their websites.

Given Simmons’ involvement, there is speculation that KISS will headline the festival. The band, which will be on a break from its End of the Road World Tour at the time of the festival, has not listed an appearance there on its website.

During interviews with the Vancouver Sun and CBC Radio last week, Simmons boasted about starting Titans of Rock “in the Northwest of Canada” (Grand Forks is, in fact, in the southwest) and delivering a festival that will bring 40,000 people to the 15-acre site in James Donaldson Park (the mayor told CBC News the site can accommodate about 7,000).

On Wednesday, Grand Forks mayor Brian Taylor said Simmons’ comments were “news to us.” He denied the promoters’ claims that the site has no noise curfew and said if they expect tens of thousands of fans, a new site might be needed.

"We have curfews, we have expectations and bylaws so I think that that is a bit of a misspeak,” said Taylor. “Let’s work out the problems. Let’s not react and get frightened.”