Not many music festivals in Southeast Alaska cater to the hip hop, blues and rock scenes, Home Skillet Fest co-founder George Huff said.
"I'm pretty certain that this is the only festival that caters to a broader audience," he said. "We're trying to go after the youth culture with the hip hop kind of thing, but we also want to provide something for people that aren't into that scene."
The 3rd annual Home Skillet Fest will be held July 17 - 19 in Sitka. Each evening of the three-day festival will indulge a separate kind of audience at a different venue, combining local music and outside talent into a unique blend of sound for all to enjoy, co-founder Nicholas Galanin said.
Huff and Galanin began putting the annual festival together as a way to highlight artists from their music label, Home Skillet Records, and as a venue for artists from the lower 48 states to come and perform in Sitka. Home Skillet Fest has become an extension of the label, Huff said.
"The festival is as eclectic as our label," he said. "Our label, we have hip hop, we have bluesmen, we have acoustic singer-songwriters, we've got bands, so we're kind of hitting on all of those."
Galanin said they started the label several years ago as a way to boost some of the local music talent in Sitka.
"That kind of started with the local music scene and wanting to find another home for the music in the digital world," he said. "It's more of a Website-based label and the festival is kind of an expansion of that. It's given us a little more networking in the broader music scene, and it's also given us a little bit more reality into the music world, I suppose."
The festival coincides with the release of four albums from the label, including solo albums by Jed Delong and Silver Jackson, and albums by the groups Little Stone's Father and Jacky Ruby Presents.
"The label is kind of the backbone for supporting the artists and their music and giving them a platform to call home," Galanin said.
There are not too many outside musicians that perform in Sitka so the Home Skillet Fest gives people the opportunity to see artists from the lower 48 states take to the stage in Southeast Alaska, Huff said.
"You're going to hear artists that you may or may not have heard before, but it's always really solid music," he said. "We try to find those artists that are kind of right on the cusp of what we think will get bigger and eventually untouchable as far as the budget goes for us."
Each night of the festival provides a different genre of outside talent for people to enjoy, Huff said.
"We kind of target each night for that specific audience that we think will come," he said. "We want everyone to come out and experience it."
Acoustic music will take center stage on Thursday, July 17, with San Francisco folk musician Sonny Smith and singer-songwriter Tom Brosseau of Grand Forks, N.D. performing at the Sheet'ka Kwaan Kahidi Community House, among other artists.
Hip hop is the focus of the Friday, July 18 show, with California-based artists DJ Rhettmatic and Medaphor performing at the Moose Lodge Family Center. Other performers include Juneau-based hip hop artist AV, Sitka-based Phonetic and Olympia, Wash.-based rapper Macklemore.
Saturday, July 19 - the last and biggest night of the festival - will focus on rock and blues music and will include performances by Pictures and Sound and the band Sonny & the Sunsets at the Centennial Building. The evening also is being dubbed the "release party" and will feature performances by Jed Delong, Silver Jackson, Little Stone's Father and Jacky Ruby Presents.
"We really try to spread it out and give something for everyone," Huff said.
Seating is limited at all the shows so people interested in attending can order tickets from the Web site at www.homeskilletfest.com. Times of performances and a full list of performers can be found at the site.
The Home Skillet Fest is really all about having a fun time and enjoying good music, Huff said.
"I just want people to enjoy it, really. That's all I really want," he said. "This is not something we really make money off of. This is kind of a labor of love."
Contact reporter Eric Morrison at 523-2269 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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