Alaska’s summer music festival celebrating salmon and its habitat has a new name and new organizers, who say they plan to carry forward the campaign to protect Alaskan salmon and its habitat throughout the state.
The musical line-up for Salmonfest, set for July 31 through Aug. 2 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik, already includes headliners Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell, and organizers say many more acts will be announced in the weeks ahead. Last year’s Salmonstock, the forerunner to Salmonfest, featured more than 60 bands, and attracted several thousand people.
The scope of Salmonfest, said festival producer/director Jim Stearns, will become an all encompassing salmon/fish/habitat oriented event that will focus on the unifying concepts that bind Alaskans together, rather than divide us. As Salmonfest evolves, the new organizers said, they want to emphasize and celebrate the connection of all Alaskans to the fish and the waters that provide this magnificent resource.
Salmonstock was created four years ago by the Renewable Resources Foundation, in Anchorage, in an effort to bring people together to learn more about the importance of salmon and salmon habitat, and to educate them on potential adverse affects of a massive copper, gold and molybdenum mine proposed at the headwaters of the Bristol Bay watershed. Along with numerous booths offering food, beverages, clothing and art, there are several booths offering conversation and literature on environmental issues related to salmon habitat, in opposition to the various proposed mining projects, including the Pebble mine.