Along with the Spit Run, the Ninilchik Rodeo and the Kenai Peninsula Fair, one of the lower peninsula’s most venerable summer traditions is back in its 34th year — KBBI Public Radio’s annual Concert on the Lawn.
As old as the station itself, Concert on the Lawn started in the station’s old backyard in what’s now called the Town Center. At a bigger venue at Karen Hornaday Park, Concert on the Lawn is Homer’s own mini-Woodstock, minus the mud. Unlike Woodstock, if someone says they were at Concert on the Lawn, they probably were.
The two-day event runs next Saturday and Sunday, July 27 and 28, in the upper ball field of the park off Fairview Avenue. Tickets are $22 a day for adults, $11 for children under age 16 or free if accompanied with a parent or guardian, on sale at the gate. No advance tickets are sold. Get in for free with a little sweat equity by volunteering for a shift that day. To encourage people to attend one of its major fundraisers, this year there is not a live broadcast on KBBI of the music.
“It started making more and more sense to try and maximize attendance to our events by not providing a whole day of musical entertainment at the cost of turning your radio on,” said KBBI General Manager Dave Anderson.
Also at Concert on the Lawn will be nonprofit organization booths, kids activities and food and crafts booths.
Musicians apply to perform at Concert on the Lawn, with a KBBI committee selecting acts.
“We’re looking for a nice mix of music that is representative of what Homer is and what KBBI is, and maybe some sounds you wouldn’t necessarily hear on the radio station on a regular basis,” said KBBI program manager Terry Rensel.
For example, Rensel mentioned Williwaw Marimba. Created from the merger of youth marimba group Rufaro and adult group Zuva, the 11-member ensemble plays primarily music from the Zimbabwean African tradition that has made Homer the marimba capital of Alaska.
“The marimba is very much a piece of Homer culture,” Rensel said.
The lineup includes popular acts like Nervis Rex with new-to-Concert on the Lawn groups like Guinness Records or touring Florida musician Austin Miller.
“On any given year, it’s a mix — for lack of a better phrase — of the usual suspects and people who are new to the lineup,” Rensel said.
KBBI itself has a booth to offer information about the lower peninsula’s public radio station. Mugs from the twice-yearly membership drives will be available, and new for Concert on the Lawn is an original KBBI design shirt.
“It’s going to be two days of great music, and you shouldn’t miss it,” Rensel said.
KBBI AM 890 Concert on the Lawn
Noon-10 p.m. Saturday, July 27
Noon-9 p.m. Sunday, July 28
Where: Karen Hornaday Park
$22 adults, $11 under 16 or free if with parent or guardian, available at the gate, no advance tickets sold.
No live broadcast on KBBI AM 890 of Concert on the Lawn
(subject to change)
Saturday, July 27
Dan “Dirty D” and Amy Lou
Karen Strid Quartet
Gary Sloan’s American Music
Sunday, July 28
Shawn Zuke and Firelight
North side of Fairview Avenue
Homer Medical Center
Offices of Drs. Raymond and McCullum
Homer Independent Living Center
In front of residences
South Peninsula Hospital
Kenai Physical Therapy
Volunteers are needed.
Contact Laura at 235-7721, ext. 221 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers work a shift and get in to the concert for free the same day.