Warm August Nights, the concert ubiquitous with the end of summer and the start of the school year is Saturday at the Kodiak State Fairgrounds.
The music extravaganza is billed as “the largest social event on the island where everyone (can) enjoy music and food,” said one of the event’s founders Doc Myers in a statement to the Kodiak Daily Mirror.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with music going from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Admission will be a donation of at least $10 or cans of food, Myers said. Kodiak CHARR will sponsor buses leaving every half hour starting at 6 p.m.
Although glass bottles are not allowed, attendees are free to bring their own beer and wine, Myers said.
During the event there will be a section of the fairgrounds for attendees to park and showcase their classic cars and motorcycles. Participants will be awarded prizes and anyone who brings a classic vehicle gets free entry into the festival, according to the event poster.
The goal of Warm August Nights is to raise donations of money and cans of food for the Lions Club. They will allocate funds and cans to the Kodiak Island Food Bank, Myers said. Last year, the Lions Club received a total of 2,600 cans, he said, adding that he expects around 1,000 people to attend this year.
In its 24th year, Myers said the year’s lineup has a range of long-time musicians.
“It’s a variety pack,” Myers said, describing the lineup.
One of the bands, Greater Cause, is a trio who grew up playing music in Kodiak. They currently play with different bands, but during this show, they will reunite for a special set, Myers explained.
Greater Cause will be among other bands playing “easy listening music,” during the first half of the show. The louder, more upbeat music will play during the second half of the show, he said.
The lineup listed on the event’s poster included Hammerdown, Doc & Bubba with the Greater Cause, Eternal Cowboys, Ellamy Tiller and the Twang, Lil Ronnie and Joey Houck, Crooked Island and Good Lieutenant.
All the musicians have a connection to Kodiak, whether they were born on The Rock or lived here at one point in their lives, Myers said.
The event — originally called Bear Country Music Festival — was cancelled by the Lions Club due to inclement weather conditions. But, because of popular demand, the club restarted the event and moved it from July to August, naming it Warm August Nights, referencing the world-famous party of a similar name, Hot August Nights in Reno.
“It’s not usually hot (in August), so we were torn between ‘Tepid August Night’ and ‘Warm August Nights.’ I think one was more optimistic. This is our 14th time having Warm August Nights after 10 years of Bear Country Music Festival,” he said. “(The event) was a showcase for anyone who wanted to play music and camp out. We used to have 200 people camping out for the weekend at the fairgrounds. And that was really fun.”
According to Myers past attendees of the event have told him the festival marks the end of summer and the start of the school year, “the last hurrah,” he said. Others have made lifelong memories at the event, he added.
“We try to give everyone who has the talent, has a band, that has a quality of social music that people want to listen to, a chance (to play music),” he said.