Country Stampede to be renamed, Topeka to host on 3-year contract


Country Stampede is moving to Topeka for at least the next three years.

Along with that will be a name change, which Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla announced at a news conference Thursday.

      De La Isla 1

(Audio courtesy KSNT-TV) Organizers of the event say rising costs have made the event no longer feasible to have in Manhattan.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and Country Stampede, LLC mutually agreed to terminate the Special Event Permit Addendum signed in March 2018. Under the termination agreement, KDWPT will refund the operator’s payment of $81,500 and the operator is no longer obligated to make any future payments. Country Stampede President Wayne Rouse said it was the best option available so as to make sure the festival continued its viability.

      Wayne Rouse 1

Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Jason Smith says it’s disappointing to see the festival, which generated between $8 to $10 million annually in the local economy, leaving the community.

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Smith says he and other officials were unhappy with the way the announcement was handled.

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A statement from the Chamber released after the announcement says “Manhattan and Tuttle Creek State Park have an excellent track record of hosting a nationally acclaimed music festival for more than two decades. This announcement does absolutely nothing to change that. Manhattan is a great spot to host meetings, events and festivals. Manhattan is also a community that comes together to create new opportunities. (Read the full statement below)

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism said the decision to part ways was partially based on the “unprecedented rainfall” that forced the festival to relocate this year. Both the agency and Rouse said the City of Manhattan and Tuttle Creek State Park have been great hosts for the event for the past 23 years.

Stampede Media Release

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Brandon Peoples

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