KISS' Gene Simmons to headline music festival in Braman

By Jimmie Tramel / Tulsa World

Gene Simmons of KISS is coming back to a little town in north central Oklahoma. This time, he’s performing.

On Jan. 12, Simmons and band mate Paul Stanley traveled to Braman to announce they are partnering with the Kaw Nation to bring a Rock & Brews Casino Resort to Kay County.

On Monday, it was announced that Simmons will return to Braman to headline an all-day outdoor music festival at Southwind Casino. The festival will take place Thursday, April 6. Simmons’ performance will begin at 7:30 p.m.

“I cannot wait to perform for my devoted fans here in Oklahoma, where I’m always greeted with a warm welcome,” Simmons said in the press release. “I’m also thrilled to play on the future site of the Rock & Brews Casino Resort.”

The press release described the event as a “day-long celebration of music, food and fun for all ages.”

The festival will take place rain or shine and will include food trucks, a beer tent and hourly performances by various rock acts. Among performers are Drowning Pool, Taddy Porter, BC and the Big Rig, Nicnos and Jenny Wood. Doors will open at 1 p.m., and performances begin at 2 p.m.

A “Queen of Rock” Pageant will take place at 7 p.m., just before Simmons takes the stage.

General admission tickets are $35. Reserved seats are $50 and are eligible for an upgrade to meet Simmons for an additional $100. Tickets can be purchased at southwindcasino.com. Tickets will come with a Match Play valid one time only to be used at the casino from April 7-30 and a free appetizer to be redeemed at the Rock & Brews restaurant in Oklahoma City.

Simmons and Stanley are among partners in the Rock & Brews restaurant brand, and they are making their first venture into the casino resort business.

“You don’t know how big … this is going to become,” Simmons said while in Braman in January. “You’ve got to remember, Las Vegas was desert once upon a time. Now, 44 million people come into Las Vegas every year. If we get 1/100th of that coming here, it’s going to be an explosion.”

According to a fact sheet distributed when plans for the casino were announced, the casino resort will include a 250-room hotel with a spa and fitness center, a 77,528-square-foot casino, a bingo hall, a conference center, four “luxury” retail stores, a travel plaza/truck stop and a 1,500-seat event center.

“It isn’t just going to be a fancy place where rock stars and beautiful women and gaming is going to go on,” Simmons said in January.

“It’s actually going to substantially increase everybody’s life quality in and around the area. People are going to come here from all over the world.”

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