By Iain Blair
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After traveling the world and giving aspiring musicians a chance to jam with their favorite stars, the Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp announced Thursday it was setting up a permanent home in Las Vegas.
Starting in October, aspiring rockers who have dreamed of playing with their musical heroes can sign up for the camp's courses at the MGM Grand hotel and casino. Upcoming camps will feature rock legends as Roger Daltrey, Jack Bruce, Alice Cooper, Dave Navarro, Sammy Hagar, Gene Simmons and Vince Neil.
Camp founder David Fishof, a former manager and tour producer for Ringo Starr and The Monkees, said he had been looking for a permanent location for some time to cope with growing demand.
"It gets bigger every year," said Fishof. He estimated that since its start, over 7,000 rock star wannabes have attended the camps, which have been held six times a year in various locations including New York, Philadelphia and London.
Prices vary but a five-day camp with a star like Simmons is about $9,500 including hotel accommodation and meals, instruments and a performance at the MGM Grand hotel.
Fishof said the camps attract a cross-section of people.
"We get mothers, 15-year-old kids, top executives and music fans from all over the country, and the common denominator is their love for music - and many of them keep coming back, they love the experience so much," he said.
Now, the faithful will have a permanent shrine at which to worship.
The 10,000 square-foot (930 square-meter) facility in Vegas will also offer a "Rock Star for the Day" package for visitors to the city, consisting of a two- to three-hour jam session with famous musicians.
"What I love about Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp is watching these people learn so much in such a short space of time and having fun," Roger Daltrey of The Who, who will be appearing at the new camp in January 2013, said in a statement.
Simmons of KISS fame will inaugurate the new Vegas digs by headlining the October 10-14 camp, along with special guest rock stars including Vince Neil (Motley Crue), Sebastian Bach (Skid Row) and Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne guitarist, Black Label Society).
Additional camps are scheduled throughout the 2012-2013 season; headlining the November 7-11 camp as a "salute to the blues" will be Warren Haynes (The Allman Brothers) and Jack Bruce (Cream), followed by Daltrey who will headline the January 23-27 camp featuring Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction.) Alice Cooper will headline the February 14-18 camp with Sammy Hagar headlining the March 6-10 camp.
Further details are available at www.rockcamp.com.
(Editing by Jill Serjeant and Lisa Shumaker)
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