If it’s late summer, that means it’s Concert on the Lawn time. But wait — it’s not late summer and only the second weekend in July. A long-time summer tradition, except when it was a fall tradition, KBBI Public Radio’s annual Concert on the Lawn is held two weeks earlier this year. The two-day, family-friendly music festival is 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday at Karen Hornaday Park.
Known as “COTL” by festival fans, KBBI moved it to early July because a late-July slot put it a week before Salmonstock, to be held this year Aug. 1-3 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds, Ninilchik. The weather also is more likely to be less rainy in early July.
“We kept hearing from people not to be back-to-back with Salmonstock,” said Rose Grech, KBBI development director. “It’s tough for people to go to two music events one weekend to another.”
In the early days of KBBI, COTL started as a way to say thank you to supporters after the fall membership drive, Grech said. KBBI celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, when on Aug. 9, 1979, it held its first broadcast (see story, page 2). KBBI general manager Dave Anderson said he thinks the first COTL was held in the fall of 1980, after the station moved to a building at its second studio site on the old Federal Aviation Administration land. Now known as the Town Center, the FAA land was later transferred to Cook Inlet Region Inc. That was the original “lawn” for Concert on the Lawn. Proceeds support KBBI, but the focus honors COTL’s roots as a way for the station to show its appreciation to the town.
“It’s a good public relations, marketing thing to give back to the community and support local musicians to have a place to play and a family friendly event,” Grech said.
Now held at Karen Hornaday Park, COTL features two days of musical acts as well as food and craft vendors and nonprofit groups. Youth activities have been expanded, with HoWL — Homer Wilderness Leaders — providing two outdoor-oriented games. The Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies also will have a booth where kids can make musical instruments out of recycled materials, including marine debris. Children under 18 get in free if accompanied by guardians or pay $11 otherwise. COTL attracts a lot of teenagers in particular, Grech said.
“We really want a safe, fun place for teenagers to go to,” she said.
Returning acts popular at COTL include Nervis Rex, Gary Sloan’s American Music, The Pillage People, The Barroom Roses, Firelight and Los Holy Santos Gang. New this year is Blackwater Railroad Company, a folk rock band from Seward.
Two new Homer bands play, Slow Motion Riders, with Homer Council on the Arts youth artist of the year Patrick Latimer, a classic rock and blues band playing covers from Eric Clapton, Aerosmith, The Doobie Brothers and others. Also new at COTL is Raised by Humans with Kevin Duff, Dan Avendano, Justin Coz and Steven Rich.
“Each member of the band is a songwriter, which results in pluralistic contributions to the musical framework of the group,” the band writes of itself.
There still may be slots available to volunteer and get free admission for a three-hour slot, Grech said. Sign up by the end of the day Friday. Volunteers also are needed after the show to pick up trash and take down tents.
KBBI AM 890
Concert on the Lawn
1-10 p.m. Saturday
1-9 p.m. Sunday
Karen Hornaday Park
Gates open at noon
Tickets: $22 adults daily, $11 children under 18, children free if accompanied by a parent or guardian
Sat, July 12
Spur Highway Spankers
Blackwater Railroad Company
Jon Crocker and Trina Uvass
Raised by Humans
Gary Sloan’s American Music
The Quiet Cull
Sun, July 13
Todd Grebe and Cold Country
Dan “Dirty D” Pascucci
The Slow Motion Riders
The Barroom Roses
Los Holy Santos Gang
No parking near fire hydrant west of Campground Road, in front of residences, at Kenai Physical Therapy, south side of Fairview, at Kachemak Bay Medical and at South Peninsula Hospital upper lots near hospital.
Parking OK at Homer Medical Clinic on
Parking OK in South Peninsula Hospital lower lots.