Clarion file photo

Clarion file photo

Festival returns with new identity

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the festival’s website. It is

This summer, a familiar music festival will be held on the Kenai Peninsula, but with a few minor changes.

Salmonfest, the reincarnation of Salmonstock, will be held July 31-Aug. 2 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds in Ninilchik. The event is a celebration of fish, love and music.

The festival’s name change is a result of new partnership. While the Renewable Resources Foundation presented Salmonstock in previous years, Salmonfest is associated with the Kachemak Bay Conservation Society.

Despite the name change, the family-friendly festival will share similar causes with its predecessor.

“Salmonfest will carry on the vision of protecting Alaskan salmon and its habitat throughout the state,” according to a press release from the event’s organizers.

Salmonfest also has another key remnant of Salmonstock – its organizers.

“The important thing is Salmonfest is being produced by the same festival producers as Salmonstock,” said Jeffrey Abel, the festival’s assistant producer. “It’s the same high quality show that was put on in the past.”

The festival’s organizers are confident that attendees, which are expected to reach nearly seven thousand, will be pleased with the quality of music this year.

“We’re really excited,” said Jim Stearns, the festival’s producer. “We’re expecting the strongest lineup we’ve ever had.”

This year, 13-time Grammy Award winning artist Emmylou Harris will perform with Rodney Crowell to headline the event. Other acts include Moonalice, The Dirty River Ramblers and The Motet. Stearns said more big acts would be announced in the coming weeks.

Stearns said that typically around 50 acts perform during the weekend, including nearly a dozen national acts. He said that each year, bigger acts want to play the festival and are prepared to travel all the way to Alaska to perform.

“They’re willing to roll the dice,” Stearns said. “We have a proven track record, and they trust us and know we’ll put on a great show.”

Stearns said one of the biggest challenges of having a successful event, is trying to accommodate all the new people that want to participate, whether bands or vendors.

He said that he receives hundreds of applications from bands wanting to play the festival.

“The more successful you get, the more everyone wants to participate,” Stearns said.

The event’s organizers are pleased a music festival on the Kenai Peninsula is proving to be successful.

“It’s such a great internal satisfaction that people enjoy the show,” Abel said. “To make such a great thing that people enjoy – it’s a lot of hard work, but it pays off.”


Tickets are currently on sale at


Reach Ian Foley at

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion In this July 2, 2013 file photo, uudience members dance through a haze of bubbles during The Big Wu's show at Salmonstock in Ninilchik, Alaska.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion In this July 2, 2013 file photo, uudience members dance through a haze of bubbles during The Big Wu’s show at Salmonstock in Ninilchik, Alaska.

More in Life

Cabbage, potatoes, salmon and an assortment of pantry staples make for a culinary challenge. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Take a culinary pop quiz

Get creative with what’s in your pantry

Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Sometimes I wonder, who needs who

Dog whispers we are not. Suckers for unconditional love, you bet.

This undated John E. Thwaites photo, perhaps taken near Seward, shows the S.S. Dora grounded. (Alaska State Library photo collection)
Resilience of the Dora, part 3

Her long career had come to an end at last.

Meredith Harber (courtesy)
Minister’s Message: Don’t let termination dust bring you down

If I’m honest, this time of year is the hardest for me mentally and emotionally.

Pieces hang on display at the Kenai Art Center for the open call show on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
‘They felt like they could share with us now’

Art center open call offers space for new artists.

The Cosmic Hamlet Entertainment film crew prepares for a new scene to roll on the set of “Bolt from the Blue” at the Kilcher Homestead on Sept. 28. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)
‘Bolt from the Blue’ film features Homer

“The Office” star Kate Flannery cast in feature film produced in Homer.

These old-fashioned doughnuts don’t skimp on the fat or sugar. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Memories of old-fashioned doughnuts

My recipe is for old-fashioned doughnuts, and since I make these maybe twice a year, I don’t skimp on the sugar and fat.

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: October is here again

The days are shorter. We are losing nearly six minutes a day. It’s getting colder.

This John E. Thwaites photo shows the S.S. Dora near Sand Point, Alaska. Thwaites sailed as mail clerk on the Dora between at least 1905 and 1912. (Alaska State Library photo collection)
Resilience of the Dora, part 2

The S.S. Dora touched lives on and became part of the history of the Kenai Peninsula and Southcentral Alaska.

Steller Sea Lions can be seen in an enclosure at the Alaska SeaLife Center on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska SeaLife Center to Alaskans: We’re still here for you

You rallied and kept us alive. Today, we’re writing to say thank you.

A wood-carved whale hangs in the Nikiski Senior Center on Sept. 23, 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Nikiski Senior Center)
Whale of a job

Nikiski Senior Center gets addition to dining room.

Tomato soup with grilled cheese. (Photo by Tressa Dale)
On the strawberry patch: The comfort of tomato soup

When I was very young, my mother would make me tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches on days when I was feeling down.