After much consideration and discussion, the planning committee of Rock the Groundz has decided to end the annual summer music and camping event. This decision didn’t come lightly.
From its inception, Rock the Groundz was created to help complement the Morris area during Prairie Pioneer Days, to help retain community members who otherwise wouldn’t stay in town to participate in the weekend’s events, and to draw new visitors into our community. We felt events for the 21-50 age demographic was underrepresented during PPD and was the key audience for Rock the Groundz.
Unfortunately, participation has never met our expectations. Over its seven year run, the committee tried different combinations of national, regional and local musical talent, ticket pricing, marketing incentives and advertising mediums to achieve our goals. None of these combinations seemed to move the needle enough to justify the investment made. It didn’t matter if RTG invested $10,000 or over $40,000 in bands and advertising, attendance remained about the same. Therefore, we have come to the conclusion that whatever musical combination, price point or event date, an outdoor music and camping event will never become fully successful in Morris.
This is unfortunate, as we in Stevens County - and the region - have a great asset in the Stevens County Fairgrounds, which graciously provided facilities, ample space and over 50 camping spots with electrical and water hookups. The support and excitement exuded from Steve and the Fair Board has been outstanding and have been a pleasure to work with. This space is truly a gem in our community.
In addition to the venue, there are many other aspects of Rock the Groundz we are greatly proud of. The event operated in the black each year, much of it due to our fundraising efforts and from the great support of our sponsors. These businesses believed in our vision of creating an event that would be as exciting for us in Morris, as for visitors from around the area. Our main goal was to reinvest our profits to build a bigger and better event the next year. In reality, we felt we couldn’t continue going back to the well to solicit sponsorships to justify keeping this event going.
Foremost, we’d like to thank those who believed in this event and supported it by attending most - if not all - of the events and made it part of their summer to-do list. Also, thank you to the countless volunteers behind the scenes who helped in the many capacities - planning, working the gates, serving the food, installing fence, working the stage, providing beverage support, mowing or cleaning up - they all played an important part of this great experience.
Lastly, for the people who served on the planning committee - past or present - this event happened because these individuals came together to create something different, fun and exciting for our community. Serving in this capacity was a great commitment, but we don’t think any of us would trade the experience, the long hours, or the heavy lifting for anything else in the world.
Although the summer event is no longer, we still want to keep the music going in some regard. We're still interested in keeping the Mid-Winter Bash going. We hope when this happens, you can join us.
Have a safe summer and keep rocking,
The Groundz Crue