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Travis Kelce Opens Up About 2024 Kelce Jam Music Festival, His ‘Last Hoo-rah’ Post-Super Bowl

Travis Kelce Opens Up About 2024 Kelce Jam Music Festival, His ‘Last Hoo-rah’ Post-Super Bowl

Ask Travis Kelce about his favorite music, and his face will light up. The outer corners of his eyes crinkle with excitement, and he talks with overflowing glee through a wide, toothy smile.

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It’s the same expression that the lovable Chiefs tight end might wear after scoring an unbelievable touchdown at Arrowhead Stadium, or while joking about being the Yoko Ono to girlfriend Taylor Swift‘s John Lennon alongside his brother, retired Eagles center Jason Kelce, on their joint podcast, New Heights. It’s definitely the same passion with which he’s known for discussing his love for Kansas City, for whom the Ohio native secured a second Super Bowl win in a row this February.

Now, in his latest love letter to the city he currently calls home, Travis is bringing back Kelce Jam — a self-curated music festival he launched last year in honor of the Chiefs taking home the 2023 Lombardi Trophy. Following the inaugural event’s lineup of Machine Gun Kelly, Rick Ross and Loud Luxury, this year’s offering will feature headliners Lil Wayne, Diplo and 2 Chainz, plus performances from Irie and E-V, as announced by the athlete Tuesday (April 2).

“I’m super excited for it,” a charged-up Travis tells Billboard the same day, rocking a baseball cap emblazoned with “L.A.,” the initials of his whereabouts at the time of our Zoom call. “We got Jim Beam as the big sponsor, and they’re bringing so many cool new things to it, like a drone show. They’ll be out there giving out free barbecue — you know how much Kansas City loves their barbecue.”

Slated for the evening of Saturday, May 18, at Azura Amphitheater, the 2024 Kelce Jam is also backed by Medium Rare, this year’s partner, as well as an array of other brands like Takis, which will livestream the festival globally across Travis’ socials. Fans can already register online for an event pre-sale starting Friday (April 5), with Travis advertising plainly and confidently on Instagram, “All tickets will sell out.”

Much like last year, the festival will serve as one last celebration of the Chiefs’ incredible season before Travis and his teammates, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, start the process over again in training camp this summer. Unlike 2023, however, this year’s Kelce Jam comes in the wake of a community tragedy, with the Feb. 14 Super Bowl parade ending in a deadly shooting that killed one person and injured 22 others.

The gravity of this isn’t lost on Travis, but neither is the real importance of coming together in the face of tragedy (or, as he likes to put it, fighting for his right to party). Below, he catches up with Billboard about his favorite artists, Chiefs Kingdom, playing the role of festival curator and more ahead of 2024’s Kelce Jam:

This year’s Kelce Jam is billed as featuring some of your own personal favorite artists. What was the process of curating the lineup like?

When it came to this year’s lineup, I wanted to keep it fresh, keep it new and keep everybody coming back for something. We got Lil Wayne – Tunechi — who’s been one of my favorites since I was in high school. 2 Chainz as well, another one that’s been one of my favorites since high school. And then Diplo, who I’ve gotten to know, and I’ve gotten to appreciate his music so much. One of my favorites in the game as well.

It’s just so much fun being able to bring this to Kansas City, because of how much Kansas City shows out for me and the Chiefs every single game day. To be able to bring this to them, a music and food fest, something where we can all celebrate and have a great time — I’m just so blessed and so fortunate to be able to do this. It’s gonna be exciting.

This year’s Super Bowl parade in Kansas City obviously ended in a deeply upsetting way. (After gunfire broke out at the celebration, which Travis attended on a float with his teammates, he tweeted that he was “heartbroken.”) How has that experience affected your approach to putting on an event like this?

The parade was very sad on our hearts, and our hands are still out to everybody involved in terms of what went down. It’s not easy to deal with stuff like that as a community.

Security is going to be something that I take seriously, so that everybody feels safe when they’re there. But also, I think it is another chance to be able to celebrate. Last year I was fortunate to be able to do this for the first time after we won the [2023] Super Bowl. It was kind of like my last hoo-rah, the last time I was going to celebrate that Super Bowl. I think this is going to be the last hoo-rah for me this year, celebrating the [2024] Super Bowl with the city of Kansas City because of how much I appreciate and love them.

If you ever host a third Kelce Jam, which artists would be your dream headliners?

Woo! I got a list of about a hundred people that I absolutely – music is one of my favorite things. On top of that, live music is something I never pass up on. The Chainsmokers are my brothers, I love those guys. Marshmello is one of my brothers. T-Pain is one of my favorite performers of all time. I’ve gotten to love guys like Morgan Wallen.

The list just goes on, and the genres vary everywhere. I’m a real music lover. I’m just fortunate we got the guys that we have this year, and I think it’s going to be a blast.

Do you plan to make Kelce Jam its own annual festival independent of your football career? Or do you plan on keeping it as a post-Super Bowl event that’s special to Kansas City?

That’s been in talks, to see where [Kelce Jam] fits and where we could go with it. I know one thing, and it’s that I love celebrating with Kansas City. I don’t know what the future holds or how much more fun we could have with it outside of KC, but it’s interesting, and I guess we’ll have to see where it takes us.

Will your Chiefs teammates be in attendance? How about the Kelce family?

I’ve got my fingers crossed that I can have the whole shebang, have all my teammates, even my coaches – Andy Reid, come on down baby, have some fun with us. Anybody that shows up, I’m just ultimately appreciative of.

It’s such a unique opportunity for me to be able to host an event like this – on May 18! I don’t know if I plugged that [date] yet. [Laughs.] Hopefully I can get everybody to sign up for this one, knowing how much fun last year’s was.

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