ST. CHARLES, Iowa – Tickets and camping passes go on sale for Hinterland on Friday, and landowners reflected on how they have partnered with the music festival.
Eric and Loraine Rokitnicki own the Lotus Events Center in St. Charles and were contacted by the organizers of Hinterland when flooding hit Water Works Park and they needed to find a new location.
Family member Renatta Bolen said her parents saw an opportunity and transformed an old church into the now events center.
“My parents owned the property around it, and the church at that time was basically dismantling and asked my parents if they would buy the building and the congregation,” Bolen said.
Eric Rokitnicki said it took a long time to transform the land.
“Here before it was all trees, ugly ditch. It would take me seven years to build it up. It took two tree dozers to build it up. That is not overnight. That was dream for long time,” Rokitnicki said.
The family now owns around 300 acres of land. Forty acres are used by Hinterland each year.
“We continue to contour the land and make it where it's very friendly for the people, for the handicap, for everybody, for families, for camping, for people who just want to come for concerts,” Bolen said.
Eric Rokitnicki moved from Poland to Iowa back in 1966. He saw an opportunity to have a family and grow his dream in the country. “I’m free. I can walk. No pressure.”
Family said they plan to continue to expand their business and hope to see other large events like Hinterland call their venue home.
Click here for the 2020 Hinterland music lineup.