A new summer festival is joining the circuit this year in the form of AK SoulFest. Billed as the first annual by organizer Amy Jackman, the event — to be staged at Diamond M Ranch — is about “helping people recognize and embody their individual sovereignty.”
AK SoulFest will extend throughout the weekend, with yoga, classes and music Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Jackman said the event is for families, with no alcohol present.
A major focus of the event is yoga, with classes held all three days, every hour on the hour. Fliers for the event recommend bringing a water bottle and a yoga mat. Jackman said that a variety of yoga practices will be exhibited, hoping “people can find a type of yoga that inspires them.”
Jackman noted some yoga classes that she was interested in include the Kai Chi Do course, a form of moving meditation taught first thing each of the three mornings at 9 a.m., as well as the Tantra yoga for couples.
Alongside yoga, music will be featured on the main stage throughout Friday and Saturday afternoon. The schedule features several local acts like Luna & Ursus, Zero Miles to Empty and Benjammin’ and the Jammin’ Band. An open mic will be held on the main stage Sunday from 1-4 p.m.
A drum ceremony will be held on the first night, featuring drums, didgeridoos, hand pans and flutes. Jackman said the ceremony will be about connecting with the earth, “we’re all going to sing and drum and dance and chant together.”
Classes and workshops will also be held throughout each of the three days, including archery lessons with the Kenai Peninsula Archers for all ages 5 and up, hula hoop lessons and composting. Presentations related to alternative medicine will also be taught by people from around the state.
Jackman, who has a history in local politics including serving as a city council member, said she was inspired to produce the event to share her experience with what she calls “earth medicine.” The event aims to allow others to experience these alternative approaches to health, some of which she said have been described as “fringe” by Western society, as well as meditation, breathing techniques and yoga.
She said the event has been put together by a team of women who “worked so diligently to make this happen.” Days before the event, she said that “it’s taken on a life of its own.”