Salmonfest Music Festival to Return in August

Salmonfest, the three-day Alaska music festival that supports protection and recovery of healthy salmon habitat is back for 2021, with ticket already available for Aug. 6-8 at the Kenai Peninsula Fairgrounds.

“We’re shedding the cocoon and want nothing more than to dance, sing and list to music with our fellow nature/salmon lovers,” Salmonfest organizers wrote in announcing this week that the 10th year of the event is happening, after being shut down in 2020 as a health and safety precaution because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We need live music, we need each other and we need to gather joyously,” the announcement stated.

The festival, with a big focus on opposition to the proposed Pebble mine in the Bristol Bay watershed, annually attracts up to 7,500 people. Even as the number of new infections of COVID-19 ebbs in most of the United States, Salmonfest plans to meet or exceed all local and state guidelines for health and safety as the pandemic continues, said Salmonfest director Jim Stearns.

Headliners are to be announced soon, but bands already signed on include the San Francisco soul, psych-rock and R&B band Con Brio and New Orleans singer-songwriter Carsie Blanton. Salmonfest annually books about 60 bands, which perform on four stages during the three-day event.

The 2021 festival will feature a new amphitheater with a larger main stage and a large campground area, said Stearns.

The festival began in 2011 as Salmonstock, with the goal of promoting, preserving and protecting wild salmon and salmon habitat, as well as to create a compelling destination for family, friends, visitors and musicians to gather under Alaska’s summer midnight sun.

Since 2015, Salmonfest has donated over $150,000 for salmon related initiatives.

One annual feature of the festival is the Salmon Causeway, which offers education on salmon habitat issues and the opportunity to become personally engaged.

Salmonfest’s non-profit steward organization, ARCHES Alaska, is preparing the new 40-acre campground behind the festival/fairgrounds. ARCHES plans to open a limited number of campsites in the campgrounds to ticket holders this year. Those reserving a numbered site will have the option to keep it for future Salmonfest events in perpetuity with a first right of refusal.

More information about Salmonfest 2021, including ticket sales and campground reservations, is available at