Check out the many music/folk festivals around Alaska and the Yukon. Some come and go, others are more sustaining. Feel free to update me with any that have gone defunct, new ones, or corrections.
Last 2 weekends of January – Anchorage Folk Festival – is typically scheduled for the last two weekends of January – The AFF hotline is 907-566-2334 or you can try to contact Karl Wilhelmi at email@example.com. Some fine guest musicians and more. You can also follow them on Facebook.
Typically 2nd Sat. of Feb. – Fairbanks Winter Folk Fest at the Civic Center at Alaskaland/Pioneer Park. The festival typically begins around noon and goes till 11 pm with local talent. If you think you have musical talent, contact Trudy at firstname.lastname@example.org to see about performing. The annual Folk Fest Membership Meeting used to take place around 6 pm, but I’ve not noticed this the past couple years. Contact email@example.com for further info. Dates through 2018 put this festival on the second Sat. of February each year.
Early to Mid April – Alaska Folk Festival – in Juneau every April. This is one of the best of any folk festival I’ve been to – a real musician’s festival. It takes over the town. Broadcasts on the radio every evening. Dances from Thursday through Saturday nights concurrent with performances. Workshops. Jam sessions all night for any kind of folk music. A crammed weekend at the end – a physical discharge and a musical recharge for all. Musicians come from all over the Northwest. Not to be missed. Call 907-463-3316 or check the website above for further info. For those of you who like to plan ahead, dates for future years: AFF 42 April 4-10 2016, see here for future festival dates.
Typically the Sat. right after the Alaska Folk Fest (above) – Skayway International Folk Festival – is held either Friday or Saturday night about a week after the Alaska Folk Festival in Juneau. It is paired with the Whitehorse Yukon Canada Coffeehouse Folk Festival for a second night of music. Contact Donna Grifford Skagwayartscouncil@gmail.com or 907-983-3222 for further info or to volunteer to perform.
Typically the 3rd Sat. of May – Clucking Blossom Festival – kind of a younger folks free music and art festival at Birch Hill Ski Area in Fairbanks. A mix of music includes bluegrass and folk.
Memorial Day Weekend – FB page.Trapper Creek Bluegrass, Folk, Country, Acoustic Festival at the Boots Bison Ranch. Directions: between mile 114 and mile 115 of the Parks Hwy. Take Susitna River Road East and then turn right on Bradley Road. Go to the very end of the road after the bridge and you are there. Only 500 tickets, presold only. Contact Boot at Boot’s Bison Ranch firstname.lastname@example.org or 727-2459.
I also found a really basic FB page. Boot makes the point “no glass, no violence, no beer garden”.
Memorial Day Weekend – Mendeltna Music Festival (~ 25 miles west of Glennallen on the Glenn Hwy). May 27-29. Contact: Kari Bailey, email@example.com.
3rd weekend in June – Nome Midnight Sun Folk Festival – Nome Midnight Sun Folk Fest – Features one guest band each year, as well as a main stage event with sets by local performers. The guest band performs and gives workshops throughout the festival. For further info call Carol at 907-443-3630 or gales(at)nome.net
3rd weekend of June – Denali Solstice Fest at Milepost 248.4 Parks Hwy. On the outdoor stage at 49th State Brewing Company with a mix of musical styles including folkrock, funk, reggae, blues, jammin’ beer garden and food. Onsite camping available McKinleyRV.com), $10 day but 21+. (907) 683-BREW.
Last weekend of June – Fri-Sat. June 30 and July 1, 2017 Black Rapids Lodge
Mile 227 Richardson Highway (30 minutes south of Delta Junction).
Great local bands and jamming! Great camping! Great food!
For further info, admission price, facilities, etc., contact:
907-388-8391, or check out the Black Rapid Roadhouse Facebook page.
1st or 2nd weekend of July – Girdwood Forest Fair just south of Anchorage, has a bunch of music, not exclusively folk styles, but a healthy potpourri. Info on the music, contact Andy Mullen firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
2nd weekend of July – The Atlin, BC Arts and Music Festival should be on my list to go to soon. From Alaska, take a right on the Alaska Hwy a bit south of Whitehorse. A lovely setting.
Last weekend of July – Anderson Bluegrass Festival – near Clear Air Force Station off the Parks Hwy mile 283. They usually have guest artists. This is a wonderful family affair, minimal entrance fee, plenty of camping space, even running water! Further info firstname.lastname@example.org. For musician scheduling, contact Lulu Small, contact info pending.
Last weekend of July – Deltana Fair Music Festival(their page needs updating for 2011 as of this posting) runs in conjunction with the Deltana Fair in Delta Junction. Mostly acoustic folky, bluegrass music with a mix of other styles. Musicians from Delta, Fairbanks, Anchorage. Contact email@example.com or 907-895-4075.
Last weekend of July – Homer Concert on the Lawn – a two day affair the last weekend of July with Sunday’s concert broadcast live over KBBI. (their page needs updating for 2011 as of this posting) Further info from radio station KBBI or Paulette Wellington – Music Director firstname.lastname@example.org. For musician scheduling, it is email@example.com
Last weekend of July – Gakona Music Festival and the Arts. 16 miles north of Glennallen at Gakona Lodge, Mile 2 Tok Cutoff, Fri 6:00 PM – Midnight, Sat 11:00 am until ….
Musicians from the Copper River Basin and surrounding areas are welcome; mostly acoustic folky, bluegrass music with a mix of other styles will be performing!! This is a wonderful family affair, $5 per day per person, 12 years old and younger are free, family games, plenty of camping space and beautiful riverside scenery! Food and beverages available. No vendor fee for arts, crafts, or locally grown produce. Further information for musician scheduling contact Kari or Bruce at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 907-822-4125. For vendor information contact Fran at: email@example.com, or 907-822-3441.
1st weekend of August – Salmonfest – Ninilchik on the Kenai Peninsula, taking over the banner from the long running Talkeetna Bluegrass Festival in 2012.
Mid-Aug. to mid-Sep. – check this page for exact date:
at the Golden Eagle Saloon, 3630 Main Street, Ester (Fairbanks) Cost: $10 at the door (suggested donation). Benefit for the John Trigg Ester Library. Contact Syrilyn Tong, 907-474-3016, firstname.lastname@example.org for further info.
3rd weekend of August – Kantishna Music Festival – At Kantishna Air Taxi, Denali Park AK 99755. (their page needs updating for 2012 as of this posting) It is usually during the third weekend of August and takes place at the Skyline Lodge. If you are interested in performing during the Kantishna Music season, please contact Matt Unterberger, Coordinator at email@example.com
Weekend after Labor Day, starting on Wed or Thu. Far North Fiddle Fest, a combination of workshops, sessions, and performances hosted from grants from the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital Foundation and benefiting hospice services. They bring up an overwhelming number of renown musicians each year.
Annual affairs none-the-less
Folk and other music can also be found at various "county" fairs
around the state. The two fairs claiming to be the "official" state fairs are:
Kenny Lake Fair mid-August. This is a small community 7 miles down the Edgerton Hwy. From Glennallen, go south on the Richardson Highway to Mile 82, turn left on Highway 10 going toward Chitina. Turn left at mile 11.1 by the black mailbox. Further info contact Pete Peschang – ppeschang(at)yahoo.com or 907-822-5471 / fax 907-822-5472.