Homer Alaska - Arts

Story last updated at 1:12 PM on Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Salmonstock 2012

By Angelina Skowronski
For the Homer News


Photo by Angelina Skowronski

Homer reggae band Uplift plays at last year's Salmonstock.

This year's Cook Inlet king salmon runs have the Kenai Peninsula worried, but that glum attitude will get a cheerful boost with Salmonstock 2012, a celebration of Alaska's wild salmon through art, education and music. Lots of music.

Now in its sophomore year, Salmonstock 2012 is hosted by the Renewable Resources Foundation Aug. 3-5 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik. The three-day art, music and educational festival is geared toward informing people of the potential negative impacts of the proposed Pebble mine on Alaska's wild salmon.

"The support after last year's festival was overwhelming and there was a lot of pressure to do it again," said Melissa Heuer, RRF's deputy director. "We found that Salmonstock was a great way to keep the conversation going even if salmon are not in the water."

The success of last year's festival helped to spread the word in the music community. This year, big names that have Salmonstock on their 2012 summer tour schedule include Leftover Salmon, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Ozomatli, Todd Snider, Greensky Bluegrass, Great American Taxi, Clinton Fearon, Tim Easton and Jim Page. Returning performers include Great American Taxi and Clinton Fearon.

Alaska musicians who are part of the festival include The Whipsaws, Sweating Honey, the Melissa Mitchell Band, Spiff & Friends, Jack River Kings, the Meg Mackey Band, The Sweetners and Stuck in Reverse. Homer acts that will be a part of the action include The Barroom Roses, Milo Matthews, the Holy Santos Gang and Atz Lee Kilcher.

"We feel that this year will be bigger and better than last year. Our goal is to create the best summer music event in Alaska," said Jim Stearns, music and production coordinator for Salmonstock. "We want to take it to the next level with each new year."

"The word has reached the Lower 48 — so many people are affected by salmon. We have a person from each state coming to the festival. This shows that the preservation of salmon is not only a local, but also a national issue," said Heuer.

So national that Colorado's Leftover Salmon put the Salmonstock sticker on their newest album, "Aquatic Hitchhiker." Leftover Salmon guitarist Vince Herman also plays with Great American Taxi, who performed at last year's festival.

"Vince fell in love with Ray Troll's artwork at the festival so much that he had Ray do the artwork on Leftover Salmon's newest album, which features a salmon hitchhiking with a sign that says 'Alaska or Bust,'" said Stearns. "The band has a connection to Salmonstock already, and they are committed to the cause."

Ketchikan artist Ray Troll designed the festival's artwork last year. Troll's art will be represented again this year.

Stearns also has added a third stage, the "Inlet Stage," which will feature singers and songwriters from Alaska and the Lower 48.

"The goal is to orchestrate the schedule between bands and stages so that people don't feel conflicted with choosing which performer to see. The idea is that as one band is finishing, another is starting at another stage," said Stearns.

Salmonstock continues the late-night pavilion tradition. Friday's late night show will feature Tim Easton and Santa Cruz's Coffis Brothers. Saturday will be an All-Star Salmon Jam with two of Colorado's finest: Leftover Salmon and Great American Taxi.

The popularity of last year's Kleen Kanteen mugs inspired a "zero waste" beer garden this year. Kleen Kanteen festival pint mugs will be sold for use in the festival's two beer gardens. Anchorage's Broken Tooth Brewing and Talkeetna's Denali Brewing beers will be available for those 21 and older who are looking to wet their whistle.

Homer's Mavis Muller will do another impermanent art piece using humans as her medium. An aerial photo of her human mosaic will be taken.

"We are using interactive art to make a statement: We love wild Alaska, and we love wild Alaskan salmon. Our purpose here is to protect and defend what we love," said Muller.

In addition, Homer's new art staple, the fire-breathing salmon facilitated by Doug Schwiesow and Mavis Muller, also will travel to Ninilchik for the second year, courtesy of Doug and Johanna Fraiman, owners of East Village, where the sculpture now resides.

"We like to think of those fire-breathing salmon as the spirit of the show," said Stearns.

For the Renewable Resources Foundation, education and awareness are the main goals of Salmonstock — presented against a backdrop of great music. Nearly a dozen educational booths will be at the festival with interactive programs and literature on the environment and wildlife preservation. Commercial Fisherman for Bristol Bay, the Sierra Club and Cook Inletkeeper will be a few of the organizations represented.

Fresh Catch Café, K-Bay Caffé and HomerSapiens are among some of Homer's businesses which will sell fish and chips, coffee and hula hoops, among other delights. There will be 10 food vendors and more than 35 craft vendors at the festival.

Online ticket sales are already 200 percent up from last year. The maximum capacity is 4,500 people. The expectation is for a sold-out festival. Proceeds raised from ticket and merchandise sales will go to the Renewable Resources Foundation to be used for newsletters, petitions, membership drives and presentations.

Another of Stearns' creations, making sure the music doesn't end, are the "After-Stock Parties" in Homer. Last year Great American Taxi played at the Down East Saloon as a post-stock show. The success has influenced an unannounced list of bands to get the floor stomping at Alice's Champagne Palace on the Monday and Tuesday after Salmonstock. The names of the bands will be made public at the festival.

Three-day pass tickets are $110 in advance, $130 at the door. Two-day and single day tickets also are available. Children 12 and under are free.

Free shuttles to and from Ninilchik's various camping locations and the festival grounds will be available. For more information on shuttle service, camping and ticket purchases, go to www.salmonstock.org.

Angelina Skowronski is a freelance writer who lives in Homer.


WHEN: Fri-Sun, August 3–5

WHERE: Ninilchik Fairgrounds

TICKETS: THREE-DAY PASS: $110 in advance / $130 at the door TWO-DAY PASS: $90 SINGLE DAY TICKETS: Friday: $45 Saturday: $55 Sunday: $45 Children 12 and under free

Friday, Aug. 3

Gates Open noon • Vendors noon - 1 a.m. Music 12:30 p.m.- 1 a.m. • Late night 1-3 a.m.

Ocean Stage

1:15 p.m. Julia & John Dykstra

2:30 p.m. Holy Santos Gang

3:50 p.m. The Hot Strangs

5 p.m. Jack River Kings

6:10 p.m. Melissa Mitchell Band

7:20 p.m. 907

9 p.m. Coffis Brothers & The Mountain Men

11 p.m. Ozomatli

River Stage

3:20 p.m. Hot Dish

4:30 p.m. Ghost Hands

5:40 p.m. The Young Guns

6:45 p.m. High Lonesome Sound

8:20 p.m. Holy Santos Gang

Headwaters Late Night*

12:45 a.m. Saturday - The Coffis Brothers & The Mountain Men., followed by Tim Easton with Junior

*Late night jams go into the wee hours. Capacity is limited; tickets will be available at the door for a small cover charge.

Saturday, Aug. 4

Gates Open 11 a.m. • Vendors 11-1 a.m. Music 11-1 a.m. • Late night 1-3 a.m.

Ocean Stage

11:30 a.m. Milo Matthews

12:15 p.m. Dana Lyons

1:15 p.m. Spiff & Friends

2:20 p.m. The Barroom Roses

3:25 p.m. Sweating Honey

4:40 p.m. Jim Page

5:40 p.m. Great American Taxi

7:30 p.m. The Whipsaws

9 p.m. Clinton Fearon

11 p.m. Leftover Salmon

River Stage

11:50 a.m. Shawn Zuke & Firelight

12:45 p.m. Yellow Cabin

1:50 p.m. Emma Hill

2:55 p.m. Si Kahn

4 p.m. Nellie Clay

5 p.m. Meg Mackey Band

6:45 p.m. Stuck In Reverse

8:15 p.m. Big Fat Buddha

Headwaters Late Night*

1 a.m. Sunday - All-Star Salmon Jam (including members of Leftover Salmon, Great American Taxi, and more.

*Late night jams go into the wee hours. Capacity is limited; tickets will be available at the door for a small cover charge.

Sunday, Aug. 5

Gates Open 11 a.m. • Vendors 11 a.m. -9 p.m. • Music 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Ocean Stage

11 a.m. TBA

11:50 a.m. Si Kahn

12:45 p.m. Superfrequency

2:15 p.m. Greensky Bluegrass

3:50 p.m. Tim Easton

5:15 p.m. Todd Snider with Great American Taxi

7:45 p.m. Robert Randolph & the Family Band

River Stage

12:15 p.m. The Sweeteners

1:30 p.m. Coffis Brothers & The Mountain Men

3:15 p.m. Beer Money

4:35 p.m. The Barroom Roses

6:30 p.m. 907

Additional Acts:

Dana Lyons, Atz Lee Kilcher, Dan Lesperance, Michelle McAfee, Dylan Lee Johnston, Diana Z, Brooks West, Kevin Worrell, Steve Norwood, and Church of Flaming Funk

Tentative schedule, all acts, days and times subject to change.