Within a span of three years, the sober-living home of Nuk’it’un has not only given men a place to rehab their lives, but the organization’s board members have also created one of the must-see, must-hear music festivals on the peninsula.
For two straight nights, Rock’n The Ranch at the Rusty Ravin will bring in a slew of popular musical acts for 16 hours of music Friday and Saturday at Mile 12.5 on Kalifornsky Beach Road.
Organizers say there will be plenty of signs along the way, but festivalgoers should turn down Equestrian Ave., located about 3.5 miles south of the K-Beach/Bridge Access intersection. The event will feature free parking and camping for all ticket holders, but pets are not allowed at the venue.
Nuk’it’un, a Dena’ina word meaning “New moon,” sober-living home for men was opened in June 2016, just months after the first meeting to create such a place came together.
Nuk’it’un board members Valerie Anderson and Ravin Swan are two of the original creators of Nuk’it’un, and said the idea behind the nonprofit was born out of necessity and passion. Swan said the idea was born to help educate and provide for community members dealing with drug addiction.
“It was all a brainstorm of us sitting around,” Swan said. “Our family and loved ones were affected by drug epidemic.”
The two women put their heads together in November 2015 and held a meeting with others that spurred action the next summer. Currently, Nuk’it’un operates out of one building with four beds, and works with the local community and Wildwood Correctional Center to reach out to those needing help.
“We all felt the need to provide help for men in recovery,” Anderson said. “It’s a safe place to go and stay for a while to get their life together.”
Swan said that the first meeting helped provide an immediate impact, as a full room of people interested in helping showed up.
“We’re an action group,” Swan said. “When we decide we’re going to do it, we do it.”
Anderson said all proceeds from the music festival this weekend will go to help the nonprofit organization.
“We got the idea of the festival (in 2016) as a way to raise money because we’re a nonprofit, and we needed to raise funds to keep going,” she said.
The event runs 6 p.m. to midnight Friday, and 2 p.m. to midnight Saturday, and features a stacked lineup of bands and musical artists.
Starting Friday at 6 p.m., Seward act Blackwater Railroad Company will take the stage with their mix of guitar, violin, keyboard and vocal ensemble. At 9 p.m., the Hawaiian reggae group H3 will enter to finish off the night. H3 is based out of Anchorage and plays many reggae hits.
Saturday starting at 2 p.m., the Melster Blues with bring a local flair to the event.
“No one will be sitting in their seats for this band,” Anderson predicted. “They are that good.”
The Melster Blues will then cede the spotlight at 4 p.m. for JUNOsmile, a Florida folk duo comprised of Joseph and Jessy Martens.
From there, the blues group Daddy’s Issue come on at 6 p.m. The Gasoline Lollipops cap Saturday night with a performance starting at 9 p.m. The Colorado-based group features a blend of folk, country and “rebellious” punk, according to their website.