The KansasFest Committee is excited to announce that KansasFest 2024 will be held July 16-21, at the University of Illinois Springfield, followed by the virtual meeting July 27-28.

Since its beginnings in the late 1980s, KansasFest has been held in several locations with various names. After growing out of the AppleFest conference in Boston, the “A2-Central Summer Conference” was held in 1989 at Avila College in Kansas City, Missouri. After a few years, the conference became known as KansasFest, and continued at Avila College until 2005, when the conference moved to Rockhurst University. KansasFest has remained at Rockhurst since then, with the exception of 2020 and 2021, when the conference was virtual only.

In April 2023, the KansasFest Committee began discussing a possible move, based on the following challenges:

  • Accessibility: Particularly as our attendees advance in age, the lack of an elevator and the need to navigate several flights of stairs between the rooms, the presentation room, and the dining facility becomes increasingly important. Corcoran Hall lacks ramps and ADA-compliant restrooms, and Rockhurst does not have other dorms suitable for the meeting (common area, integrated presentation room).
  • Inclusiveness: We have heard from numerous past attendees that Missouri state laws are not inclusive towards LGBTQ+ individuals. We strive to enable all Apple II fans to feel welcome and safe traveling to KansasFest.
  • Comfort: Corcoran Hall is old. Hot water and air conditioning are inconsistent. Restrooms are not private. Our presentation room is often warm and cramped.
  • Food Quality: On-campus food quality is variable, with limited options.
  • Network Quality: The WiFi network is consistently unstable and difficult, with no wired options which limit on-site streaming into or out of the venue.

KansasFest needs a venue that will accommodate our group’s changing needs for the foreseeable future. The committee has spent the past year exploring multiple venues. One of the most important criteria was a way to maintain the “dorm” atmosphere of KansasFest, which makes it unique and is one of the defining features. Another key criteria was location. Ideally, KansasFest should be located in the central part of the US, within a reasonable driving distance for many attendees and fairly close to a major airport.

After carefully reviewing the available locations and weighing all of the pros and cons, the University of Illinois Springfield came out as the top choice. We did a site visit in early February and met with University staff. The University was enthusiastic and accommodating, and had no problem with our unique needs, including things like the Garage Giveaway and SolderFest.

We realize that moving the location of KansasFest is a major change. The decision was not taken lightly. However, the committee feels strongly that this is the best possible choice to ensure a long, successful future for KansasFest. We know that there will be challenges with the move, including getting used to a new venue, transportation to Springfield, differences with the audiovisual system, new cafeteria choices, etc. Some traditions (such as the BBQ at Jack Stack) may need to be retired; however, we hope that new traditions will be formed.

More information and details will be coming soon. In the meantime, please visit our FAQ for details on the decision, as well as updates to the COVID policy for KansasFest 2024.

The committee believes that the true spirit of KansasFest lies in the community and our love of the Apple II computer, and not in any particular location. We look forward to seeing you this summer at KansasFest 2024. Apple II Forever!