Rock Fest Promoter Promises Line-Up Announcement In 'Days'

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The promoter of a rock festival in Grand Forks, B.C. promised on Tuesday that a line-up announcement is coming “in a few days.”

Chuck Varabioff has been under increasing pressure to reveal which acts are coming to this year’s festival, which is scheduled for Aug. 6 to 8. Tickets and passes, ranging from $150 to $1,200, have been available for purchase for months – and Varabioff has made repeated promises that an announcement was imminent.

Classic rock fans were burned last summer when Ontario's Roxodus Music Festival was abruptly cancelled, followed by the sudden cancellation of Hair in the Fair.

In a Feb. 25 Facebook post, Varabioff explained the delay is due to the demands of stakeholders including lawyers, agents and publicists. “Once ALL of them are satisfied with the wording, terms of contracts, terms of the announcement dates, times and font sizes WE WILL,” he wrote. "We are working on a press release with the COMPLETE lineup now, to be ready in a few days.”

Varabioff opened the B.C. Pain Society cannabis dispensary in Vancouver more than five years ago and, late last year, opened Grand Forks Cannabis.

His annual CannaFest has been in a bigger spotlight since it was announced last August that Gene Simmons of KISS came onboard as a partner. The event was rebranded as Titans Of Rock, resulting in erroneous media reports that the festival was new.

The rebranding was required due to a new federal law that prohibits marketing material that might appeal to children, like CannaFest’s cartoon marijuana leaf.

Last week, Varabioff said his new brand is Canada Rock Fest. “Canada doesn't limit the location to a small town,” he explained in a Facebook post. “Rock Fest explains what it is, self explanatory.” The domain was registered Feb. 2.

The line-up is expected to include REO Speedwagon, Randy Bachman & Burton Cummings, The B-52s, Starship, Our Lady Peace and Three Dog Night. Given Simmons’ involvement, there are rumours that KISS, on a break from its End of the Road World Tour in August, will headline the festival.

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