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Travis Kelce on Kelce Jam and What He Learned From Taylor Swift About Live Events: "Enjoy the People"

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Travis Kelce is following his back-to-back Super Bowl wins with the return of his music festival Kelce Jam.

Lil Wayne, Diplo and 2 Chainz will perform at the May 18 event taking place at The Azura Amphitheater in Kansas City, Kansas. Fans can register online at KelceJam.com for presale tickets, which start at $49.99 and go on sale Friday. Takis will livestream the event across the NFL star and Kelce Jam's social channels.

"It was such a blast that I had to do it again this year. I'm so excited," Kelce tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I wanted to keep it fresh and keep it new, so this year we asked Lil Wayne, Diplo and 2 Chainz to come out and perform. And of course, we still got DJ Irie and my guy, DJ E-V, jumping it off, the hometown kid. We got to show the hometown love."

He continues, "But it's going to be so much fun, and I cannot wait to get back out and celebrate with KC, man. It's just a blast every single time we can get together to celebrate these back-to-back [Super Bowl wins] one last time."

Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs won their second consecutive Super Bowl this February, defeating the San Francisco 49ers this year and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2023. The tight end claimed his first Super Bowl in 2020.

Travis Kelce. Kyle Rivas/Getty Images

Last year's inaugural Kelce Jam featured 20,000 attendees and was headlined by Rick Ross and MGK, whom Kelce performed alongside onstage. In addition to music, this year's event, presented by Jim Beam, will include local Kansas City restaurant pop-ups and interactive activations. Kelce is partnering again with Medium Rare, the company behind major pre-Super Bowl events like Shaq's Fun House with Shaquille O'Neal, Gronk Beach with Rob Gronkowski, Sports Illustrated The Party and Guy's Flavortown Tailgate with Guy Fieri.

Kelce says he called Medium Rare to help him produce his festival after attending Gronk Beach at the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas.  

"We've found a winning model that allows us to work with some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment to execute their visions for fan experiences at the very highest level," says Joe Silberzweig, Medium Rare's co-founder and co-CEO. "By partnering with talent 50/50 this means that it's not a just celebrity appearance or endorsement opportunity, but a festival that's truly built on their DNA." 

Adds Adam Richman, co-founder and co-CEO of Medium Rare: "It's really remarkable to see just what the Travis Kelce effect is. Fans lined up last year at 5 a.m., some even camped out and showed out for the festival despite rain. This year, we're already feeling that excitement tenfold, from the fans to our brand partners. It really says a lot about Travis, a global super star, that he wants to bring Kelce Jam back to Kansas City and celebrate at home."

In an interview, 34-year-old Kelce talks about his festival, what he learned about producing live events from pop star girlfriend Taylor Swift and the success of his podcast with his brother Jason. 

You ended up onstage at last year's festival — will we see you performing again?

I don't know about performing. I'm going to leave that up to the professionals, but you'll see me up there with the mic having some fun and trying to keep the crowd hype, and everybody excited for the next act. But yeah, I can't help myself, man. Once I got a mic in my hand, you never know what I'll do.

Travis Kelce

This festival is one of your ways of showing love back to Kansas City. Talk about your connection to the city and how its energy helps you show up in life and on the field. 

Oh yeah, man, Chiefs Kingdom, I've been so fortunate to land in one of the biggest sports towns, let alone one of the biggest franchises in the National Football League because of the fan base. And not only that, but getting into the community and being a part of the community with my foundations 87 & Running and all the things we've done for the kids in the area, it's just so embracing of a city that I absolutely love being a part of it. And then sure enough, Arrowhead being the loudest stadium in the world, we hear them every single stadium we go to. Arrowhead being the loudest stadium in the world is such an upper hand and such a pleasure to have. And I cherish every single game and every single time I get out in front of the community.

Lil Wayne is headlining, and he has like 200 hits. What's your favorite Lil Wayne song and why?

My favorite Lil Wayne song? I'm not going to lie. I'm pretty excited that I got him and 2 Chainz in the building because my favorite song is "Duffle Bag Boy." I still listen to it to this day before games and everything.

What was the experience like doing the festival for the first time last year, and are there things that you want to do differently the second time around?

To be honest, I was having so much fun, I couldn't even imagine it getting better. But I think this year with just a little bit more buzz to it, everybody had an amazing time. There was such good feedback that we have more and more sponsors. And this year we're definitely still going to have the food aspect to it. So, Uber Eats in Merchant Row. We'll have local spots from KC, a lot of KC's favorites. And then on top of that, obviously, some unbelievable music. But I think last year went so amazing and so smooth and so perfect for the first year that it'll only keep getting better and better as the years go on.

Last year, you earned rave reviews for hosting Saturday Night Live and you mentioned potentially doing scripted comedy. Is that something you've been able to explore?

It still is, and I'm out here in L.A. trying to get more comfortable in the entertainment world before we start back up with this football thing, knowing that that's my main focus in my life, and it'll always be that until I'm done playing. But I'm definitely still dabbling in the scripted world, the entertainment world, and we'll see where that road takes me. I'm extremely excited, but at the same time, I know I'm a bit of an amateur in that world, so I definitely got to get comfortable and, I don't know, put my own creativity on it.

Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift Erick W. Rasco/Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

You're producing your second festival and taking part in the live music space, while Taylor Swift put on one of the biggest live music events of all time last year with her Eras Tour. Did you learn anything from watching her do that?

(Laughs.) I did: Don't try and be Taylor, that's what I learned. Yeah, she's on a whole other stratosphere. She's the best at what she does for a reason. It's because she's so articulate and just very dialed into every single thing that she does. And that's the beauty of it. I'd be silly if I ever tried to take anything from what she does, other than just enjoy the people that show up. I think that's one thing I could probably take away: She really relates to the people she's performing in front of, and so I'll take that.

Her four-hour concert is not easy to do …

It's impressive.

Jason Kelce and Travis Kelce Patrick Smith/Getty Images

You and your brother's podcast, New Heights, was nominated for a Webby this morning. Have you been surprised by the strong response? 

I mean, without a doubt, I've been surprised. I think everybody's kind of shocked on how it's taken off the way it has. But we just started off by wanting to showcase our brotherhood and our similarities knowing that we're really two different walks of life. But when you get us around each other, you can see why we're brothers, and you see how much love, and how much appreciation we have for each other for getting to where we are in our lives. And we wanted to showcase that. We wanted to give people a firsthand look at what it's like to be at the lunch table or at the dinner table with Jason and Travis Kelce. And I think it's just been so cool to see how everybody's appreciated that, let alone the Super Bowl that we had, and being able to showcase our family and that aspect. I think it's just been just an unbelievable amount of support that I can't be more thankful for.

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