KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Work has already started on a music festival that likely wouldn’t be possible if Missouri voters didn’t legalize recreational marijuana in 2022.
420 Fest on April 20, 2023 will introduce the public to the land that organizers hope to one day turn into the Smokey River Entertainment District. That larger, permanent project will have an ampitheater, bars, restaurants, and cannabis businesses.
Before that construction can happen, 420 Fest is already attracting multi-platinum selling, GRAMMY, and Golden Globe-nominated recording artist Wiz Khalifa and other young talents like Joey Bada$$, Berner, Smoke DZA, and Chevy Woods.
“I know a lot of people drive by here and they’re like, ‘How are they doing to do this,” said Besa Hospitality Group (BHG) President Joey Pintozzi. “I come from the festival and concert world where you just transform a field into a party.”
That’s why Pintozzi says the field is going to become one of the first places in the region where marijuana can be a relatively normal part of a night out.
“You don’t have to hide as a cannabis user,” Pintozzi said. “You can go out as your friends go out and enjoy a beer, a cigarette, at a sporting event, a bar, you can do the same here.”
The stage area and 18 plus audience space is no different than any other concert. But a Cannabis Village along the side of the venue will allow cannabis companies to showcase their products while carefully screened concert-goers can learn more about the growing industry.
State law requires that people can’t consume marijuana and alcohol in the same place, so Pintozzi says there will be a lot of security making sure everyone follows the rules.
“If you want to be around cannabis, you can,” Pintozzi said. “If you don’t want to be, you don’t have to be. This is for everybody.”
There are two more festivals planned for around July 4 and the end of the summer. You can find ticket information here.