The four-day is set for June 16 – 19 at the Caledonia-Mt. Pleasant Memorial Park, but with one less music stage than it had last year.
Other changes have also been made: Kraut Music Fest will be organized and operated by Ray Stibeck Jr. under Route 20 Cares LLC, a nonprofit organization. But some areas of the festival will be operated by Stibek’s for-profit company GZK Enterprises, which is an extension of his restaurant Route 20 Outhouse. The location of the stage will also face north, not east.
“This year the festival will have a lot smaller footprint,” said Jim Svoboda, “It’s not going to encompass 35 acres, but will be about 25. It’s just easier to manage with security.”
Last year the festival featured two music stages and a family stage, but organizers are dropping the second music stage. Stibeck organized Kraut Fest, Wiil Rock Fest and Rocktober Fest last year.
“This way it’s just more contained,” Svoboda said.
The family stage will feature a magician and hypnotist. They will also have bingo and a teen tent.
Stibeck told the Caledonia Legislative and Licensing Committee in March that he plans to have the hard liquor license under the GZK name, but the beer and wine license will be under the Route 20 Cares name. He told the committee that he did not want to responsible for the entire park, only the areas he is applying for and village attorney Elaine Ekes agreed to research the various liabilities the permits would require.
Some neighbors complained about the noise level and language the bands used during Will Rock Fest, but Stibeck pointed out that the crowd that attended Wiil Rock Fest was better behaved than the crowd at Kraut Fest. While Kraut Fest had very few arrests, the organizers promised to put neighboring residents up in hotels overnight — like they did last year — during the four-day festival to avoid any issues.
Changes being made include:
- Requiring bands to refrain from using profanity during their performances, unless it’s a legitimate lyric in the song. Violators will pay hefty fines, be shut down and not paid.
- All amplified music will end at 11 pm.
- Organizers promise to be more selective of the bands they have performing at the venue.
Caledonia Police Chief Dan Warren said officers will be on scene if things get out of control, but they have not changed the noise ordinance because it would require officers to have extra training and equipment.